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    Author(s): Pierre Mineau
    Date: 2005
    Source: In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 2 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 1065-1070
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (150.0 KB)

    Description

    Recent analyses and modeling of avian pesticide field studies have led to the conclusion that bird kills are regular and frequent in insecticide-treated fields. Unfortunately, data are seldom adequate to quantify this mortality. Also, mortality is expected to be highly variable in response to varying bird presence in and around treated fields. Studies reporting kills of birds in cornfields treated with granular formulations of carbofuran provide a good example of the types of calculations that are needed to estimate direct bird losses in farm fields. Several studies provide the means to correct carcass counts for search efficiency and scavenging. Based on typical Midwest cornfields, use of granular carbofuran resulted in an estimated annual mortality rate of 3.0 to 16 songbirds per ha of treated field, the higher number corresponding to better field edge habitat. Much larger kills also occurred where fields bordered non-crop habitat more suitable for birds. At the peak of its popularity in the United States, this single product was conservatively giving rise to an estimated annual loss of 17- 91 million birds in cornfields alone. Granular carbofuran formulations continue to be sold and used in most Latin American countries on a wide variety of crops.

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    Citation

    Mineau, Pierre. 2005. Direct losses of birds to pesticides - beginnings of a quantification. In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 2 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 1065-1070

    Keywords

    agriculture, bird kills, carcass counts, cornfields, Eremophila alpestris, Horned Lark, pesticides, scavenging

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