“It’s clear evidence these chemicals can affect populations.” In addition to devastating effects on bee populations and the pollination needed to feed humans and other species, widely-used pesticides chemically related to nicotine may be deadly to birds and linked to some species’ declines, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan studied the pesticide imidacloprid, in the nicotine-linked class of chemicals called neonicotinoids, or neonics, and found that the pesticide had effects on migrating birds’ health and ability to reproduce. We’ve heard a lot about neonics & bees—but they’re hurting birds too. A first-of-its-kind study on wild birds shows the pesticides make them lose weight and delays migration. https://t.co/LDep60W0ay The scientists gave small amounts of the pesticide to white-crowned sparrows and found that the limited consumption caused the birds to lose weight and delay their migration. Within hours of being given the neonics, the birds stopped eating and lost an average of six percent of their body weight and about 17 percent of their fat stores, making it impossible for them to complete their long flights south. The birds took at least an extra 3.5 days to recover and migrate. “It’s just a few days, but […]
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