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Farmers must use an alternative to pesticides to save amphibians from complete extinction

A study published in SAPIENS revealed that out of 15,589 species threatened with extinction, 12% of them are bird species, 23% are mammal species are threatened, and 32% are amphibians. The first amphibian decline was documented in the 1960s. At present, the research revealed the average amphibian population decline has reached 3.79 % per year. As amphibian crisis persists across the United States, scientists are working continuously to come up with an emergency response to reverse their decline. Writing in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from the U.S.

Dow Chemical Wants Farmers to Keep Using a Pesticide Linked to Autism and ADHD

In 2014, the first and most comprehensive look at the environmental causes of autism and developmental delay, known as the CHARGE study, found that the nearby application of agricultural pesticides greatly increases the risk of autism. Women who lived less than a mile from fields where chlorpyrifos was sprayed during their second trimesters of pregnancy, as Magda did, had their chances of giving birth to an autistic child more than triple.

Nearly 100% of U.S. corn acres are treated with clothianidin or thiamethoxam

New EPA documents have finally put hard numbers to the use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which have quietly grown to dominate corn and soybean acreage in the U.S. over the past five to six years. Now pollinator and aquatic risk assessments on three neonicotinoids released on Jan. 12 revealed what many have long suspected: the chemicals are everywhere. EPA estimated that 42 million to 61 million acres of corn are treated with clothianidin annually (45% to 65% of all U.S. corn acres), and 24 million to 42 million acres of corn are treated with thiamethoxam (26% to 45% of all U.S.

Starling flocks are disappearing, Christmas Bird Count numbers show

Birders across the city reported seeing fewer starlings — and pretty much every other bird — during the 96th Christmas Bird Count. Dozens of bird lovers flocked together across the city on Boxing Day for the annual tally put on by the Hamilton Naturalists' Club, and noticed a consistent decrease in populations all around. "We might have close to the 30,000 we had last year as this trend continues, perhaps even less," said Rob Porter, head of field events with the Hamilton Naturalists' Club and Digital Naturalist. "It's a single snapshot in a single day of a single year," said Porter.

Blackbirds are falling from the sky

Just before the new year, drivers on Route 22 were disturbed to see dozens of blackbirds that seemed to fall from the sky and onto the highway. Helpless and hobbled, the birds that didn't die immediately were unable to get out of the way of oncoming traffic and dozens were killed, according to witnesses. Roughly 200 red-winged blackbirds tumbled out of the sky in Stow Creek Township, N.J., a few days before Thanksgiving. And on New Year's Eve 2010, about 5,000 blackbirds fell from the sky over Beebe, Ark., hitting some people.
Source: The Morning Call, January 13, 2017

Stow Creek bird deaths are probably linked to ingestion of imidacloprid-coated wheat seeds

At least 200 mostly red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) died in November in the rural area near Bridgeton, New Jersey, and some were seen flying in a disoriented manner. The state is performing additional tests on the blackbirds that died to see whether the insecticide imidacloprid killed them. Several of the birds that were examined had wheat seeds in their digestive tracts. Wheat seed coated with imidacloprid is believed to have been used in the area around the time of the deaths, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Rusty patched bumblebee population plunged nearly 90% since the late 1990s

The rusty patched bumblebee, a prized but vanishing pollinator once familiar to much of North America, was listed on Tuesday as an endangered species, becoming the first wild bee in the continental United States to gain such federal protection. One of several species facing sharp declines, the bumblebee known to scientists as Bombus affinis has plunged nearly 90% in abundance and distribution since the late 1990s, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Bats feeding on imidacloprid-tainted insects are unable to fly along learned paths, and get lost

In the wake of ongoing debate by experts, neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, has been proven a threat to the survival of bats in Taiwan after last year being confirmed as harmful to bees by the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States. A research team headed by Wu Chung-hsin (吳忠信), professor in life sciences at National Taiwan Normal University, found that bats feeding on imidacloprid-tainted insects were unable to fly along learned paths, as a result of which they often "got lost" while out hunting.

Roundup residues in food cause fatty liver disease

The impairment of liver function by low environmentally relevant doses of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) is still a debatable and unresolved matter. Previously we have shown that rats administered for 2 years with 0.1 ppb (50 ng/L glyphosate equivalent dilution; 4 ng/kg body weight/day daily intake) of a Roundup GBH formulation showed signs of enhanced liver injury as indicated by anatomorphological, blood/urine biochemical changes and transcriptome profiling.