Action: Prevent pollution from agricultural lands or sewage treatment facilities entering watercourses
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no evidence for the effects of preventing pollution from agricultural lands or sewage treatment facilities entering watercourses on amphibian populations.
'No evidence' for an action means we have not yet found any studies that directly and quantitatively tested this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Agricultural intensification has resulted in increased use of chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides. Studies have found a relationship between proximity to agricultural lands with high levels of pesticide and fertilizer use and amphibian malformations and population declines (Ouellet et al. 1997; Bishop et al. 1999; Davidson 2004; Taylor et al. 2005). As well as direct effects, pollutants such as fertilizers can stimulate algal growth which can have significant effects on aquatic habitats.
Other studies that investigated methods to reduce pollution levels in aquatic habitats in agricultural landscapes are described in ‘Create walls or barriers to exclude pollutants’ and ‘Reduce pesticide, herbicide or fertilizer use’.
Bishop C.A., Mahony N.A., Struger J., Ng P. & Pettit K.E. (1999) Anuran development, density and diversity in relation to agricultural activity in the Holland River watershed, Ontario, Canada (1990–1992). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 57, 21–43.
Davidson C. (2004) Declining downwind: amphibian population declines in California and historical pesticide use. Ecological Applications, 14, 1892–1902.
Ouellet M., Bonin J., Rodrigue J., Desgranges J.L. & Lair S. (1997) Hindlimb deformities (ectromelia, ectrodactyly) in free-living anurans from agricultural habitats. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 33, 95–104.
Taylor B., Skelly D., Demarchis L.K., Slade M.D., Galusha D. & Rabinowitz P.M. (2005) Proximity to pollution sources and risk of amphibian limb malformation. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113, 1497–1501.