Overige insecten

New EPA Assessment: Neonicotinoid Pesticides Pose Serious Risks to Birds, Aquatic Invertebrates

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released multiple scientific assessments today that found commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides can kill and harm birds of all sizes. Separate analyses also found the pesticides pose significant danger to aquatic invertebrates, which play a crucial role in supporting larger ecosystems. The troubling assessments come on the heels of earlier EPA analyses and thousands of scientific studies that have identified substantial risks to pollinators and aquatic invertebrates from this class of pesticides.

Why Insects Are Indispensable

Insects have been on Earth 1,000 times longer than humans have. In many ways, they created the world we live in. They helped call the universe of flowering plants into being. They are to terrestrial food chains what plankton is to oceanic ones. Without insects and other land-based arthropods, EO Wilson, the renowned Harvard entomologist, and inventor of sociobiology, estimates that humanity would last all of a few months. After that, most of the amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals would go, along with the flowering plants.

Humans Are Blind to Imminent Environmental Collapse

A curious thing about H. sapiens is that we are clever enough to document — in exquisite detail — various trends that portend the collapse of modern civilization, yet not nearly smart enough to extricate ourselves from our self-induced predicament. This was underscored once again in October when scientists reported that flying insect populations in Germany have declined by an alarming 75 per cent in the past three decades accompanied, in the past dozen years, by a 15 per cent drop in bird populations. Trends are similar in other parts of Europe where data are available.

Eight English rivers are polluted with neonicotinoid pesticides

Rivers in England are contaminated with powerful insecticides, new testing has revealed, increasing concerns over the impact of the toxic chemicals on fish and birds. Eight rivers in England are heavily contaminated with neonicotinoid pesticides. Two of the rivers, the Waveney on the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, and the Tame in the West Midlands, had an “acute level” of pollution, according to tests conducted by the Environment Agency last year.

Het Ctgb en de neonicotinoïden of hoe een door Henk Tennekes beschreven ecologische ramp werkelijkheid werd

Het bewijs dat een nieuw type pesticide zeer schadelijk is, stapelt zich op. Maar de autoriteiten luisteren liever naar wetenschappers die op schoot zitten bij de agrochemische industrie. Het instorten van bijenkolonies in heel de Verenigde Staten en Europa. De massale sterfte van kikkers in meertjes in de Sierra Nevada. De woekering van infecties onder de Japanse rijstvis. De kaalslag onder vleermuizen. De dramatische daling in het aantal weidevogels. Al dit leed brengt de Nederlandse toxicoloog Henk Tennekes in verband met een nieuw type pesticiden, de neonicotinoïden.

The Resilience of the Bee Hive

Neonicotinoid insecticides are based on the natural toxin nicotine, and are of particular concern because they bind virtually irreversibly to the nicotinic-acetylcholine receptors in the insect’s nervous system. Many observations show that the longer the exposure time, the less amount of total chemical is needed to kill the insects; in other words, the lethal exposure concentration decreases with exposure time.

Primaire oorzaak van de insectensterfte is het gebruik van neonicotinoïde bestrijdingsmiddelen

De oogst van onder meer appels, peren en aardbeien dreigt te halveren als de insectensterfte doorzet. Wetenschappers waarschuwen dat de sector dit honderden miljoenen kan kosten. 'De dreiging voor de bij en andere insecten is zeer serieus,' zegt Koos Biesmeijer. Hij is hoogleraar Natuurlijk Kapitaal aan de Universiteit Leiden en wetenschappelijk directeur bij Naturalis. Een van de grote oorzaken van de insectensterfte is het gebruik van bestrijdingsmiddelen. 'In ons landje willen we heel veel en dat gaat niet altijd goed met de biodiversiteit', zegt Biesmeijer.

Insects and insectivores on the brink of extinction in the Adirondacks

In September, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied a petition to put the Bicknell’s thrush (Catharus bicknelli) on the federal list of endangered species. The Bicknell’s is a medium-size (6-7.5 inches) thrush—brown on the back with a white, spotted underside—that dwells in dense balsam-fir forests in high elevations in the Adirondacks. Following is a primer on other wildlife in trouble in the Adirondack Park.

White-nose syndrome is killing bats by the millions in the U.S.

Blake Sasse, nongame mammal program coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission updated Commissioners at today’s regularly scheduled meeting on the status of white-nose syndrome, a disease that is killing bats by the millions in the U.S. “You hear about CWD with deer, and we’re all concerned with it, but I’m equally concerned about WNS in our bats,” Sasse said. According to Sasse, the disease actually is a fungus that grows on the bats during hibernation and causes them to wake prematurely.