Insects, pesticides, cancer and bird populations

Subject: Insects, pesticides, cancer and bird populations
From: "jon wren" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 04:07:23 PDT
Michael Norris wrote
This is a serious call for information and debate about the
impact of pesticides on our birds. Is anyone monitoring insects
(bird food!) or toxins and their effects (other than John Young
and others in relation to the Queensland sugar cane fields)??

I have previously mentioned the bird kills that have occured at Collinsville Qld. last year. There was little follow up by the Qld. Environmental Protection Agency to prosecute or actually investigate the matter through to a final outcome. Refer Birding-aus archive.

Also I have had some disturbing reports from residents in the horticultural area around Bowen Qld. that have observed the decline of Finches and other small birds in our area. Flocks have been observed to fly through the aerial spray mist when distubed by the approach of an aircraft, perch in trees or shrubs then just fall dead onto the ground. One gentleman advised me that in the mid 80's he found 60+ dead finches under a tree following the aerial spraying of an adjoining property. In those days we had many small farms where as today the farms are much larger with many of the small operators having been pushed out. Of course these large farms utilise the aerial spraying contractors instead of the more labor intensive tractor and boom spray.

When I first arrived in Bowen in 1984 it took me two hours to find a Mistletoe Bird while walking up Deadman Creek, I recall thinking at the time what has happened here to cause such a lack of birdlife.

Certainly requires a lot more study and comment as suggested by Michael.

I believe that there is a push to have Cotton grown in the Bowen area a crop that utilises a great deal of pesticides, fungicides, weedicides etc. Of couse the Chemical companies continually report that the product is "environmentally friendly". It would be interesting to hear from some of the residents living in the Emerald area of Qld. on this matter.

Jon Wren
PO Box 868
Bowen (Climate Capital of Australia)
Queensland Australia 4805
Phone 07 4786 2614H Mobile 0412 789 285
email:  or 

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