We evaluated the efects of repeated larval exposure to neonicotinoid insecticide, both in isolation and in combination with strobilurin fungicide, at environmentally relevant doses. The total consumption of the contaminated diet was 23.63 ng fungicide/larvae (pyraclostrobin) and 0.2364 ng insecticide/larvae (clothianidin). The efects on post-embryonic development were evaluated over time. Additionally, we assessed the survival pattern of worker bees after emergence, and the pesticides’ effects on the behavior of newly emerged workers and young workers.
Imidacloprid binds irreversibly to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the insect nervous system, and their activation ultimately leads to the death of the neuron (Casida and Durkin, 2013). Imidacloprid toxicity increases upon the molecule’s cumulative binding to nAChRs, and the toxic effects can be reinforced even at low-dose exposure over extended periods of time (Tennekes and Sanchez-Bayo, 2011).
An estimated 90 percent of seabirds in the North island are at risk of extinction according to the Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust report. More than 28 species, including five that are found nowhere else in the world, live in northern New Zealand with very little known about the status of them and the specific threats to them, the report said.
At least 314 species of American birds are expected to lose 50 per cent or more of their range by the end of the century, and have been listed by the Audubon Society as endangered. A United Nations science report says 1 million species of plants and animals are at risk of going extinct. Most at risk are sea birds and grasslands birds, experts say. Birds known as aerial insectivores, like swifts (Apus apus) and nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) , are at risk because the insects they depend on are getting harder to find.
A Dutch researcher, H Tennekes has made the case that neonicotinoids, a special group of insecticides, are causing a catastrophe in the insect world, which is having a knock-on effect for many of our birds. These chemicals were introduced in the 1990’s and it wasn’t long afterwards that beekeepers noticed massive declines in bee numbers (Colony Collapse Disorder). France banned the use of one of these chemicals on sun flower seed in 1999, and Germany and Italy have banned two types on maize.
At the recent Extinction Rebellion protest in Moretonhamstead as reported in the last edition of The Moorlander, one of the flyers the group were handing out brought attention to the worrying decline in Devon’s wildlife. A 90% decline in Greater Horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) has been seen, 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s, Nightingales (Luscinia megarhynchos) no longer breed in Devon; the last pair was recorded in 1993.
Experts from Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Buglife and the RSPB have all pointed to species in danger of disappearing from East Anglia. They include stone curlew - only 202 pairs nested in the East of England last year; the shrill carder bee - common in the region 25 years ago but now found only in the Thames Gateway area; and the crested cow-wheat - a plant limited to a small number of roadside verges because grassland has disappeared to farming or construction. Indeed, habitat destruction and human disturbance are cited as the two most common reasons these species are on the brink.
The latest Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) report, published today, shows that the Welsh breeding Curlew population has fallen by 68% between 1995 and 2017, not good news for a bird that has long been associated with Welsh upland and farmland. As a result of the precipitous decline in breeding numbers, the Curlew (Numenius arquata) is one of UK’s most pressing conservation issues. Its decline in Wales is mirrored with an overall decline of 48% across the UK. It’s not good news for Welsh Swifts (Apus apus) either; their breeding population is down by 69% over the same period.