Tag: pesticides

Metaldehyde to be banned to protect wildlife

In a rather rare bit of good news for wildlife, the government has announced its intention to ban the use of metaldehyde outdoors. Metaldehyde is the active ingredient in slug pellets, and is commonly used as a pesticide against slugs, snails, and other gastropods. As well as wiping out slugs and snails, metaldehyde is also toxic to terrestrial mammals and birds, and acute poisoning is common in pets, birds, domestic, and wild animals including hedgehogs. Hedgehog numbers in the UK have fallen by about 50% since the turn of the century, and while research suggests that the amount of metaldehyde a hedgehog would need to consume to be lethal would be very large, there have been cases of dead hedgehogs with very high levels of metaldehyde in their system (presumably consumed via prey items).

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Two spaniels poisoned by ‘Nidderdale cocktail’

This is what grouse shooting has brought us to: the burning of rare habitats, massive use of bird and mammal traps, illegal persecution of birds of prey, and now a spaniel killed by a mix of illegal poisons with its own nickname derived from the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the ‘Nidderdale Cocktail’, “a deadly mixture of chemicals including bendiocarb, alphachloralose and the banned pesticides carbofuran and isofenphos. None of these chemicals should ever be used in an environment where domestic animals and/or wildlife could come into contact with them.

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Buglife | B Lines

Insect decline is inextricably linked with pesticides and habitat loss. The latter also leads to habitat fragmentation, pockets that are no longer linked and which have less species diversity. The charity Buglife has proposed setting up a nationwide system of insect ‘corridors’ they are calling ‘B Lines’. As they put it “We need to restore our countryside. We need to increase the number of wildflower-rich places, and we need to make sure that these areas are large enough to provide everything that pollinators need to thrive. We also need to join the dots. And that is where B-Lines comes in.”

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Guest post: Paul Sterry | Environmental Contempt

Blog by Paul Sterry: This article is the second in a series of three that scrutinises the effects of changing farming practices and urbanisation on wildlife and biodiversity within the Borough of Basingstoke. Much of the farmland that immediately surrounded pre-WW2 market-town Basingstoke has long-since gone, destroyed by urban expansion. That which remains in the Borough has lost most of the value it once had for wildlife: despite being green to the eye much of it is little better than concrete, bricks and mortar in terms of the biodiversity it supports. So, what’s left for wildlife in 2020?

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