how can pesticides affect birds

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was violated, and the EPA was sued for it in 2015. The lawsuit documents EPA’s failure to consult with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding the effects on two endangered species: the whooping crane (as well as the Indiana bat) and the Enlist Duo, a herbicide made of glyphosate and 2,4-D that is meant to be sprayed on crops resistant to those chemicals. Following the decision to extend the use of Enlist Duo to nine more states, a motion was filed against the EPA.

According to a 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), about 47 million Americans observed birds in 2010. Wildlife refuge visitation is a large part of birding activity, which brings in considerable revenue. According to FWS, “the monetary value of economic activity generated by birding visits to refuges totaled $257 million in 2011. In turn, this generated $73.9 million in job income and 3,269 jobs.” In an addendum to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, the FWS estimated that “trip-related and equipment-related expenditures associated with birding generated nearly $107 billion in total industry output, 666,000 jobs, and $13 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenue.”

In July of 2014, the FWS made the decision to phase out the use of genetically engineered crops for feeding wildlife and to outlaw neonicotinoid pesticides by January of 2016 in all wildlife refuges across the country. This new policy still allows for case-by-case exceptions. Although neonicotinoid pesticides and genetically engineered crops frequently obstruct the preservation of wildlife that US national refuge systems are intended to safeguard, these detrimental practices were nonetheless frequently employed. Researchers caution that using genetically engineered crops may result in weeds growing resistant to pesticides, necessitating the use of more pesticides on refuges. This overuse negatively affects birds and other wildlife. A federal court in the Midwest decided in March 2015 that neonicotinoid insecticides could not be used in national wildlife refuges. The decision put an end to a legal battle led by environmental groups like Beyond Pesticides to ban the planting of genetically engineered crops and other industrial agricultural practices on national wildlife refuges.

Birds can be exposed to pesticides in two ways: directly by eating seeds treated with the chemicals, or indirectly by consuming tiny insects and other animals that have also consumed the pesticides, which can cause secondary poisoning in the bird. Additionally, a decrease in the number of insects can have an indirect impact on them. Birds lose this natural food source when the population of insects declines.

  • Farmland practices are the primary cause of the decline in bird populations throughout Europe. Although reports of these declines date back many years, it is still unclear how much of a direct impact major anthropogenic pressures have had on them. Since pressures interact at various spatial scales and responses differ among species, it is challenging to determine the causal relationships between pressures and bird population responses. Here, we find a direct correlation between four common anthropogenic pressures: intensification of agriculture, changing forest cover, urbanization, and temperature change over the past few decades, and population time-series of 170 common bird species, monitored at more than 20,000 sites in 28 European countries over 37 years. We determine the characteristics of the most affected species and quantify each pressure’s impact on population time-series, as well as its relative importance to other pressures. We discover that the primary cause of the majority of bird population declines, particularly for invertebrate feeders, is agricultural intensification, specifically the use of pesticides and fertilizers. More species-specific responses exist to changes in temperature, urbanization, and forest cover. In particular, increasing urbanization is linked to a negative impact on population dynamics, while temperature change affects the dynamics of many bird populations, the extent and direction of which are determined by the species’ thermal preferences. Our findings quantify the relative strength of anthropogenic pressures on common breeding birds, confirming their pervasiveness and strength. This emphasizes the urgent need for radical changes in European countries’ ways of living if bird populations are to have any chance of recovering. [Rigal, S. , Dakos, V. , Alonso, H. , Auni?š, A. , Benk?, Z. , Brotons, L. , Chodkiewicz, T. , Chylarecki, P. , de Carli, E. , Del Moral, J. C. and Dom?a, C. , 2023. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 120(21), p. e2216573120. ].
  • Neonicotinoids, sometimes known as “neonics,” are the most widely used insecticides in the world and are thought to pose little risk to non-target organisms like vertebrates. Despite being banned, they are still found in farmland birds. Moreover, it has been reported that they are quickly metabolized and eliminated, which lowers their potential toxicity. However, mounting data regarding neonics’ detrimental effects on farmland bird species casts doubt on the pesticides’ alleged safety. We employed several bird monitoring programs on a Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) platform in an effort to look for pesticide residues in species of various trophic levels and life stages. The reproductive period of three passerine birds—the blackbird (Turdus merula), cirl bunting (Emberiza cirlus), and common nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)—as well as the wintering period of the grey partridge (Perdix perdix), which feeds on seeds, were observed. We also kept an eye on the young of the Montagus harrier (Circus pygargus), an apex predator that primarily feeds on common voles but also occasionally eats insects. The blood samples from the birds revealed the presence of residues from five neonics: two were dinotefuran and nitenpyram, which were used exclusively for veterinary purposes, and three were clothianidin, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam, which have been outlawed in France since 2018. All of these neonics were found in grey partridges, but none were found in blackbirds. Clothianidin was detected in all species, except blackbirds. Prior to the ban, three prohibited neonics were detected in bird populations that had concentrations either comparable to or greater than those of those birds. These results raise concerns about how neonics survive in the environment and how they are exposed to wild animals. Prospective studies regarding the sublethal impacts of these neonics on the life-history characteristics of these farmland birds could aid in improving our comprehension of the consequences of bird populations being exposed to these pesticides, as well as the subsequent impact on human health. [Fuentes, E. , Gaffard, A. , Rodrigues, A. , Millet, M. , Bretagnolle, V. , Moreau, J. and Monceau, K. , 2023. Chemosphere, 321, p. 138091. ].
  • The study examines the temporal trends (1999–2021) and reproductive impacts of pesticide contamination in bird species from Doñana National Park (southwestern Spain). DNP is a protected area that is well-known for housing a diverse range of bird species. However, the park biota may become contaminated with pesticides due to nearby agricultural practices. This study examined the temporal trends of several pesticides, such as pyrethroid (PYR), organophosphate (OPP), and organochlorine (OCP) pesticides, in bird eggs gathered over a 20-year period (1999–2021) in DNP. There were 26 pesticides found, with 4,4-DDE being the most commonly found and having the highest concentrations (up to 2). 55 ?g g-1 ww), sometimes surpassing the levels typically associated with harmful effects on health and reproduction in avian species An overall decreasing trend of OCPs was observed. On the other hand, starting in 2013, there appeared to be a rise in PYRs, particularly for fenvalerate, whose median concentration in the most recent samples was three to five orders of magnitude higher. In addition, additional pesticides like fenitrothion, oxyfluorfen, and oxadiazon were initially found in samples from 2021. Lastly, breeding performance of a top predator like the booted eagle was significantly reduced by two variables estimating the cumulative impact of pesticides. Controlling the use of pesticides in agricultural practices near DNP is crucial, as is researching any potential harm they may cause to the bird populations that breed in this protected area. [Peris, A. , Baos, R. , Martínez, A. , Sergio, F. , Hiraldo, F. and Eljarrat, E. , Available at SSRN 4312955. ].
  • Evaluation of Marine Endocrine-Disrupting Substances in the California Condor, a Critically Endangered Bird: Consequences for Reintroduction to Coastal Habitats Due to the consumption of scavenged marine mammals, coastal reintroduction sites for California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) may result in increased exposure to halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) and possible health effects. We compared HOC profiles of plasma from marine mammal blubber from California (BC) and the Gulf of California off Baja California (BC), Mexico, and from inland and coastal scavenging California condors in the state using nontargeted analysis based on comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC/TOF-MS). In comparison to inland condors (8 ± 1, n = 10), we found more HOCs in coastal condors (32 ± 5, mean number of HOCs ± SD, n = 7) and marine mammals in California (136 ± 87, n = 25) than in British Columbia (55 ± 46, n = 8). ?PCBs, ?TCPM (total tris(chlorophenyl)methane), and DDT-related compounds were approximately 7, 3, and 4, respectively. 5. and roughly 148 times as numerous in California as they are in British Columbia By activating the California condor estrogen receptor (ER) in vitro, the endocrine-disrupting potential of specific polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) congeners, TCPM, and TCPMOH was ascertained. Condor reintroduction efforts should take into account the higher levels of HOCs in coastal condors as compared to inland condors and the lower levels of HOC contamination in Baja California marine mammals as compared to those from the state of California. [Stack, Margaret E. , Jennifer M. Cossaboon, Christopher W. Tubbs, L. Ignacio Vilchis, Rachel G. Felton, Jade L. Johnson, Kerri Danil, Gisela Heckel, Eunha Hoh, and Nathan G. Dodder. Environmental Science & Technology. ].
  • RobotFalcon, an artificial predator designed to deter birds, can prevent collisions between birds and aircraft, which can cause delays and cancellations of flights, costing the global civil aviation industry more than $1 4 billion US dollars annually. It is therefore imperative to drive birds away, but the efficacy of existing deterrent techniques is restricted. Although potential prey won’t grow accustomed to live avian predators, they can be a useful deterrent, they cannot be completely controlled. Thus, there is an urgent need for new deterrence methods. We created the RobotFalcon, a tool based on the peregrine falcon, and evaluated how well it worked to scare away groups of corvids, gulls, starlings, and lapwings. We evaluated its efficacy against that of a drone and the standard operating procedures used at a military airbase. Fields were instantly cleared of bird flocks by the RobotFalcon, and the fields stayed clear of bird flocks for hours after that. The RobotFalcon performed better than the drone and the airbase’s best traditional approach (distress calls). Crucially, there was no proof that during the fieldwork, bird flocks became accustomed to the RobotFalcon. We conclude that, with all the benefits of live predators but without their drawbacks, the RobotFalcon is a workable and moral way to drive away flocks of birds. [Storms, R. F. , Carere, C. , Musters, R. , van Gasteren, H. , Verhulst, S. and Hemelrijk, C. K. , 2022. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 19(195), p. 20220497. ].
  • In grey partridges, feeding them grains contaminated with pesticide residues has a negative effect on the development of the offspring through parental effects. Ingesting pesticides can cause physiological stress in breeding birds, which can have negative effects on parameters related to egg laying and the quality of the offspring through parental effects, as demonstrated by a number of toxicological studies. However, earlier research did not take into account the possible cocktail effects of pesticides as they occur in the wild, nor did it replicate the current levels of pesticide residues in typical landscapes. Here, we investigated whether parental effects on reproduction parameters and offspring condition in Grey Partridges were influenced by realistic pesticide exposure. We fed 24 breeding pairs organic grains free of pesticide residues as controls, or seeds from conventional agricultural crops treated with different pesticides during cropping. The grain diets, both conventional and organic, replicated the kinds of foods that wild birds might come across in their natural habitat. The findings demonstrated that long-term ingestion of low pesticide doses had effects on offspring quality and reproduction, but did not change parent or chick mortality. Conventional pairs produced smaller chicks at hatching and a lower body mass index at 24 days old when compared to organic pairs. Furthermore, these chicks’ haematocrit was lower when their body mass index was higher. As a result, eating conventional grains exposed parents to pesticide residues over time, even at low concentrations, which had a negative effect on the children. These findings show that pesticide residues have a sublethal effect through parental effects. If current agrosystem approaches are maintained, the effects of parental exposure on chicks may account for a portion of the decline in wild Grey partridge populations. This raises concerns about avian conservation and demography. [Gaffard, A. , Pays, O. , Monceau, K. , Teixeira, M. , Bretagnolle, V. and Moreau, J. Environmental Pollution, p. 120005. ].
  • In the United States, anticoagulant rodenticide exposure and toxicosis in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) Raptors, including eagles, are widely distributed geographically and play a crucial role in preserving the balance of ecosystems. The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), which faced population declines linked to exposure to organochlorine insecticides like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), has risen from the verge of extinction. However, a number of additional hazardous substances that the environment exposes bald and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) to may have an impact on their populations. The exposure of eagles to anticoagulant rodenticides (AR) has not been extensively studied. Thus, this study aimed to better define the extent of toxicosis (i.e., the types of ARs that eagles are exposed to in the USA) and e. , fatal illness due to compound exposure). We examined the diagnostic case records from golden and bald eagles that were sent to the University of Georgia’s Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study between 2014 and 2018. A total of 303 eagles were inspected, and 116 bald and 17 golden eagles had their livers tested for ARs. The percentage of AR exposure (i. e. , detectable amounts not linked to mortality) in eagles was high; ARs were found in 20109%20(82%)%20eagles, including 2096%20(83%)%20bald%20eagles and 2013%20(77%)%20golden%20eagles. Toxicosis caused by anticoagulant rodenticide was found to be the cause of mortality in 2012 (4%), out of 303% of the eagles examined (2011 bald eagles and 2011 golden eagle). Six distinct AR compounds were found in these eagles, with bromadiolone and brodifacoum being the most commonly detected (found in 81% and 5% of the tested eagles, respectively). These findings imply that certain ARs, most notably brodifacoum, are extensively distributed in the ecosystem and frequently eaten by eagles. This emphasizes the need for studies to comprehend the pathways through which eagles are exposed to AR, as doing so may help guide legislative and regulatory initiatives aimed at reducing the risk of AR exposure. [Niedringhaus, K. D. , Nemeth, N. M. , Gibbs, S. , Zimmerman, J. , Shender, L. , Slankard, K. , Fenton, H. , Charlie, B. , Dalton, M. F. , Elsmo, E. J. and Poppenga, R. Plos one, 16(4), p. e0246134. ].
  • Reduced breeding output in birds that eat seeds treated with tebuconazole Drilled seeds are a major source of food for many farmland birds, but they can be dangerous if treated with pesticides. The majority of substances currently used as seed treatments in the EU have low acute toxicity, but they may still have sub-chronic or chronic effects on birds. This is especially true given that the sowing season lasts for several weeks or months, giving birds a prolonged exposure period. Tebuconazole is a triazole fungicide that is frequently used in agriculture, however little is known about how harmful it is to birds. Our goal was to determine whether exposure to seeds treated with tebuconazole in a realistic setting would have an impact on the red-legged partridge’s ability to survive and procreate. (Alectoris rufa) We fed the captive partridges wheat seeds that had been treated with 200 percent, 2020 percent, or 2010 0% of the recommended dosage of tebuconazole over the course of 25 days in late winter. e. tebuconazole dietary doses were approximately 0. 2 and 1. 1 mg/kg bw/day). We studied treatment effects on the physiology (i. e. body weight, immunology, biochemistry, oxidative stress, coloration, and partridge reproduction While the exposed birds did not decrease their food intake, they did exhibit lower plasmatic concentrations of proteins (high dose) and lipids (triglycerides at both exposure doses and cholesterol at high dose). In the low dose group, there was also a decrease in the coloration of the eye ring. The exposure ended 2060 days before the first egg was laid, but it still had an impact on the reproductive output: the hatching rate decreased by 2023 percent, and the brood size increased by 2021 percent. five times lower in the high dose group than in the control group In the low dose group, no discernible effects on reproduction were observed. Our findings suggest that further research is necessary to determine the fungicide’s possible endocrine disruption mechanism and its delayed effects on reproduction. Tebuconazole use as a seed treatment should have its risk assessments updated in light of these documented effects on bird reproduction. [Lopez-Antia, A. , Ortiz-Santaliestra, M. E. , Mougeot, F. , Camarero, P. R. and Mateo, R. , 2021. Environmental Pollution, 271, p. 116292. ].
  • The health of nestling ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) at Laguna San Ignacio, a pristine area of Baja California Sur, Mexico, and the prevalence of organochlorine pesticides During the 2001 breeding season, in Laguna San Ignacio, a pristine area of Baja California Sur, Mexico, 28 osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nestlings were selected from a dense population. The researchers identified and quantified organochlorine (OC) pesticide residues in the nestlings’ plasma. Sixteen OC pesticides were identified and quantified. The OCs detected in the plasma of nestlings ranged from 0 to a-, ß-, d-, and?-hexachlorocyclohexane, heptaclor, heptachlor epoxide, endosulfan I and II, endosulfan-sulfate, p,p-DDE, p,p-DDD, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, endrin aldehyde, and endrin ketone. 002 to 6. 856 pg/µl (parts per billion). There were no gender-specific differences in the pesticide concentrations (P > 0). 05). The concentrations found in the plasma in this study were less than those that have been documented as endangering the species and having an impact on bird survival and reproduction. The widespread occurrence of these pollutants is demonstrated by the discovery of OC pesticides in the isolated Laguna San Ignacio osprey population. It appears that OCs can travel great distances from their source to the research area. There was a noteworthy correlation observed between the concentrations of OC and mean corpuscular hemoglobin, indicating that there might be an impact on the health of the chicks in this osprey population due to the OC. g. anemia. The endosulfan I, p,p-DDD, and a-BHC all showed positive correlations with the total proteins. These findings could serve as a baseline for comparing with other, more exposed osprey populations because it has been proposed that OC influences competitive interactions and population status in vertebrate species over the long run. [Rivera-Rodríguez LB, Rodríguez-Estrella R. 2011. Ecotoxicology. ;20(1):29-38].
  • Measurements of emerging flame retardants and polybrominated diphenyl ethers are reported in the study on flame retardants and organochlorine pollutants in the plasma of nestling bald eagles from the Great Lakes region. The samples were taken between early May and late June of 2005. Concentrations of total PBDEs ranged from 0. 35 ng g(-1) ww to 29. 3 ng g(-1) ww. Several newly developed flame retardants were found in these samples, including Dechlorane Plus (DP), Pentabromoethylbenzene (PBEB), and Hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs). Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were also found at concentrations that were comparable to those previously reported. Total PBDE concentrations were found to be statistically significantly correlated with total PCB and p,p-DDE concentrations, indicating that these compounds are likely derived from the same source—the food that eagles eat. [Venier M. et al. 2010. Chemosphere. 80(10):1234-40].
  • Feathers have recently been demonstrated to be potentially useful non-destructive biomonitoring tools for organic pollutants. Concentrations in bird feathers reflect regional contamination with organic pollutants. Nevertheless, there hasn’t been any research done on the suitability of feathers to track regional variations in contamination. Here, in Flanders, Belgium, the amounts of organic pollutants in common magpie (Pica pica) feathers from rural and urban areas were compared. The findings demonstrated that whereas polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were considerably more prevalent in urban settings, p,p-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) concentrations were significantly higher in rural areas. This pattern is consistent with earlier research employing tissues other than feathers as a biomonitoring instrument. Furthermore, variations in the profiles of PCBs and PBDEs were discovered, with lower halogenated congeners being more noticeable in urban than in rural areas. In conclusion, feathers appear to be a non-destructive biomonitor for organic pollutants because they appear to reflect regional differences in contamination. [Jaspers VL, Covaci A, Deleu P, Eens M. 2009. Sci Total Environ;407(4):1447-51].
  • contaminants of chiral organochlorines in the blood and eggs of Norwegian Arctic glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) The Norwegian Arctic’s Svalbard is home to glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus), and their eggs have been utilized as biomonitors of pollutants in the marine environment. This study examined the blood plasma of adult male and female glaucous gulls from three breeding colonies in Svalbard to determine the enantiomer fractions (EFs) of chiral chlordanes and atropisomeric polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners. The EFs of bioaccumulated organochlorine (OC) contaminants within the food webs at those locations were similar in magnitude and direction to EFs previously reported in glaucous gulls from other arctic food webs, indicating general similarities in the biochemical processes influencing the EFs at those locations. Additionally, the location, laying date, and OC concentrations of eggs collected concurrently from within the same nesting colonies varied the EFs in the yolk, which may have been influenced by variations in the local feeding ecology between those colonies. The enantiomer compositions of glaucous gulls and possibly other arctic seabird species can also be monitored using eggs as a useful and non-invasive method of OC biomonitoring. [Ross MS, Verreault J, Letcher RJ, Gabrielsen GW, Wong CS. 2008. Environ Sci Technol. ;42(19):7181-6].
  • Is it possible to use predatory bird feathers as a non-destructive biomonitoring tool for organic pollutants? It is becoming more and more crucial to monitor the various kinds of pollutants that are released into the environment and pose risks to both people and wildlife. The purpose of this study was to determine whether predatory bird feathers could be utilized as a non-destructive biomonitor of organic pollutants. Research indicates that one single tail feather of common buzzards (Buteo buteo) can measure levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and that these levels and internal tissues are significantly correlated. The results offer the first suggestion that predatory bird feathers may be helpful for non-destructive biomonitoring of organic pollutants, though more research may be required. [Jaspers, V,L. et al. 2006. Biol. Lett. 2, 283-285].
  • Is it possible to use predatory bird feathers as a non-destructive biomonitoring tool for organic pollutants? It is becoming more and more crucial to monitor the various kinds of pollutants that are released into the environment and pose risks to both people and wildlife. The purpose of this study was to determine whether predatory bird feathers could be utilized as a non-destructive biomonitor of organic pollutants. Research indicates that one single tail feather of common buzzards (Buteo buteo) can measure levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and that these levels and internal tissues are significantly correlated. The results offer the first suggestion that predatory bird feathers may be helpful for non-destructive biomonitoring of organic pollutants, though more research may be required. [Jaspers, V,L. et al. 2006. Biol. Lett. 2, 283-285].

More than a dozen pesticides that are especially dangerous to birds have been canceled thanks in part to ABC, including a variety of rodent poisons, ethyl parathion, fenthion, and carbofuran. For instance, the manufacturer of d-CON consented to remove its hazardous brodifacoum-based pesticides from store shelves in 2014 after years of pressure from ABC and other organizations—a significant win for Red-tailed Hawks (pictured) and other raptors.

A 2015 study by American Bird Conservancy and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found bird- and bee-killing insecticides in nearly every food eaten by the nation’s Senators, Representatives, and others who dine in the cafeterias of the United States Congress. Read the report.

ABC spearheaded a coalition of fifty organizations in the 1990s to stop the use of carbofuran, a highly toxic carbamate insecticide that had killed millions of shorebirds, raptors, including the Golden Eagle (pictured), grassland birds, and songbirds. Finally, in 2011, the U. S. The manufacturer’s desperate attempt to keep carbofuran on the market was denied by the Supreme Court.

Neonicotinoids are currently the most widely used insecticides worldwide. Our 2013 study on these substances revealed that they are deadly to birds: a Field Sparrow (shown) can be killed by a single neonic-coated seed. Since then, we have assisted in convincing stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot to gradually remove plant products treated with neonic acid. Read Report.


Does pesticide harm birds?

Unfortunately pesticides don’t just stop at their intended targets – often pesticides kill birds (and bees and butterflies and other animals), resulting in at least 67 million bird deaths every year in the U.S. a conservative estimate as death by toxins is often difficult to detect.

How does pesticide affect bird eggs?

Laboratory experiments showed that DDE could cause eggshell thinning. Field studies showed that field exposures to DDE, a metabolite of DDT, were sufficient to cause effects in many species of birds based on the stressor-response relationship.

How does pesticides affect animals?

1. Pesticide residues occur very generally in wildlife—in some cases at high levels. 2. Pesticide residues may in some species cause death, or physiological disturbances that result in reduced reproductive potential and behavioral changes.

What pesticide controls birds?

Methyl anthranilate is a chemical frightening agent for birds. Professionals may use tactile repellents and fogging applicators to deter birds from warehouses and other large buildings.