Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Longing for the Days of DDT?

Hi all...

Until I was 10, I lived on the North Shore of Eastern Long Island. We were there until April, 1980. The North Shore was hilly and forested. In my youth, I never recall once seeing a bird of prey.

We took the kids camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains last week. Birds were everywhere. We saw hawks and vultures. We even got to see a barred owl, which we named 'Shakespeare.'

In the United States, the bird population suffered greatly from DDT. I have clear memories of many a failed attempt to get a nesting pair of bald eagles to lay and hatch a healthy egg. Thankfully, their numbers are back up. They are not at all endangered. They were removed from the endangered species list in 2007. It is wonderful to know that we can bring a proud animal back from the brink of extinction.

On the other hand, the bug population of the world has also rebounded quite robustly. This is not as good. You are all also aware that the bat population in the US is dying off in droves right now due to a fungal virus that scientists cannot control. The gnats were simply awful.

This presents a quandary. I understand that "they" are starting to experiment with DDT again in limited amounts. I do hope that some balance can be found, either with DDT or with something else. Birds are wonderful. Gnats...not so much.

Good night folks.


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