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DDT, Mercury and Purple Martins
The new research, published in Behavioural Brain Research, strongly suggests that exposure to environmental levels of DDT causes significant changes in the brains of songbirds.
It is very sad to know that chemicals are harming our birds. Can you imagine that DDT still has an impact on birds and research into this subject proves it?
The really sad thing is that while the US still manufactures DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane --I still remember my chemistry!! ), it remains a major exporter of this pesticide.
And, who is one of the largest importers of DDT from the US?
Countries in South America!!
Countries like Brazil where they are cutting their rain forest at a rapid rate and then farming those lands. While farming, they are using DDT, just like we used to do many years ago.
And, what birds migrate to Brazil?
Natch! Purple Martins and tons of other neo-tropical migratory birds.
Do you think that martins have a high content of DDT as well as mercury in their bodies?
According to the authors, ""The take-home message is that people need to be more cognizant of their use of pesticides and herbicides," ... "People need to be careful about using chemicals in their homes or farms. Who knows the effects these will have down the road?"
Read the following article on DDT in birds and come back to read a second one about mercury in birds:
First DDT and birds:
And, now mercury in birds:
"Keep 'em Flying!"
The Purple Martin Society Webpage
The Scout Report Online
Purple Martin Travelogue
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