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CHEMICALS AND FERTILIZERS

Controversial insecticides have shown to threaten survival of wild birds

Controversial insecticides have shown to threaten survival of wild birds
The Siliconreview
13 September, 2019

Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) have found that the fertilizers and pesticides which are used worldwide are causing a serious decline in songbird population. The bird population is reducing drastically after consuming the fruits which are sprayed with pesticides containing huge amounts of neonicotinoid, leading to the death of these birds.

The songbirds who consumed small doses of imidacloprid and neonicotinoid suffered weight loss which delayed their migration time and reproduction time leading to the death of these birds. “We saw these effects using doses well within the range of what a bird could realistically consume in the wild -- equivalent to eating just a few treated seeds,"stated Margaret Eng, a post-doctoral fellow in the USask Toxicology Centre.

Neonicotinoidis the most commonly usedagricultural insecticideused worldwide and is often applied as coating or sprayed on most of the fruit plants or crops. Earlier the insecticide was thought to affect only the insects. But now there is growing evidence that they also affect the bird population when they are continuously exposed to the drug. These insecticides are also affecting honey bees, leading to a drastic decrease in their population as well.

The scientists at USask are trying to know the exact effect of these insecticides on bird population through new lightweight tagging technologies and through a research network called the Motus wildlife tracking system which will give the information about the mode of action of the drug.