As part of her PhD studies, Rosie Lennon (University of York), who is co-supervised by Richard Shore and Gloria Pereira from the PBMS, investigated the exposure of farmland birds, and in particular game birds, to neonicotinoid (NN) seed treatments just prior to the ban on their use in the European Union in 2018. The findings remain relevant as the treatments are still used elsewhere and they provide generic information about exposure risk from seed treatments.
This study provides clear evidence that treated seed is a source of pesticide exposure for gamebirds following autumn sowing. These findings have implications for gamebirds worldwide where seed treatments are in use, and will aid the design of any future avian biomonitoring studies for agrochemical compounds
The full publication (Lennon et al., 2020. High prevalence of the neonicotinoid clothianidin in liver and plasma samples collected from gamebirds during autumn sowing. Science of the Total Environment 742 140493 and is open- access. It can be downloaded at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140493