Environmental Risks - Wildlife

Synthetic insecticides such as bifenthrin and the neonicotinoids are toxic to pollinators, birds, and shellfish.

Pollinators and Other Insects

Bees, hummingbirds, and some kinds of butterflies, flies, wasps, and spiders fertilize plants so that they produce flowers and seeds. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of over 85% of the world�s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of the world�s crop species (most fruits, vegetables, and nuts). The United States alone grows more than 100 crops that either need or benefit from pollinators; the economic value of these native pollinators is estimated at $3 billion per year. Pollinator Conservation Program

Yet pollinators world-wide are in trouble. In a report released in March 2017, the Center for Biological Diversity reports that more than half the bee species with sufficient data to assess are declining; nearly 1 in 4 is imperiled and at increasing risk of extinction. Landmark Report: Hundreds of Native Bee Species Sliding Toward Extinction Scientists have identified several possible causes of bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), among them loss of habitat, climate change, and parasites.

Another suspect is exposure to synthetic insecticides, which adversely affect the nervous systems of bees. Very small amounts of neonicotinoids can cause bumble bee colonies to grow more slowly and produce fewer new queens. Exposure can impair honey bees� ability to fly, navigate, and forage for food. It can also weaken their immune systems, making them more susceptible to diseases and parasites. Understanding Neonicotinoids

Additional references
Environmental effects of 30 commonly used pesticides
Bee Informed
Insect 'Apocalypse' in U.S. Driven by 50x Increase in Toxic Pesticides
How neonicotinoids can kill bees
Use of organic pesticides in ways that are safe for pollinators
Maine State Beekeepers Association
Center for Biological Diversity, Decline in bee populations, March 1, 2017.
Queen of the Sun, What are the bees telling us? A documentary film on bee colony collapse disorder.
An effort to help solve Colony Collapse Disorder organized by Washington State University and the Washington State Beekeepers Association


Scientists believe that some insecticides may have high potential to affect avian reproduction. Chemicals can also contribute to declines in bird populations by reducing the number of insects upon which birds feed. Furthermore, birds eat seeds; studies have shown that a single seed coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a songbird within a day. Popular Pesticides Linked to Drops in Bird Populations
Alarm as pesticides spur rapid decline of US bird species


In laboratory tests, synthetic chemicals such as bifenthrin and some forms of 2,4-D have proven to be highly toxic to fish and shellfish. Bifenthrin Technical Fact Sheet. In the wild, synthetics accumulate in organisms. Filter feeders such as mussels and clams are on the front line of accumulation; fish and lobsters can also be affected. Mussel Watch, conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has found a range of chemicals in mussels in the Penobscot Bay, including 2,4-D NOAA's National Status and Trends


Research finds that the decline in the populations of frogs and toads may be related to exposure to pesticides. Pesticides killing amphibians, says study
Glyphosate applications on arable fields considerably coincide with migrating amphibians