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Means of ameliorating Indirect Effects of Pesticides on farmland birds; a review and production of end-user leaflet. - PS2338


In 2006, the UK published a Strategy for the Sustainable use of Plant Protection Products. The strategic outcomes highlighted included an objective to ‘reverse any loss of biodiversity due to plant protection products’. The strategic outcomes will be delivered through a series of Action Plans covering: water, biodiversity, amenity, amateur and availability. Each Action Plan will be taken forward under a programme of measures developed by an Action Plan Implementation Group.

This research project is related to the Plant Protection Products Biodiversity Action Plan. One of the key objectives of the Strategy is to reduce the impact of pesticides on biodiversity and in particular it aims to reverse the loss of biodiversity caused by plant protection products. It is acknowledged that the authorisation system aims to limit the adverse effects of plant protection products on non-target species, however the authorisation system alone will not eliminate effects on non-target organisms and hence other initiatives are required. With this in mind, PSD seeks the production of materials that contribute to practical means of reducing the negative impacts of plant protection products on non-target organisms. The project will focus on a suite of bird species that are considered to be adversely affected by such indirect effects of pesticides (IEPs). Bird species will be selected to reflect the availability of relevant data and because birds have already been adopted as a focus for biodiversity conservation, with an index of wild bird population trends included as one of the UK government’s 15 headline indicators of sustainable development. The government has also set a public service agreement (PSA) target to reverse the long-term decline in farmland bird populations by 2020.
The project will have two main objectives.
Objective 1. Update the available scientific knowledge on the effects and mitigation of plant protection products on non-target birds.
Using ASSESSING THE INDIRECT EFFECTS OF PESTICIDES (IEPs) ON BIRDS PN0925 Final report and other reports and publications, produced prior to and since the conclusion of this project, we will produce an up-to-date and comprehensive review of the extent of the adverse effects of plant protection products on non-target birds and the practical means by which these may be reduced. There will be an emphasis on the identification of indirect effects that are demonstrably attributable to pesticides. Wherever possible, this will include quantification of the scale of the measures needed to produce a beneficial effect on bird numbers. Further details are provided in the Approaches section below. The product will be a short review document.

Objective 2. Production of farmer- friendly material on practical means of reducing IEPs.
Using the Objective 1review, we will synthesise the results and present the information in end-user friendly text and style. This will consist of a leaflet aimed at farmers, which will highlight issues surrounding IEPs and birds, and how they may be addressed. There will be a strong focus on pesticide use but the leaflet will also contain information on compensatory measures. Wherever possible, the leaflet will include quantification of the scale of the measures needed to produce a beneficial effect on bird numbers. It will include a summary of measures available under environmental stewardship schemes in each of the constituent countries of the UK. It is hoped that the leaflet content will be endorsed and promoted by other organisations will relevant expertise, including the VI (to be discussed at forthcoming VI meeting on October 19th 2007) and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Means of ameliorating Indirect Effects of Pesticides on Farmland Birds; a review and production of end-user leaflet   (536k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2008

Cost: £18,442
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Royal Society for Protection of Birds
Behaviour change              
Environmental Stewardship              
Environmental Effects              
Environmental Impact              
Environmental Protection              
Nature conservation              
Pesticide use              
Wildlife conservation              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety