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'Bee-harming' pesticides also hit bird populations: Study

Published on Jul 10, 2014 6:37 AM
 

PARIS (AFP) - Already suspected of killing bees, so-called “neonic” pesticides also affect bird populations, possibly by eliminating the insects they feed upon, a Dutch study said on Wednesday.

The new paper comes weeks after an international panel of 29 experts found that birds, butterflies, worms and fish were being harmed by neonicotinoid insecticides, although details of this impact were sketchy.

Studying areas of the Netherlands where surface water had high concentrations of one such chemical, imidacloprid, it found that the population of 15 bird species tumbled by 3.5 per cent annually compared to places where the pesticide’s level was far lower.

The fall, monitored from 2003 to 2010, coincided with rising use of imidacloprid, noted the study led by Caspar Hallmann of Radboud University in Nijmegen.

 
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