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201024Dec16:39

Bio­di­ver­sity loss due to farm­ing with pesticides

Infor­ma­tion
pub­lished 24 Decem­ber 2010 | mod­i­fied 09 Feb­ru­ary 2010
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In a recent study per­formed by a group of sci­en­tists from sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries, soon to be pub­lished, per­sis­tent neg­a­tive effects of pes­ti­cides used in farm­ing on bio­di­ver­sity are shown. Agri­cul­tural inten­si­fi­ca­tion in Europe has caused many wild plants and ani­mal species to go extinct. A dra­matic change in the func­tion­ing of agro-​ecosystems has been observed. Lit­tle is known about what caused these effects. Which com­po­nents of agri­cul­tural inten­si­fi­ca­tion, like loss of land­scape ele­ments, enlarged farms and field sizes and more fre­quent use of fer­tiliser and pes­ti­cides, had the largest impact?

It was iden­ti­fied that the use of insec­ti­cides and fungi­cides had con­sis­tent neg­a­tive effects on bio­di­ver­sity. More­over, insec­ti­cides also reduced the bio­log­i­cal con­trol poten­tial. It appeared that organic farm­ing and other agri-​environment schemes aim­ing to mit­i­gate the neg­a­tive impact of inten­sive farm­ing did increase bio­di­ver­sity of wild plants and ground bee­tles, but unex­pect­edly did not increase the diver­sity of birds.

The sci­en­tists con­clude that to restore bio­di­ver­sity, and to pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties for crop pro­duc­tion util­is­ing biodiversity-​based ecosys­tem ser­vices such as bio­log­i­cal pest con­trol, there must be a Europe-​wide shift towards min­i­mal use of pes­ti­cides in farm­ing (Source: Basic and Applied Ecol­ogy).

Moos­Mood expects this to be a uni­ver­sal neces­sity when it comes to fos­ter­ing biodiversity.

UN Biodiversity decade
WWF Stop Wildlife Crime
Fight for Flight campaign
End Ivory-funded Terrorism
Support Rewilding Europe
NASA State of Flux

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
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