Organophosphorous and carbamate insecticides, jointly known as cholinesterase inhibitors, replaced the organochlorine insecticides and dominated insecticide use from the 1970s through to the end of the century. They were far less persistent and not prone to bioaccumulation and bioconcentration, as were the organochlorines, but they were very acutely toxic, especially to birds. Their use in farm fields and forests inevitably led to frequent and largely unavoidable kills of a taxonomically diverse group of birds. Regulatory evaluations and decisions made over the years have failed to acknowledge the extent of the problem and, despite recent product replacements in some countries, the killing of birds with these compounds continues unabated in many parts of the world.

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Department of Biology

Mineau, P. (2017). Organophosphorous and carbamate insecticides: Impacts on birds. In Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene (pp. 111–117). doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-809665-9.09887-6