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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Cyanide' Category


05
Aug

Nearly A Century of Pesticide Use Changed the Size of Australian Dingoes

(Beyond Pesticides, August 5, 2020) Regions of Australia that use a highly toxic rodenticide are home to larger dingoes than areas where the pesticide is not used, according to research published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Over the course of roughly the last century, dingoes in rodenticide-baited regions have grown by between six and nine percent. While pesticides are well known to induce changes in insect morphology as resistance is developed, this is one of the first studies to find effects on a large vertebrate carnivore. To make their determination, researchers began measuring the size of dingo skulls, which can be used as a proximate for body size, in areas where the rodenticide compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) was and was not historically used. Skull analysis relied primarily on historical specimens stored in museums throughout Australia.   “Skulls from the baited regions grew by about four millimetres since poison baiting was introduced,” says Michael Letnic, PhD, lead author of the paper and professor in conservation biology and ecosystem restoration at the University of New South Wales Science. “This equates to roughly a kilogram [2.2 lbs] in body mass.” While size increases were consistently seen in baited regions, dingoes […]

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05
Dec

EPA Denies Petition to Stop Cyanide Use that Is Killing Wildlife

(Beyond Pesticides, December 5, 2018)  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied a petition seeking to ban M-44s — cyanide-spraying apparatuses used to kill coyotes, foxes, and wild dogs that may prey on livestock. Submitted to the EPA in August 2017 by the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, the Humane Society of the U.S., Natural Resources Defense Council, Predator Defense, the Sierra Club, and a number of other conservation, wildlife, and environmental organizations, the petition sought cancellation of the registration of cyanide capsules used in M-44s and a functional ban on their use in the “lower 48” states because of their danger to non-target wildlife, domestic pets, and people. In its letter of denial, EPA noted that it “is currently reviewing these products using the Registration Review process and sees no reason, and the Petition provides none, to start a parallel process using Special Review proceedings to look at the same issues.” Although the word “pesticide” generally conjures thoughts of a chemical meant to kill insect “pests,” whether sprayed on crops, coated onto seeds, or in the kit bag of an “exterminator” whose business it is to rout out some infestation in a home or building, these two compounds […]

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