Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pollution Without A Solution

Animals are begining to act strange and it is partially caused by environmental pollution. Fish are more active, frogs are becoming dumber, seagulls are falling over and mice are no longer afraid. Endocrine disrupters, including heavy metals and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls, have been linked to the bizarre behaviors being noticed more often in different animal species. These chemicals are knownn to have some effects on wildlife and their behaviors but now it has been seen that these pollutants can affect an animals' physiological chemistry and even change animal sex organs.

Research on many different bird species including egrets, quials, gulls, and falcons, fish species such as minnows and mosquito fish and a variety of other species including macaques, frogs, rats, and snails has proven to reveal starting changes in their behaviors. Some of the particular behaviors altered have been noted including, mating, parenting, nest building, learning, avoidance tactics, foraging and even balance. One particular example includes male starlings and a %50 decrease in singing, displaying, flying and foraging activities when introduced to a dicrotophos insecticide. Another bird example is seen in male western gulls who try to mate with each other after hatching. This is seen in comparison with the level of DDT exposed to them while in the egg. It has also been noted that lead affects the ability of a gull to balance itself both in the air and on land.

Regretably, these behaviors often go unnoticed by many toxicologists and are only recently being linked to the strange new activities of different species. Ethan Clotfelter of Amherst College states,
You might see behavioral effects long before you see a population crash
and Dustin Penn of the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Comparative Ethology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna also says,
The most important point is the incredible amount of evidence that this is a widepsread problem.

Not only are these endocrine disrupters affecting animal behavior but it has been revealed that different concentrations of chemicals can have different effects. AN an example would include male mice who increase their scent-marking behavior while exposed to low doses of pesticides but decrease it when expose to much larger concentrations of the the same pesticide. More tests need to be run and more research to be done but there is now more evidence that pollution is causing problems and we need to clean up after ourselves.


At 1:30 PM, Blogger PWH said...

It is very true that chemical components can alter the behavior of an animal. This is an interesting article and the first paragraph starts off really well. However, there are a lot spelling errors, and run on sentences. The second paragraph needs some organization. Overall the paper topic is very interesting. I was also wondering if you had the source for your article. I am curious to know more about the endocrine disrupter. Do you think that the behavioral change in animals due to the chemicals would change in the next generation if the environment were cleaner or would this behavior be inherited? Nice job overall, just proof read and re-organize some of the sentences.

Posted By:
Nelina Bridge (8)

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i knew that animals could sense earthquakes and changes in air pressure, i didn't realized that pollution would affect their behavior as well. cool topic.

Posted by: John Garabedian (8)

At 10:30 PM, Blogger PWH said...

It is a great concern that we are altering the natural environment of these organisms. The disturbing part is that we either do not seem to know the mistakes we are making, or we realize our mistakes too late- when the effects begin to surface across various populations. It will be interesting to see not only how these constant changes will affect bio-diversity in the latter half of this century, but also how these changes will, in turn, affect us.

Posted by Mayur Patel (8)


Post a Comment

<< Home