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Pesticides and Wildlife
The use of pesticides can negatively impact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) trust resources, including fisheries resources, threatened and endangered species, migratory birds and their habitats. Pesticides include products, such as insect repellants, weed killers, disinfectants and swimming pool chemicals, which are designed to prevent, destroy, repel or reduce pests such as insects, mice and other animals, weeds, fungi, bacteria and viruses. Pesticides are used in nearly every home, business, farm, school, hospital and park in the United States and are found almost everywhere in our environment.
By their very nature, most pesticides pose some risk of harm to humans, animals or the environment because they are designed to kill or adversely affect living organisms. Significant fish and bird kills have resulted from the legal application of pesticides, with millions of fish and birds estimated to die from pesticide exposure each year (Williams, Ted) (Pimental et al 1992). However, at the same time, pesticides are useful to society because they are used to control or kill potential disease-causing organisms and insects, weeds and other pests.
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act requires that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluate pesticides before they can be sold and used in the United States. The EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs is responsible for ensuring that a pesticide will not pose unreasonable adverse effects to human health and the environment. In addition, the EPA must ensure that use of pesticides it registers will not result in harm to species listed as endangered or threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. To prevent and minimize the impacts of pesticides on fish, wildlife, and plants, the Service provides technical assistance and consults with the EPA during the registration and reregistration of pesticides. If pesticide use in a certain geographic area may affect a listed species, EPA may place limitations on its use. In 1988, the EPA's Endangered Species Protection Program (ESPP) website. In 2008, EPA initiated its Pesticide Registration Review Program, through which it plans to re-evaluate effects of all pesticides to listed species. Because this program is just underway, no county bulletins are currently available for listed species, but are expected to be developed shortly.
Environmental Contaminants Program: Chlorinated Hydrocarbons (Organochlorines) - DDT
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs. Pesticide Fact Sheets - http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs. Pesticide Product Information System - http://www.epa.gov/opppmsd1/PPISdata/index.html
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs. Pesticide Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) - http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/status.htm
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ECOTOX : A source for locating single chemical toxicity data for aquatic life, terrestrial plants and wildlife - http://www.epa.gov/ecotox/.
U.S. Geological Survey, National Water Quality Assessment Program. National assessment of pesticides in the streams, rivers, and ground water of the United States: Pesticide National Synthesis Project - http://ca.water.usgs.gov/pnsp/
Nebraska, Lincoln Institute of Agricultural and Natural
Resources: Pesticide Bookmark - http://ianrwww.unl.edu/ianr/pat/pestbkmk.htm
Cornell University, Pesticides Management Application Program. Pesticide Active Ingredient Profiles - http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/
Pimental P., H. Acquay, M. Biltonen, P. Rice, M. Silva, J. Nelson, V. Lipner, S. Giordano, A. Horowitz, and M. D’Amore. 1992. Environmental and economic costs of pesticide use. BioScience 42:750-759.l
Gilliom R.J., J.E. Barbash, C.G. Crawford, P.A. Hamilton, J.D. Martin, N. Nakagaki, L.H. Nowell, J.C. Scott, P.E. Stackelberg, G.P. Thelin, and D.M. Wolock. 2006. Pesticides in the Nation’s Streams and Ground Water, 1992-2001. U.S. Geological Survey, reston, VA. Circular 1291. http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/2005/1291/