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Chemical madness that haunts the world

All of humanity currently risks exposure to toxic chemicals all over creation in a similar vein to the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland fame. And, maybe, as a result, goin’ kinda looney and getting horribly, dreadfully sick! As soon as the Spring of 2018, the EPA will decide whether to risk the slaughter of birds and bees and pollinators that serve critical functions in crop production, as well as goosing-up the likelihood of chronic illnesses of citizens. The issue behind this flirtation with disease, sickness, pain, and death is regulation, or lack thereof, of chemical pesticides.

The iconic curlew will be extinct as a breeding species in Ireland within a decade

The haunting cry of the curlew (Numenius arquata) has long been embedded in Irish literary culture as well as in individual memory. Yet, with the breeding population dropping by a staggering 96 per cent since the 1980s, we are left to wonder whether Ireland’s future generations will have any more than these tales to rely on when learning about this iconic bird.

Agricultural intensification threatens 74% of the 1,469 bird species globally at risk of extinction

One in eight bird species is threatened with global extinction, and once widespread creatures such as the puffin, snowy owl and turtle dove are plummeting towards oblivion, according to the definitive study of global bird populations. The State of the World’s Birds, a five-year compendium of population data from the best-studied group of animals on the planet, reveals a biodiversity crisis driven by the expansion and intensification of agriculture. In all, 74% of 1,469 globally threatened birds are affected primarily by farming.

Neonicotinoids may affect the developing nervous system of children

Two popular types of the pesticide neonicotinoid used widely on America’s foods may cause brain impairment and should be restricted, according to a recent study by a team of European scientists. Researchers from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommended further restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids in the wake of new data which indicate that the class of pesticides "may affect the developing human nervous system" of children.

EFSA report on pesticide residues in food

According to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed, European Union Member States, Iceland and Norway monitor pesticide residue levels in food samples and submit the monitoring results to EFSA. This report provides the results of an ad-hoc data extraction and comparison of the monitoring results on organic and conventionally produced food samples.

Demise of the monarch amidst plummeting pheasant populations in South Dakota

The state pheasant population has dropped by 45 percent since 2016 — 65 percent lower than the 10-year average. Results from hunting have mirrored the decline. In 2007, the estimated pheasant bag was more than 2 million birds. In 2017, it was just more than 1 million, according to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. “Looking at the weather right now, we’re off to a record cold April,” said Travis Runia, senior upland game biologist for Game Fish and Parks. Many factors contribute to the last decade of pheasant decline, Runia said.

Without Birds, Lizards, and Other Vertebrate Pollinators, Plant Reproduction Could Decline by Two-Thirds

Bees tend to get the most attention as pollinators critical to the survival of plant species. But lizards, mice, bats, and other vertebrates also act as important pollinators. A new study finds that fruit and seed production drops an average 63 percent when vertebrates, but not insects, are kept away from plants.

Neonicotinoids act like endocrine disrupting chemicals in newly-emerged bees and winter bees

Pesticides can act as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in animals providing characteristic multiphasic dose-response curves and non-lethal endpoints in toxicity studies. However, it is not known if neonicotinoids act as EDCs in bees. To address this issue, we performed oral acute and chronic toxicity studies including concentrations recorded in nectar and pollen, applying acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam to bumble bees, honey bees and leafcutter bees, the three most common bee species managed for pollination.

Neonicotinoids Insecticides Expose Pregnant Women To Hormonal Disturbances, Endangering The Babies

The neonicotinoids insecticides expose pregnant women to hormonal disturbances which could affect the unborn babies, according to a Quebec scientific study. If the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides have been studied on bees, they have been little studied on humans. However, a Canadian research organization, the National Institute for Scientific Research, has decided to study the impacts of these products on human health.

Almost 30 per cent fewer blackbirds across Hampshire

THE number of smaller birds across Hampshire represents a “worrying trend” according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. According to the charity, there are almost 30 per cent fewer blackbirds in the county, which follows the national crash in numbers of the house sparrow and starling. Across the south east, blackbirds are down 22 per cent, and robins dropped 18 per cent, while sightings of the tiny wren went down 14 per cent in the region.