Millions of birds have been lost from New Zealand countryside over the past 30 years. Most of them were introduced birds so have not been missed, but surely someone should have recognised that their loss indicated something had gone very wrong with farmland ecosystems. It is the decline of insects that has had the greatest impact on birds. There is no monitoring of insects in New Zealand to my knowledge.
In Michigan, half of its bumblebee species have declined by 50 percent or more, Michigan Radio reported. "Of those twelve species, about half of them have declined and the other half are stable," Thomas Wood, a post-doctoral research associate at Michigan State University, told the radio station. Of the six species that have declined, their numbers dropped by more than 50 percent, Wood added. One species, the rusty patched bumblebee (Bombus affinis), has even gone extinct in Michigan. In 2017, the U.S.
Today, 2,000 pesticides with 500 chemical substances are being used in Europe. However, data on how such substances affect soil quality is incomplete and fragmented, and fails to clearly reflect their overall impact on soil systems and human health. First-time research conducted in the course of two EU-funded projects, iSQAPER and RECARE, is shedding light on the state of European soils. The results are far from reassuring.
Western monarch butterflies spend the winter in more than 300 forested groves along the California coast, including large populations in Riverside and Los Angeles counties, Pacific Grove, Monterey and at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz. They can normally be seen from November to March. With the number of butterflies declining rapidly, here are four things governments and the public can do to help:
Protect and manage California overwintering sites.
Twelve pesticides made with chemicals shown to harm bees and other pollinators are slated to be banned as part of a proposed settlement with the manufacturers, the EPA announced Dec. 12. The pesticides, marketed by Syngenta AG., Bayer AG, and Valent USA Corp., contain either thiamethoxam or clothianidin, two chemicals in the neonicotinoid class that are linked to declining bee populations.
Chemical agriculture is destroying the ecosystems that sustain all life. Pesticides are a key culprit in the decline of bees, butterflies and other pollinators — leading some scientists to warn of a “second silent spring.” , Pesticides wreak havoc on the soil by killing the organisms that are the basis of soil life. And they pollute rivers, lakes and oceans, leading to fish die-offs.
To reduce your risk of cancer, you know you should quit smoking, exercise regularly, wear sunscreen, and take advantage of screening tests. New research suggests another item might be added to this list: Choose organic foods over conventional ones. A study of nearly 70,000 French adults who were tracked for an average of 4.5 years found that those who ate the most organic foods were less likely to develop certain kinds of cancer than the people who ate the least.
The number of monarch butterflies turning up at California's overwintering sites has dropped by about 86 percent compared to only a year ago, according to the Xerces Society, which organizes a yearly count of the iconic creatures. That’s bad news for a species whose numbers have already declined an estimated 97 percent since the 1980s. Each year, monarchs in the western United States migrate from inland areas to California’s coastline to spend the winter, usually between September and February.