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Wildlife

Amphibians

Frog in the forest

Based on EPA guidance, two large-scale studies were conducted in separate laboratories using 3,200 frogs and 100,000 tissue samples to determine whether atrazine has an impact on growth, development, survival, or sexual differentiation in frogs.

The EPA audited and inspected the data from these studies and found that "The data are sufficiently robust to outweigh previous efforts to study the potential effects of atrazine on amphibian gonadal development" and "there is no compelling reason to pursue additional testing."

In a different study, Yale University professor of ecology, Dr. David K. Skelly, surveyed frog populations in forests, agricultural areas, suburbs and cities in the U.S. Northeast, and found that frogs were thriving in rural ponds near agricultural areas, rather than those in suburbs and cities who had significantly more deformities.

Habitat

Farmscape

Prevents Soil Runoff

Soil runoff is the enemy of aquatic creatures. It buries fish and crustacean habitats and reduces sunlight, starving plants and algae and undermining food chains. Sediment also carries ammonium nitrogen, toxic to fish, as well as nitrate and phosphate, which deplete oxygen in water.

Atrazine-enabled no-till and conservation tillage agriculture helps reduce the sedimentation and toxicity caused by soil runoff, giving aquatic wildlife a safer and cleaner habitat.

Promotes No-Till Farming

Thanks to the intensification of farming by atrazine, farmers have set aside millions of acres in the Conservation Reserve Program. These buffer zones are often next to streams or woodlands. As a result, wild species that have been scarce for years are returning—otters, wild turkeys, coyotes, deer, bobcats. In Iowa, prairie flowers that greeted the first settlers are spreading across the landscape.

With no-till farming, fields resemble the original prairie and forest soils rich in organic matter, teaming with insects and other food for birds. Scientists are finding high densities and large varieties of birds nesting in fields throughout the Midwest, as well as the reemergence of small mammals such as deer mice.