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#513133 05/05/18 11:12 AM
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People are still investigating. Somehow I hope agchemicals ARE the cause of our Quail disaster in the South. We can fix that. Food and fiber will become more expensive...Geo

http://blogs.twincities.com/outdoors/201...379425048828125

Geo. Newbern #513136 05/05/18 12:56 PM
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Be wary of silver bullet solutions that nicely fit green agendas. Maybe true, maybe part true, or maybe poor science, more data and studies required.


Michael Dittamo
Topeka, KS
Geo. Newbern #513137 05/05/18 01:07 PM
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This study is from 2013 - I wonder if it has had any impact on pesticide use?

The direct effects of pesticides can be very high - before it was banned a few years ago, Furadan granules were thought to directly kill up to 100 million birds annually in Canada alone, many of them grassland species. Indirect impacts of insecticides must be very high, too, by drastically reducing insects that birds depend upon.

Geo. Newbern #513138 05/05/18 01:17 PM
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Remember DDT?
Is that what you call, "Be wary of silver bullet solutions that nicely fit green agendas".

Within a decade of the ban on DDT Falcon, hawks, eagles and osprey were well on the way to recovery. Full recovery still required some heroic measures. Pesticides just generally kill, that is what they do, indiscriminately.

Geo. Newbern #513142 05/05/18 02:06 PM
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It is my opinion that we were duped on the lead shot "science" leading to non-tox requirements for all waterfowling and now much upland and big game. But if there is a sliver bullet out there responsible for the loss of Bobwhite quail, I'll take it...Geo

Geo. Newbern #513144 05/05/18 03:07 PM
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Yes I remember DDT

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/bring-back-ddt

I believe that more than DDT was involved in the return of birds of prey, most importantly legal protections from shooting and a different cultural attitude toward them.


Michael Dittamo
Topeka, KS
Geo. Newbern #513145 05/05/18 04:27 PM
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Around here, Virginia and NC Coast nobody shot Ospreys or Eagles. Since the DDT ban amazing comeback. I am pretty sure hatch problems due to weak eggs was a major factor in their decline. I have worked and played on the water 50 plus years, we have far more of both than when I was a kid. Pelicans too.

Boats

Last edited by Boats; 05/05/18 04:30 PM.
Geo. Newbern #513146 05/05/18 05:03 PM
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Boats is entirely correct. There was never any doubt that DDT and related compounds were very largely responsible for the decline of bird and fish-eating raptors. They were solely responsible for the near disappearance of other fish-eating birds - the Pacific coast brown pelican was nearly gone, egrets and herons had been decimated due eggshell thinning from organochlorine pesticides. All those birds gradually became abundant again after the ban.

I rarely weigh in here on the lead issue because people get so upset about it. However, there is absolutely no doubt that ingested lead killed huge numbers of waterfowl and still kills many scavenging birds, which include eagles as well as vultures and condors. This is not a recent issue - fifty years ago a game warden on Sauvies Island outside Portland OR told me of picking up hundreds of 'green-asses' every year, ducks that had starved because ingested lead prevented them from digesting food, which just ran right through them and stained their vent feathers green. Of course the anti-hunters exploit this issue, but that does not make it 'junk science' - there has been unanimity about this among wildlife biologists and toxicologists for decades. I love my old guns and hate steel shot but facts is facts.

Geo. Newbern #513151 05/05/18 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: Geo. Newbern
People are still investigating. Somehow I hope agchemicals ARE the cause of our Quail disaster in the South. We can fix that. Food and fiber will become more expensive...Geo

http://blogs.twincities.com/outdoors/201...379425048828125


Returning to the original article noted.

The American Bird Conservancy pushed the study in a news release. Who is the American Bird Conservancy? Are they an upland bird hunting friendly organization?

I note their own website while citing pesticides note habitat lost is the number one threat to birds overall. https://abcbirds.org/threat/habitat/

I also note the American Bird Conservancy actively opposes lead for any hunting. It further is out there spinning against lead. https://abcbirds.org/article/hunting-sea...-bulletsshot-2/

Then I go look at the article the OP cited. The study was basically a data-mining expedition looking at other studies between 1980 and 2003, and pesticide data from the 80s and 90s. It might have found something or it might be pushing an agenda. Data-mining can yield good results however it can also yield unreliable results as controlling for variables is tough in clouded hindsight.

The posit of the headline that pesticides-not-habitat-loss-leading-cause-of-grassland-birds-decline- is a big jump from previous thought and suspect when based on one statistical analysis study.

While I have no doubt pesticides do figure in bird populations, I do not believe they are the level of impact posited in the OP cited article.

Last edited by old colonel; 05/05/18 05:49 PM.

Michael Dittamo
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Geo. Newbern #513152 05/05/18 05:48 PM
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Some recent studies have shown that fire ants are a major cause of quail chick mortality except it isn't what you think. The ants consume the small micro invertebrates that quail chicks need to eat before they grow big enough for grasshopper sized food. When fire ants were controlled on thousand acre sized areas, quail recruitment rose dramatically. The same problem has caused recruitment failures with Attwater Prairie chickens on the refuge at Eagle Lake. Several thousand lbs. of ant bait was donated and a large area treated to help this endangered species survive.

At least in my Central TX area, fire ants have reduced the tick population substantualy and the quail in large part have also disappeared. A lot of the quail problem is the coastal Bermuda grass/cow culture pasture conversion but not all of it.


W. E. Boyd
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