Michigan yards songbirds are still being poisoned by DDT, a pesticide that was banned in the United States more than 40 years ago. Lethal concentrations were found in the birds’ brains, as well as in the worms they eat.
The stunning decline in bird numbers in North America and Europe are also being linked to a new generation of insecticides called neonicotinoids, a poison 5,000-10,000 times more toxic than DDT.
A recent study results suggest that the impact of neonicotinoids on the natural environment is even more substantial than has recently been reported and is reminiscent of the effects of persistent insecticides in the past. Future legislation should take into account the potential cascading effects of neonicotinoids on ecosystems.
Sources and More Information:
- Songbirds dying from DDT in Michigan yards; Superfund site blamed, EnvironmentalHealthNews, dead-robins, July 28, 2014.
- The ‘New DDT’ Is Starving Out Songbirds,
MotherBoard, read, July 10, 2014.
- Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with high neonicotinoid concentrations,
Nature, doi:10.1038/nature13531, 09 July 2014.
- Neonicotinoids are the new DDT killing the natural world, TheGuardian, environment/georgemonbiot, 05 Aug 2013.