Pesticides

The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the pesticides and other poisons account for as many as 72 million bird deaths a year, but nobody knows for certain since most poisoned birds are never found or tested. Pesticides can receive wide use on the market for years, even decades, before the scope of their impact is realized.

Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles were almost driven to extinction before wildlife experts recognized that widespread use of the pesticide DDT was causing birds to lay eggs with thin eggshells that broke during incubation.

Peregrine Falcon, photo by Adam Stunkel

Reducing Pesticide Impacts on Wildlife

Portland Audubon works to combat pesticides impacts on wildlife by:

  • Documenting impacts from pesticides and other poisons to animals treated at our Wildlife Care Center
  • Advocating for restrictions and prohibitions on specific pesticides and other poisons that present a significant risk to birds and other wildlife.
  • Advocating for pesticide use policies that protect our communities and environment

Portland Audubon has had many successes over the years including playing a key role documenting the illegal killing of birds of prey from use of the organophosphate avicide (bird poison) Rid-A-Bird” and advocating for its removal from the market. More recently we successfully worked with partners at Beyond Toxics and Center for Biological Diversity to ban the use of neonicotinoids, which have caused mass deaths of bees and other pollinators, on city own land in Portland.

Our current priorities related to pesticides and other poisons include the following:

  • Banning the avicide, Avitrol, in Portland which has caused major crow mortality events in the City in recent years.
  • Supporting Senate Bill 853 (2019) banning the pesticide, chlorpyrifos and restricting  use of neonicotinoid pesticides to licensed pesticide applicators in Oregon.
  • Promoting and supporting legislation which would restrict aerial spraying of pesticides on public land and over communities in Oregon.
  • Supporting Senate Bill 580 which would ban M-44 Sodium Cyanide devices in Oregon

How You Can Help

  • Become a Portland Audubon activist
  • Report any large scale bird mortality events to Portland Audubon, (503)-292-0304
  • Avoid use of toxic pesticides in your own yard and get your yard certified by our Backyard Habitat Certification Program