Bird decline ‘smoking gun’ for pesticide’s effects

July 15, 2014 0 Comments

By Matt McGrath, 9 July 2014

 

The widespread use of a type of insecticide that has been blamed for honeybee deaths is linked to a marked decline in bird numbers in Europe, a report says.

Imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid chemical, is widely used in agriculture to exterminate pests.

Dutch scientists say their data shows that the chemical is associated with a collapse in common bird species.

But manufacturers argue the evidence of these effects is not substantiated.

Imidacloprid is one of a number of neonicotinoid insecticides introduced in the 1990s as a more environmentally friendly way of dealing with crop pests.