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Entomologists across Australia are reporting lower than average numbers of wild insects

A global crash in insect populations has found its way to Australia, with entomologists across the country reporting lower than average numbers of wild insects. Entomologist and owner of the Australian Insect Farm, near Innisfail in far north Queensland, Jack Hasenpusch is usually able to collect swarms of wild insects at this time of year. "I've been wondering for the last few years why some of the insects have been dropping off and put it down to lack of rainfall," Mr Hasenpusch said.

Kathmandu's silent spring

The publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring drew public attention to how pesticides had killed much of North America’s songbirds. The book launched an international environmental movement. A similar silence has descended upon Kathmandu Valley, as once ubiquitous birds like sparrows and mynahs decline. And ornithologists who have studied this trend say that in Nepal, too, it is the rampant use of pesticides that is mainly to blame.

Vermont's grassland birds continue to decline in numbers

Grassland-nesting bird populations continue to decline in numbers in Vermont, according to recent surveys conducted by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Bird species that nest in grasslands include vesper sparrows (Pooecetes gramineus), grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), and eastern meadowlarks (Sturnella magna), among others.

More than a quarter of Europe's crickets and grasshoppers are being driven to extinction

The first comprehensive assessment of Europe's crickets and grasshoppers has found that more than a quarter of species are being driven to extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the insect group is the most threatened of those assessed so far in Europe. Europe harbours more than 1,000 species of grasshopper and cricket. If we don't act now the sound of crickets could become a thing of the past, said the IUCN.

Half Scotland’s upland birds suffer significant long-term decline

More than half of Scotland’s upland birds, including the curlew and lapwing, have suffered a “significant long-term decline”, according to official statistics published yesterday. Scottish Natural Heritage’s latest Index of Abundance for Scottish Terrestrial Breeding Birds, reveals that ten of the 17 upland species fell in numbers between 1994 and 2016, contributing to an 16 per cent decrease among upland birds over the period.

Fipronil in Surface Water: An Environmental Calamity Remaining Under Radar in the Netherlands

The phenylpyrazole insecticide fipronil is used in Dutch agriculture in seed coating of cabbage, onions and leek, but was also illegally used as treatment against poultry red mite. Crustaceans and aquatic insects have been shown to be highly sensitive to fipronil and its stable degradation products. An environmental quality standard (EQS) for fipronil in Dutch surface water has been set at 0.07 ng / L.

Survey says … ducks numbers way down in Texas

Over the past 20 years or so, Texas waterfowlers have witnessed - and waterfowl managers have documented and wrestled with - some dramatic shifts and trends in abundance and distribution of the ducks and geese that each autumn pour down the Central Flyway to winter in the state. That perspective is strikingly underscored by results of Texas' 2018 Mid-winter Waterfowl Survey. That aerial population survey, conducted in early January each year and covering all of the state except for the waterfowl-poor Edwards Plateau and Trans-Pecos ecological regions, produced some sobering findings.

Asian Waterbird Census shows 40 per cent decline in bird count

The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2018 conducted in Kollam district by the WWF-India, a conservation organisation, with the support of Social Forestry wing of Kerala forests and wildlife department has found a drastic fall of around 40 per cent in the total count of birds. The AWC held in nine different bird rich sites accorded a count of 5,697 birds belonging to 61 species in place of the previous year’s count of 9,378 from 65 species. The number of migratory bird species has also fallen to 22 from last year’s 32.

Bird population decline in Athagarh forest division

There has been decline in the population of birds in Athagarh forest division in Cuttack. At least 16,948 birds were sighted in the forest division during the bird census which was carried out in the first week of January. The number of birds counted this year is much less against last year's 19,476. Adding to it, not a single migratory bird has been spotted in the region this time.

Finnish populations of the pochard have fallen a staggering 80% in the past 20 years

Nature preservation group BirdLife Finland reports that domestic populations of the endangered common pochard have decreased massively in the past two decades. BirdLife's calculations show that Finnish populations of the common pochard (Aythya ferina) have fallen a staggering 80 percent in the past 20 years. The organisation hopes to help revive the species by naming it the year's top bird.In the early 1970s the Kokemäki river delta in Satakunta was bustling with some 250 pairs of pochards. Local calculations from a few years ago put the figure at just 30.