A trio of researchers, two with the University of Illinois, the other Auburn University, has found that the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on farm crops leads to reductions in some bird populations. In their paper published in the journal Nature Sustainability, Yijia Li, Ruiqing Miao, and Madhu Khanna describe their study of neonicotinoid use and its effects on local bird populations.
The work involved obtaining U.S. county-level data on over 3,000 birds from the North American Breeding Bird Survey. They focused specifically on the years 2008 to 2014, a period during which neonicotinoid use was increasing in the U.S. as other pesticides were banned. The researchers also obtained county-level data describing the use of neonicotinoids from a variety of sources. By comparing bird populations to neonicotinoid use, the researchers were able to see its impact. MORE