The Terminator ( Homo exterminans )

While many people will be little moved by the loss of ‘creepy crawlies’, a massive extirpation of insects spills over to affect the numbers of birds, frogs, reptiles and fish that rely on insects as food, and the decline of these in turn affects larger animals. It impairs the successful pollination of plants which provide up to a third of the world’s food supply, as well as the renewal of landscapes and forests. Modern plants have evolved largely to depend on insects to fertilise them: lose insects and the whole web of life attenuates and, in some cases, collapses.

Kiebitze und Unken verschwinden im Rhein-Main-Gebiet

Als besonders bedrohlich erweist sich die immer intensivere Landwirtschaft. „Auf den Äckern und Wiesen stellen wir einen massiven Artenrückgang fest“, sagt NABU-Mitarbeiter Mark Harthun. Acker-Bodenbrüter wie Feldlerche (Alauda arvensis) und Kiebitz (Vanellus vanellus) gebe es in Hessen immer seltener. Auf den Äckern nisten die Tiere nicht, weil Jahr für Jahr in riesigen Mengen Pestizide gesprüht werden. Nicht nur wegen der Giftstoffe selbst, sondern auch weil die Getreide- und Grashalme durch das Düngen immer dichter wachsen, brüten dort kein Vögel mehr, wie es heißt.

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring sounded the alarm. The problem hasn't gone away, it's only intensified

Despite a steady rise in the manufacture and release of synthetic chemicals, research on the ecological effects of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals is severely lacking. This blind spot undermines efforts to address global change and achieve sustainability goals. So reports a new study in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Emma J. Rosi , a freshwater ecologist at the Cary Institute and a co-author on the paper, explains, "To date, global change assessments have ignored synthetic chemical pollution.

Amfibieën worden bedreigd door bestrijdingsmiddelen

Uit wetenschappelijk onderzoek blijkt dat pesticiden en andere chemicaliën een significante rol spelen in de wereldwijde achteruitgang van amfibieën, zoals kikkers. De Duitse en Zwitserse wetenschappers achter de studie zeggen in het Britse dagblad The Guardian dat het zowel “verbazingwekkend” als “alarmerend” is dat veelvoorkomende pesticiden zo giftig kunnen zijn, en dat in dosissen die goedgekeurd zijn door overheden. “Je zou niet denken dat producten, die geregistreerd zijn op de markt, zo’n giftig effect hebben”, zegt Carsten Brühl van de Duitse universiteit Koblenz-Landau.

Reptielen worden bedreigd door bestrijdingsmiddelen

De blootstelling aan gewasbeschermingsmiddelen kan voor heel wat diersoorten een negatief effect hebben. Een nieuwe studie peilt als één van de eerste studies in zijn soort naar het risico op blootstelling voor Europese reptielen. 102 soorten werden gescreend. Vooral hagedissen blijken erg gevoelig voor pesticiden. In Europa staat 18 procent van de reptielen op de rode lijst van de World Conservation Union geregistreerd als ‘bedreigd’. Wereldwijd zijn ongeveer 10.000 reptielen bekend. Daarvan komen er een honderdvijftigtal ook in Europa voor, waaronder slangen, hagedissen en schildpadden.

NABU bangt um Weiterführung der Bildungswerkstatt Natur

Eine erschreckende Bilanz hat unlängst NRW-Landesumweltminister Johannes Remmel vorgelegt: Rund 44 Prozent unserer heimischen Tier- und Pflanzenarten sind mittlerweile in ihrem Bestand gefährdet und haben somit einen unrühmlichen Platz auf der Roten Liste ergattert. Und am Niederrhein? Leider ist auch hier das Ergebnis katastrophal. Selbst in den meisten Schutzgebieten geht der Artenschwund signifikant weiter. Insbesondere auf landwirtschaftlich genutzten Flächen ist die Artenvielfalt in den letzten Jahren rapide zurückgegangen.

Snake populations in the US could face extinction as a result of fungal disease

Over the past decade, biologists in the United States have been tracking the rise of a deadly disease affecting snakes. Exactly where it came from, how it spreads and what it means for infected snake populations are all still rather mysterious. Now, a new report has revealed the disease is popping up in far more places – and in more snake species – than we thought. Snake Fungal Disease (SFD) is a skin condition that first caught scientists' attention back in 2006, when it struck a population of timber rattlesnakes in New Hampshire, cutting their numbers dramatically.

Hundreds of thousands of toads have been lost from the UK countryside in the past 30 years

The common toad is in decline across much of the UK and needs better protection, say conservationists. Data from toad patrols - volunteers who move toads across busy roads - shows the toad population has fallen by more than two-thirds since the 1980s. Once common in the British countryside, the amphibian is now on the brink of qualifying for protection as a vulnerable species, a study suggests. Silviu Petrovan, from the UK charity Froglife, said the information came from Toads on Roads - volunteer patrols established in the early 1970s to move toads over busy roads.

Save Caribbean Wildlife

The Caribbean's island geography makes it a highly biodiverse region. It is home to approximately 6,500 plant, 150 bird, 470 reptile, 40 mammal, 170 amphibian and 65 fish species not found anywhere else in the world. The global wildlife trafficking crisis threatens many of these species, which are used, often illegally, as pets, medicine, food, jewellery, clothing, souvenirs and household decorations.

Our biodiversity is at risk: A look at Peterborough and the Kawarthas

In her recent Environmental Protection Report entitled Small Steps Forward, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Dianne Saxe, called upon the government to put words into action to monitor biodiversity, combat wildlife declines, control invasive species, and follow through on better forest fire management. The large-scale loss of biodiversity is a crisis in Ontario and around the world. Ontario's most "at risk" species are snakes, turtles and freshwater mussels. However, many freshwater fishes, birds and mammals are also experiencing alarming declines.