Rid shelves of neonicotinoids to keep our birds singing

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It is very likely that you have heard of the rapid decline of bees, some of our most valuable pollinators, due to the use of pesticides, but now the bees are not suffering alone. Other pollinators including insects and birds are dying from the increased use of neonicotinoids, a group of chemical pesticides that target the organism's nervous system and result in killing the organism.

The use of neonicotinoids has increased due to the accessibility and promising results. These pesticides can be purchased in many forms: pre-coated seeds, mixed with plant fertilizer, sprays, and dissolvable granules. However, when pesticide pre-coated seeds are put into the soil, birds either consume the seeds or the plant, which also contains the chemicals absorbed through the roots from the seed. The biodiversity in these environments can be affected in many ways, especially if birds are less likely to reproduce due to a loss of their ability to sing and attract mates or fly to search for food: “a 1992 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that sparrows have difficulty flying after consuming a tiny amount of imidacloprid, and become immobile at higher doses” (Bittel). Neonicotinoids can also be found in the plants sold at nurseries and hardware supply stores or sold in easy to use capsules on store shelves. The chemicals are also responsible for the removal of bird food sources.

The effect of neonicotinoids on our environment is grave, although we can still keep non-targeted organisms from dying by making these pesticides less accessible through the removal of them from market shelves: "[neonicotinoid] use is now so widespread—nearly 40 percent of the global insecticide market—that there are valid reasons to be worried,” (Bittel). By signing this petition, you are helping get rid of dangerous neonicotinoids on shelves in Orchard Supply Hardware stores. Other stores, such as Home Depot, have already set goals to end the sale of plants treated with neonicotinoids or pesticides containing common neonicotinoid chemicals in the upcoming years (“How Home Depot's Addressing ‘Neonic’ Concerns”). Sign to help save birds and other victims of harsh pesticides.

 

Citations

Bittel, Jason. “Second Silent Spring? Bird Declines Linked to Popular Pesticides.”   National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 9 July 2014, news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140709-birds-insects-pesticides-insecticides-neonicotinoids-silent-spring/.

“How Home Depot's Addressing ‘Neonic’ Concerns.” The Home Depot, 13 June 2016, corporate.homedepot.com/newsroom/how-home-depot-addresses-neonicotinoid-concerns.



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