Pesticides are substances used to kill or control pests. Pesticides are usually not entirely specific in their action, and can affect plants and animals they are not intended to harm. Generally speaking, insecticides are more toxic to wildlife than herbicides or fungicides. Wildlife can be exposed to pesticides directly, by eating contaminated food or water, breathing pesticide spray, or absorbing pesticides through their skin. Predators such as hawks and owls can become poisoned by eating other animals that have been exposed to pesticides. Because many insecticides affect the nervous systems of wildlife, exposure to a particular insecticide can affect animals indirectly, by interfering with their ability to survive or reproduce. For example, wildlife may be unable to escape from predators or incubate a nest properly. Herbicides can affect plants that are important to wildlife survival. Killing weeds along a fencerow removes seed producing plants important for many species, and destroys cover and travel corridors for wildlife. Young animals often depend on a diet of high protein insects to grow. Because these insects depend on plants to survive, killing the plants removes insects on which other wildlife depend. Amphibians, fish, and aquatic insects are very susceptible to pesticide contamination of water. When these creatures are killed by runoff or drift of pesticides into water bodies, other animals such as ducklings, who depend on these creatures for survival, also suffer. Before deciding whether or not to use a pesticide, ask yourself whether treatment is really necessary.
Journals related to Wildlife and pesticides
International Zoo Yearbook, Journal of Eastern African Studies,Society & Natural Resources, Development Southern Africa, Journal of The Acoustical Society of America, Biodiversity and Conservation, Wildlife Society Bulletin, Environmental Conservation, Environmental Science & Policy.