I'm a firm believer in the existence of an ongoing insect apocalypse, so I was dismayed - but not surprised - to read that neonicotinoids have been documented extensively in Minnesota deer:
The pesticides linked to bee, butterfly and pollinator deaths across the nation are being found in the organs of far more of Minnesota's wild deer, and in higher concentrations, than previously thought.State biologists found neonicotinoids in nearly all — 94% — of deer spleens collected from road kill and sent in by hunters last fall. Alarmingly, roughly two-thirds of those deer had higher concentrations of the chemicals than a threshold found to potentially lower fawn survival and cause bone and genital deformities in a captive deer study.After growing evidence that neonicotinoids contributed to massive die-offs of honey bees and other pollinators, the European Union quickly banned them.North America, however, embraced them. They're now used on 98% of the corn, soybean, wheat and cotton growing on the continent, according to the DNR. They're also used in lawn care and common household products such as flea and tick prevention collars for pets.The DNR's findings on Minnesota's wild deer spleens surprised researchers because deer taken in the thick woods of northern Minnesota were just as likely to have neonicotinoids in their systems as those taken among the vast corn and soybean fields of southern Minnesota. It isn't clear exactly how the chemicals are getting into the animals, whether it's through the water they drink or from directly eating treated seeds or plants."There was a little bit of a 'wow' factor when we found deer in the Boundary Waters with neonics," Carstensen said. "How does that happen? It's moving in ways we don't understand."