“We are creating sterile landscapes. The indirect effects of pesticides on birds can be considered as devastating as direct toxicity. If you kill a bird’s food supply, they cannot survive.”
Christy Morrissey crossed continents, climbed mountains, traversed riverbeds, trudged through wetlands and peered inside the inner workings of bird brain’s to prove that animals in their environment are constantly exposed to a wide range of chemicals.
Neonicotinoids are widely used in prairie agriculture. It’s toxic if the birds eat treated seeds directly, but the lethal effect of these chemicals goes beyond the farmers field — they are poisoning the wetlands, and in turn this may be greatly affecting insect numbers that are vital to the food chain for many songbirds. Can Christy’s work help stop this deadly chain reaction before it’s too late?
Dr. Christy Morrissey is an Ecotoxicologist and head of the Ecotoxicology Lab at the University of Saskatchewan.