Fears are growing for the small tortoiseshell butterfly Aglais urticae after this once-common garden insect continued its baffling decline despite the hot summer proving a boon to most species. The small tortoiseshell suffered its worst summer in the history of the Big Butterfly Count with sightings falling by 32% compared with last year, according to the charity Butterfly Conservation.
A staple of summer – swarms of bugs – seems to be a thing of the past. And that’s got scientists worried. Pesky mosquitoes, disease-carrying ticks, crop-munching aphids and cockroaches are doing just fine. But the more beneficial flying insects of summer – native bees, moths, butterflies, ladybugs, lovebugs, mayflies and fireflies – appear to be less abundant. Scientists think something is amiss, but they can’t be certain: In the past, they didn’t systematically count the population of flying insects, so they can’t make a proper comparison to today.
Four water supplies, one in Kilkenny, two in Limerick and one in Longford currently have a level of pesticides above the set EU standard, according to Irish Water. The pesticide that is being detected most frequently in drinking water supplies in Ireland is an herbicide called MCPA. This herbicide is in many products used to control thistle, dock and rush. This increase is because products containing MCPA are being used to control weeds on hard surfaces, in gardens, on farms or in forestry.
We measured uptake and dissipation of soil-applied imidacloprid and dinotefuran in nectar and leaves of 2 woody plant species, a broadleaf evergreen tree (Ilex attenuata) and a deciduous shrub (Clethra alnifolia), to assess concentrations to which pollinators and pests might be exposed in landscape settings. Three application timings, autumn (postbloom), spring (prebloom), and summer (early postbloom), were evaluated to see if taking advantage of differences in the neonicotinoids’ systemic mobility and persistence might enable pest control while minimizing transference into nectar.
Grim news for the world's raptors—an iconic group of birds consisting of hawks, falcons, kites, eagles, vultures and owls. After analyzing the status of all 557 raptor species, biologists discovered that 18 percent of these birds are threatened with extinction and 52 percent have declining global populations, making them more threatened than all birds as a whole. Comparatively, 40 percent of the world's 11,000 bird species are in decline, according to an April report from BirdLife International.
Scotland’s forests are treated and sprayed every year with hundreds of kilograms of a toxic pesticide blamed for killing bees and butterflies, The Ferret can reveal. Our investigation has uncovered widespread use of the nicotine-based insecticide, acetamiprid, by the forestry industry, provoking concerns from experts and alarm from environmentalists who fear “creeping degradation” of nature.
Since 1990, butterfly numbers have dropped by 58 per cent in woods, a government study has found. The report was published in June 2018 by the Department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra). Woodland species that are struggling include the brown argus, common blue, peacock and purple hairstreak .In response to the report, charities have claimed that reform is needed to the country's farming laws in order to protect the environment in the wake of Brexit. They say the latest figures offer more evidence to support expert predictions of an 'ecological Armageddon'.
Densities and populations of most breeding bird species in Ajloun Forest Reserve have “considerably declined” over the past three years in the evergreen Oak forest, a newly-released study carried out by the studies section at the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) in 2017 indicated. Ajloun Forest Reserve is located in the Ajloun highlands north of Amman and covers 13 square kilometers.
The kiwi (Apteryx haastii) is in swift decline, disappearing at a rate of 2 per cent per year. Around 200 years ago, millions of kiwi inhabited New Zealand, but in 50 years’ time there may be none left. Old Mout Cider has joined New Zealand-based charity Kiwis for kiwi in the fight to help save this extraordinary species — a nocturnal, colour-blind bird that has survived millions of years against the odds. In fact, its heritage is special: the kiwi shares DNA with the tyrannosaurus rex.