by Roy van Grunsven
Within ACTION we study the effect of pesticides in water on dragonflies. Pesticides are often linked to agriculture but are also used outside of agriculture. One of these uses is as flea bands for dogs and cats. A recent paper in Science of the Total Environment (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143560) shows that the pesticides used in flea bands often end up in rivers by bathing and through wastewater. This pathway has all but been ignored. We are measuring pesticides in water bodies throughout the Netherlands and compare this with the trends of dragonflies living at these locations. As dogs, with flea bands, can bathe in ponds in nature reserves that are not near agriculture this can cause pollution in isolated locations that we would think are not exposed to pesticides. This might impact dragonflies in these locations as we know that they are sensitive to these compounds. Whether that is actually the case we will find out in the ACTION pilot project on dragonflies and pesticides.