Thiamethoxam reduces egg development in wild bumblebee queens

New research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B has found that wild bumblebee queens are less able to develop their ovaries when exposed to a common neonicotinoid pesticide. The research was conducted by Dr Gemma Baron , Professor Mark Brown of Royal Holloway, University of London and Professor Nigel Raine, (now based at the University of Guelph). The study investigated the impact of exposure to field-realistic levels of a neonicotinoid insecticide (thiamethoxam) on the feeding behaviour and ovary development of four species of bumblebee queen.

Geneva Lake’s zooplankton populations are disappearing in disturbing numbers

Analysis of Geneva Lake’s zooplankton populations shows that the numbers of the little animals that populate the bottom of the lake’s food chain are continuing to disappear in disturbing numbers. In a written report to the Geneva Lake Environmental Agency board of directors on Thursday, Ted Peters, GLEA director, said that in an email the analyst doing the zooplankton count for the GLEA has indicated that other species of zooplankton are now also starting to disappear.

Salmon numbers in the River Awe are in "free fall", fishing groups have warned

Salmon fishing groups have called for urgent action over the "unprecedented collapse" of a major run in Argyll. The 2017 count from the River Awe in the south-west Highlands is projected to be the lowest since records began. The group said this year's count from the Awe has only been running at a third of the 2016 count, which was itself only just above the all-time low since records began in 1965. The 2016 total was 807 fish, but STCS said the 2017 count may "struggle to reach 400", with 30 weeks of the season already past.

Red-headed woodpeckers are on decline

The red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythocephalus) was once a very common woodpecker. These birds fly to catch insects in the air or on the ground, forage on trees or gather and store nuts. They are omnivorous, eating insects, seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, and occasionally even the eggs of other birds. In the mid-1800s, John James Audubon stated that the red-headed woodpecker was the most common woodpecker in North America. He called them semi-domesticated because they weren’t afraid of people. He stated that they were camp robbers and also a pest.

Assessment of ecological risks of agrochemicals requires a new framework

The widespread contamination of a significant proportion of the planet’s land and water with pesticides is undeniable. While this takes place, innumerable species of animals associated with agricultural landscapes are declining at rates that may put them on the brink to extinction in the span of a lifetime. It is evident, therefore, that our current risk assessment of agrochemicals has failed to protect the environment.

The tri-colored bat is on the verge of extinction in Georgia

Just a few years ago, Northeast Georgia was home to thousands of bats. In a relatively short amount of time, however, that number has plummeted. Georgia’s bat population has dropped dramatically due to an emerging disease known as White Nose Syndrome. In the past seven years, the population of affected bat species has fallen by approximately 94 percent, said Trina Morris with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division. In Rabun County, the decline has been even more pronounced, at roughly 97 percent.

Leaf beetles: Even a tiny dose of pesticide will impair reproduction

In a new study, biologists at Bielefeld University show the effects of pesticides and how even slight traces lead to long-term damage to beetles. One finding is that leaf beetles lay roughly 35 per cent fewer eggs after coming into contact with traces of a frequently used pesticide: a pyrethroid. The researchers also showed that female offspring develop malformations through the poison. The biologists have published their study in the journal Environmental Pollution.

Midwestern streams were found to contain 52 pesticides on average

More than 180 pesticides and their by-products were detected in small streams throughout 11 Midwestern states, some at concentrations likely to harm aquatic insects, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The mixtures of pesticides are more complex than previously reported by the USGS—94 pesticides and 89 pesticide byproducts were detected. On average, 52 pesticide compounds were identified in each stream.

Imidacloprid may impact bobwhite quail embryonic development and chick survival

The goal of this research was to investigate the effects of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid on the morphological and physiological development of northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). Bobwhite eggs (n = 390) were injected with imidacloprid concentrations of 0 (sham), 10, 50, 100, and 150 mg/kg of egg mass, which was administered at day 0 (pre-incubation), 3, 6, 9, or 12 of growth. Embryos were dissected, weighed, staged, and examined for any overt structural deformities after 19 days of incubation. The mass of the embryonic heart, liver, lungs and kidneys was also recorded.

Occurrence of imidacloprid in Italian house dust

The occurrence of pesticides intended for non-agricultural use was investigated in 206 dust samples drawn from vacuum-cleaner bags from residential flats in Italy. The results indicated the presence of imidacloprid (IMI) in 30% of the samples. According to the estimated dust intake in infants/toddlers aged 6–24 months (16–100 mg d−1) and cats (200 mg d−1), it was possible to obtain risk characterization with respect to the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for IMI of 0.060 mg/kg body weight (bw) proposed by EFSA and the chronic Population Adjusted Dose (cPAD) of 0.019 mg/kg bw d−1 by US-EPA.