Ravalli County had the highest number of bird species observed (84) of any county in Montana in Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s Great Backyard Bird Count in mid February, with over 630 bird lists submitted for Montana. With so much interest in birds, why are we still killing them with poisons? A new study headed by a Canadian toxicologist showed that lethal pesticides were nearly four times more likely to be associated with population declines than the next most likely contributor, changes in cropped pasture. Grassland bird species, such as the Vesper Sparrow, the Ring-necked Pheasant, Meadowlarks and the Horned Lark are showing the most rapid decline, declining faster than birds that live in other habitats.
Another new study showed five mental disorders, autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia, share gene-based risks. An article about the study states, “The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, a collaboration of researchers in 19 countries, analyzed the genomes of more than 61,000 people, some with one of the five disorders and some without. They found four regions of the genetic code where variation was linked to all five disorders. Of particular interest are disruptions in two specific genes that regulate the flow of calcium in brain cells, key to how neurons signal each other.”
A study of underbite and overbite in grazing animals because of disruption to the flow of calcium into the cells of the affected facial bones was published in 2011. Also noted was strong correlation between the prevalence of autism in children and prevalence of underbite on white-tailed deer fawns, not likely a coincidence, based on the new findings of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Exposure to hormone disrupting pesticides produces visible epigenetic changes to developing young, including human babies, causing life long health issues and mortality.