Neonicotinoids are wiping out hundreds of beehives in parts of NZ's North Island

Neil Mossop knows bees. His family's been in the honey business in Tauranga for more than 70 years. But that experience couldn't have prepared him for the shock of finding nearly 200 of his hives decimated - six million bees wiped out. "There was just a mat of dead bees," he says. Initially, Mossop thought his bees had been deliberately poisoned. But once that was ruled out, he had an inkling as to what was killing them.

There are no rural hedgehogs in South West England

Led by scientists from the University of Reading and Nottingham Trent University, the study exposed the sad news that most of the countryside in England and Wales is no longer occupied by hedgehogs, due to changes in farming methods and rising badger populations which eat the prickly animals and much of their food sources. Labelled the first systematic national survey, the shocking results published in the journal, Scientific Reports, showed that numbers are believed to have fallen by 80% since the 1950s.

Less than a million wild hedgehogs left in the UK

Britain's native hedgehog population has declined by half in the last two decades, with less than a million now remaining in the UK. The reclusive creatures are vanishing from rural areas at record rates, according to a new study by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and People’s Trust for Endangered Species. The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs report warns there are fewer than one million of hedgehogs left living in our gardens, hedgerows and fields. This is down half a million on 1995's estimations.

Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog went extinct this decade

The Rabbs’ fringe-limbed treefrog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum) was unlike any other species on planet Earth. Inhabiting only the forests of Panama, the frog had enormously charismatic brown eyes, and feet so oversized they looked cartoonish. But what made the frog truly special was the way it looked after its tadpoles. The Rabbs’ was the only known frog in the world where tadpoles would eat the literal flesh of their fathers’ back to survive their early days of life. That’s right: Dads could feed their offspring with their own flesh.

Bees and pesticide regulation: Lessons from the neonicotinoid experience

Neonicotinoid insecticides have been signaled as an important driver of widespread declines in bee diversity and abundance. Neonicotinoids were registered in the 1990s and by 2010 accounted for one third of the global insecticide market. Following a moratorium in 2013, their use on open-field crops was completely banned in the EU in 2018. Pesticide regulation should be based on solid and updated scientific evidence, whereby products showing unacceptable effects on the environment are not approved.

Decline in bird population first sign of ecological 'breakdown'

A decline in bird populations is the first indication that something is ecologically amiss, according to an expert from a wildlife organization. "Birds are the first stimulus of degradation in an area. If there is a decrease in the bird populations somewhere, it indicates that something is wrong there," Ahmet Emre Kutukcu, a wildlife expert from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Turkey, told Anadolu Agency (AA).

MEPs call for reduction in use of pesticides

MEPs call on the Commission to beef up its Pollinators Initiative and to come up with new measures to protect bees and other pollinators. In a resolution adopted on Wednesday, Parliament welcomes the EU Pollinators Initiative, but highlights that, as it stands, it fails to protect bees and other pollinators from some of the many causes of their decline, including intensive farming, pesticides, climate change, land-use changes, loss of habitat and invasive species.

Neonicotinoids and bees: Despite EU moratorium, insecticides still detectable

Since 2013, a European Union moratorium has restricted the application of three neonicotinoids to crops that attract bees because of the harmful effects they are deemed to have on these insects. Yet researchers have just demonstrated that residues of these insecticides can still be detected in rape nectar from 48% of the plots of studied fields, their concentrations varying greatly over the years.

Fipronil application on rice paddy fields eliminates dragonfly nymphs

Several reports suggested that rice seedling nursery-box application of some systemic insecticides (neonicotinoids and fipronil) is the cause of the decline in dragonfly species noted since the 1990s in Japan. We conducted paddy mesocosm experiments to investigate the effect of the systemic insecticides clothianidin, fipronil and chlorantraniliprole on rice paddy field biological communities.

Imidacloprid led to a fishery collapse in Japan

In May of 1993, rice farmers living near Lake Shinji, in southwestern Japan, began widely using an insecticide called imidacloprid. Within the same year, populations of arthropods that form the base of the food web, such as crustaceans and zooplankton, began to plummet. By the end of 1994, two commercially important fish that depend on these creatures for food, eel and smelt, crashed as well. And as the use of imidacloprid and other neonicotinoids has grown over the years, the fish have never recovered.