How to Manage Pesticides to Minimize Harm to Wildlife
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How to Manage Pesticides to Minimize Harm to Wildlife

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Pheasant and quail populations continue to drop in many regions of the U.S. Naturally, one major factor is the loss of wildlife habitat due to commercial and residential development. Another reason ...

Pheasant and quail populations continue to drop in many regions of the U.S. Naturally, one major factor is the loss of wildlife habitat due to commercial and residential development. Another reason suggested by wildlife biologists is the use of pesticides on agricultural land.

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How to Manage Pesticides to Minimize Harm to Wildlife How to Manage Pesticides to Minimize Harm to Wildlife Document Transcript

  • Pheasant and quail populations continue to drop in many regions of the U.S. Naturally, one major factor is the loss of wildlife habitat due to commercial and residential development. For more nature habitat information Visit these helpful websites: Another reason suggested by wildlife biologists is the use of pesticides on agricultural land. A Plants Home A Birds Home A Homesteaders Home How to Manage Pesticides to Minimize Harm to Wildlife U nfortunately, if you use pesticides, wildlife can used extensively. They lower the survival rate of chicks, become sick and die. A recent destroy cover plus reduce study in North Carolina insect and plant foods. showed that more than 30 percent of the quail tested According to wildlife were made sick by one aerial specialists, reducing pesticide application of insecticide. use is one of the best ways to protect fish and wildlife Insecticides can make the resources. Using sound birds neglect their young, cultural practices reduces abandon their nests and pest problems and, therefore, become more susceptible to results in lower pesticide use. predators or disease. Cultural practices that An indirect effect is that decrease the need for herbicides or insecticides can pesticides include rotating reduce the food and cover crops, selecting resistant that wildlife needs to survive. varieties whenever possible, Usually game bird populations planting and harvesting at the decrease when pesticides are proper time, and using© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 1 A Plants Home
  • integrated pest management hunters and discovered that quickly as possible after (IPM) techniques. 60 percent had insecticides application. in their bodies. IPM is a farming approach that employs alternative Exposure to the Herbicides methods of pest control, insecticides can disrupt an Many herbicides are only rather than relying solely on animals nervous system. If slightly toxic to wildlife, but agricultural chemicals. With exposure is great enough, they can damage their IPM, pesticides are used only sickness and death occur. habitats. Wildlife need food when the cost of applying a The nervous system may not and cover to survive. When pesticide is outweighed by the return to normal for four wildlife habitats are reduced cost of pest damage to the weeks following exposure and on a farm, there is a crop. The "threshold" must be the effects can be additive, tremendous effect on the reached before chemicals are if exposed more than once. wildlife populations there. justified. Populations of wildlife Nematicides decrease when herbicides or Insecticides and Fungicides mowing are used to maintain Many organophosphate and Many fumigants, granules, "clean" fencerows, ditch carbamate insecticides are and liquid formulations are banks and field borders. These highly toxic to wildlife when highly toxic to wildlife and strip areas provide wildlife they inhale the vapor or when can cause death, while valuable cover for nesting, insecticides make contact with others, especially fumigants, raising young, and escaping their skin or eyes. are safer. from predators. Consider leaving these areas alone. In Virginia, researchers tested Granules should be fully quail that had been killed by incorporated into the soil as Dont use herbicides or mow unless absolutely necessary to control noxious weeds. GUIDELINES ON REDUCING IMPACT ON WILDLIFE And, if you mow, only mow during early spring and on one s Read and follow the instructions on the pesticide label side of a ditch bank or fencerow each year. s Incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices s Never wash equipment or containers near ponds or streams WindStar Wildlife Institute is a national, non-profit, conservation organization whose mission is to help s Use the pesticide least toxic to wildlife individuals and families establish or improve the wildlife habitat on their s Avoid spraying over ponds or drainage ditches properties. s Do not use herbicides or insecticides on field borders For more information or for the name of a Master Wildlife Habitat Naturalist in your area, please s Minimize drift by using low-pressure sprays and large contact: droplet nozzles WindStar Wildlife Institute s Fully incorporate pesticide granules, especially spilled granules E-mail: wildlife@windstar.org http://www.windstar.org© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 2 A Plants Home