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Urban birds are in steep decline in the Netherlands since 1990

In the period from 1990 to 2017, 13 out of 20 breeding bird species typically found in a Dutch city declined in number, precisely in the urban areas. Many breeding birds depending on or commonly found in an urban environment are on the decline. This applies to 13 out of the 20 urban bird species, including the house sparrow (Passer domesticus), the western jackdaw (Coloeus monedula), the common blackbird (Turdus merula) and the common starling (Sturnus vulgaris). The crested lark (Galerida cristata) has even fully disappeared from the city.

Fipronil blamed for historical bee deaths

Researchers in the UK report new evidence that the pesticide fipronil, not the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, caused a massive die-off of honey bees in France from 1994 to 1998. Both pesticides hit the market in the early 1990s. At the time, beekeepers and environmentalists largely blamed imidacloprid for the bee deaths. Now, Philippa Holder and colleagues at the University of Exeter and Fera Science, a UK public-private venture focused on agricultural science, suggest that fipronil used on sunflowers was more likely the culprit (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.

Increased use of neonicotinoids elevates prospective risks for U.S. surface waters and biodiversity

Agricultural insecticides occur in U.S. surface waters, yet our knowledge of their current and potential future large-scale risks for biodiversity is restricted. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis of measured insecticide concentrations (MICs; n=5817; 1962-2017) in U.S. surface waters and sediments reported in 259 peer-reviewed scientific studies for 32 important insecticide compounds and their degradation products (n=6). To assess overall and substance-specific ecological risks and future implications, MICs were compared with official U.S.

The ruffed grouse is an endangered species

Indiana’s wildlife authorities report that the number of ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is less than 1% of the population it was just 40 years ago. The number of breeding birds has declined steadily over the past 25 years. The bird is completely gone from at least 15 of the state’s 92 counties and in the other 77 to numbers are down drastically. Officials in 18 other states across a wide geographic area — New England, the upper Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, the Appalachians – might wind up going the route of the Hoosier State.

Neonicotinoids may make young wood frogs more vulnerable to predators

Neonicotinoids are widely known for their link to declining pollinator populations, but new research finds that the ill effects of these chemicals also extends to amphibian populations. In a study published late last month, scientists from the National Wildlife Research Center in Ottawa, Canada found that chronic exposure to real-world levels of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid limits the ability of juvenile wood frogs to escape a predator attack. This research adds additional evidence that neonicotinoids are harming aquatic food chains.

Florida monarch butterfly populations have dropped 80 percent since 2005

A 37-year survey of monarch populations in North Central Florida shows that caterpillars and butterflies have been declining since 1985 and have dropped by 80 percent since 2005. This decrease parallels monarchs' dwindling numbers in their overwintering grounds in Mexico, said study co-author Jaret Daniels, program director and associate curator of the Florida Museum of Natural History's McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity.

Imidacloprid Found to Make Bees Less Social

Scientists said they’ve found that exposure to the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid produces complex changes in the social behaviors and activities of bumblebees – a very bad thing for creatures who rely on their colonies to survive. Bumblebees exposed to imidacloprid became less social and spent less time together. The bees also spent less time nursing larvae, foraging and constructing the wax canopy which insulates and regulates the temperature of the hive.

Massive reductions in arthropod abundance in Puerto Rico’s rainforest are indirectly precipitating a collapse of the forest food web

Arthropods, invertebrates including insects that have external skeletons, are declining at an alarming rate. While the tropics harbor the majority of arthropod species, little is known about trends in their abundance. We compared arthropod biomass in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest with data taken during the 1970s and found that biomass had fallen 10 to 60 times. Our analyses revealed synchronous declines in the lizards, frogs, and birds that eat arthropods.

The small tortoiseshell suffered its worst summer in the history of the butterfly count

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.