Impacts of Pesticides on Mammals
Mammals can be directly exposed to pesticides, but are most commonly affected indirectly, through groundwater contamination and runoff, or through secondary poisonings such as ingesting prey that has been exposed to pesticides.
|Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. Photo by Pete Markham|
Mammals provide many ecosystem services. Some mammals provide food, clothing, and other materials that are used by humans. They provide the opportunity for recreational activities, such as zoos, horseback riding, hunting or animal watching. Other mammals, such as the cow, are revered and worshiped in certain communities for their religious affiliation. All mammals are responsible for ecologic biodiversity in some way, whether it be large or small. For example: bears eat berries and then travel, excreting the berries farther away, which gives plants the ability to spread and grow where they otherwise could not.
Pesticides can and do negatively impact mammals and the ecosystem services they provide, but the full economic impact can be difficult to define. The services listed above may not have a direct price associated with them, but it can be assumed that the impacts of pesticides on mammals cause some economic burden due to loss of ecosystem services. One can assume that prices will climb as mammal populations decline while the demand for the services they provide remains constant. If domesticated mammals that humans depend on for food decline due to pesticide exposure, society would experience an increase in the price of food. Similarly, if there is a drop in the number of mammals that provide biological diversity, ecological stability could easily be threatened, which in turn would affect human life.
Litigation & Lawsuits
|Indiana bat. Photo by USFWSmidwest.|
In 2015, EPA was sued for violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The lawsuit documents EPA’s failure to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding the impact of the herbicide on two endangered species: the Indiana bat (and the whooping crane). A motion was filed against EPA after the decision was made to expand the use of Enlist Duo to nine additional states.
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