Arbitrary use of pesticides intoxicates wild animals, bees in Turkey's east: Expert

Arbitrary use of pesticides intoxicates wild animals, bees in Turkey's east: Expert

VAN – Demirören News Agency
Arbitrary use of pesticides intoxicates wild animals, bees in Turkeys east: Expert

Unplanned and arbitrary use of pesticides is threatening the wildlife and killing bees, an expert has warned.

“Pesticides have been used for many years to improve productivity in agriculture. In fact, in Turkey, the use of pesticides is not that high. But we are experiencing problems due to the incorrect and irregular usage of this drug,” Lokman Aslan, the head of the Wildlife Animal Protection Center at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University in Turkey’s east, said on Jan. 3.

“If you use pesticides in your garden and are beekeeping at the same time, the pesticides will kill the bees,” he added.

The Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Ministry banned the use of three dangerous chemicals utilized in the agricultural sector with a decree coded “urgent” on Dec. 22, 2018, following the death of hundreds of thousands of bees caused by pesticides.

Pesticide residues lead to “intoxication incidents,” according to Aslan.

“We have seen intoxication cases among raptors from Lake Van Basin and the rural parts of [eastern provinces of] Muş and Van,” he said.

Aslan said five hawks and two eagle owls had recently been intoxicated in rural Van due to the pesticides.

Bustard, an endangered terrestrial bird, was intoxicated as a result of pesticides mixed in water in Muş, he said.

“This will be solved better through biological methods [instead of chemicals],” said Aslan.

“Biological control” is the clever use of natural predators to fight pests, without any human intervention or utilization of chemicals, Aslan said.

“If we lean towards biological control without damaging the nature, we will avoid this danger [of pesticides] and ensure a healthier production,” he said.

Aslan stressed that human impact on the environment disrupts the ecological balance.

“We [humans] are disrupting the ecological balance. If you destroy the wolves, you need to deal with the pigs. If you destroy the foxes, you need to deal with the rabbits. So, we need to find ways to increase productivity without disrupting the ecological balance, without using chemicals,” he said.

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