Study: Alarm as pesticides spur rapid decline of US bird species

The Guardian discusses how pesticides spur rapid decline of US bird species.

  • Seed-coating chemicals harm birds’ development, study finds
  • US and Canada have lost 29% of birds since 1970

Popular pesticides are causing bird species to decline at an alarming rate in the US, adding fuel to a 50-year downward trend in bird biodiversity, a new report has found.

In addition to spray-on pesticides, farmers are widely using chemicals that coat seeds. These pesticides, called neonicotinoids or neonics, deter insects as the seeds sprout and as they grow into plants.

According to a study published in Nature Sustainability, the increased use of neonicotinoids is putting bird species at risk across the US as the chemicals manifest in the stalk, nectar and pollen of plants.

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