One of the neonicitinoid seed-treatment pesticides might be the reason why the hummingbird population is declining.
A research scientist in British Columbia has found up to three parts per billion of neonicitinoid residues in the urine and feces of hummingbirds she collected in the Fraser Valley farming area of British Columbia.
Christine Bishop with Environment and Climate Change Canada said researchers started looking at a variety of factors that may be responsible for the population decline, ranging from habitat loss to changes when plants bloom.
At this stage, she said it’s not certain that imidacloprid, commonly used to treat corn seed, is responsible for the population decline because it could be a combination of other factors.
But her findings have been turned over to the Pest Management Review Agency in Health Canada to form part of its deliberations over whether to renew, ban or curb the use of neonicitinoids. The review document is due to be completed next year.