Posted on September 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
About half the nation’s streams are polluted by pesticides at a level of concern for aquatic life.
90 percent of urban streams show signs of contamination
FRISCO — A huge number of rivers and streams around the country are still polluted with pesticides that can kill bugs and other aquatic organisms at the base of the food chain.
Streams in agricultural areas are polluted at about the same level as they were 1990s, but pesticide pollution is increasing in urban streams, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study spanning about 20 years. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, Environment, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: Environment, pesticides, pollution, water quality | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
How do pesticides affect wildlife? We’ll know more after a court-ordered environmental study.
Legal settlement requires agency to analyze effects of 5 common pesticides
FRISCO — Under legal pressure from conservation advocates, the EPA last week agreed to take a hard look at how five commonly used pesticides affect endangered animals across the U.S.
One of the pesticides is carbaryl, commonly used in massive quantities in Colorado to try and protect trees from bark beetles. The other pesticides to be reviewed are chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion and methomyl. All have all been found to be toxic to wildlife and may pose a health risk to humans. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, global amphibian decline | Tagged: carbaryl, endangered species, Environment, EPA, pesticides | 5 Comments »
Posted on July 26, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides widespread in Midwest streams, USGS study finds. bberwyn photo.
Concentrations in some streams are high enough to kill aquatic organisms
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey studying streams in the Midwest have found levels of neonicotinoid insecticides at up to 20 times the concentrations deemed toxic to aquatic organisms. The systemic pesticides have raised concerns because they’ve been linked with honey bee declines.
Traces of the chemicals were widespread in streams throughout the region — not surprising in the heart of the country’s agricultural belt. In all, nine rivers and streams, including the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, were included in the study. The rivers studied drain most of Iowa, and parts of Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. These states have the highest use of neonicotinoid insecticides in the Nation, and the chemicals were found in all nine rivers and streams. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: Environment, honey bees, Midwest, neonicotinoids, pesticides, water pollution | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Systemic neocotinoid pesticides are starting to affect bird populations, according to research.
Neonicotinoid use linked with decline in bird populations
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Populations of some insect-eating bird species are declining in areas where scientists measured high concentrations of a widely used neonicotinoid pesticide.
In some cases, bird numbers are dwindling by as much as 3.5 percent annually, according to the new study by researchers with Radboud University in Nijmegen and the Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology and Birdlife Netherlands. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: Birds, Environment, neonicotinoids, pesticides, Silent Spring | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 10, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
‘Exposure to this neonicotinoid pesticide seems to prevent bees from being able to learn these essential skills’
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Bumblebees carrying tiny transmitters have helped show how long-term exposure to systemic neonicotinoid pesticides prevents the insects from learning all the skills they need to forage for pollen.
The study was co-authored by University of Guelph scientist Nigel Raine and published in the British Ecological Society’s journal Functional Ecology.
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: bumblebees, neonicotinoids, pesticides, pollinators | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 24, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A bumblebee searches for pollen on a wildflower in Frisco, Colorado. bberwyn photo.
Colonies still dying off at an unsustainable rate
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Honey bee colonies continues to die off at an alarming rate last year, with beekeepers reporting that they lost 23.2 percent of their colonies during the 2013-2014 winter. The preliminary numbers are from a survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The drop in mortality may be a small ray of hope in an otherwise bleak picture, showing mortality that is not economically sustainable for beekeepers. Of course it’s not just honey that’s at stake. Commercial beekeepers truck thousands of hives around the country to help pollinate many commercial food crops. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, environent, Environment, honey bees, neonicotinoids, pesticides, pollinators | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Will the EPA follow through on its new policies to better analyze pesticide impacts to endangered species?
Conservation advocates say new guidelines are a good first step
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Endangered species may get more protection from pesticides under new guidelines that require federal agencies to better assess the risks posed by toxic chemicals.
The policies will ensure that mitigation measures recommended by the federal wildlife agencies are put in place to protect endangered species in agricultural areas, as well as in areas downstream that are affected by pesticide runoff.
According to environmentalists, the EPA has routinely ignored the Endangered Species Act for more than two decades by failing to consult with wildlife agencies on pesticide impacts. In 2011 Congress asked the National Academy of Sciences to study this issue and report on ways of addressing the EPA’s failures to fully protect listed species. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, endangered species act, Environment, pesticides | 1 Comment »