Insects Are Dying in an Aggressive Rate

Scientists Predict'Catastrophic Consequences for Mankind as Insects Die OutCC0

Scientists Predict'Catastrophic Consequences for Mankind as Insects Die OutCC0

Previous studies have looked at smaller areas, with a 2017 study showing 76 percent of flying insects had disappeared from German nature preserves and a study last fall that showed insect populations in pristine rainforest in Puerto Rico have also seen precipitous declines, dropping a factor of 60.

"If we don't have insects as moderators of other pest populations, we have insect populations that flare up and ruin crops and make them hard to grow", he said.

Because of the importance of insects to natural systems and other wildlife, "such events can not be ignored and should prompt decisive action to avert a catastrophic collapse of nature's ecosystems", the scientists warned.

Meanwhile lead author of the study Dr Francisco Sánchez-Bayo has outlined three reasons for the "dramatic rates of decline" in insect species.

More than a third of the world's insects are threatened with extinction in the next few decades.

A combination of rapid urbanisation, the onset of climate change and the intensive use of pesticides in mass agriculture is contributing to one of the greatest mass extinctions of recent years, according to a report published to the journal Biological Conservation. It involved a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports of insect declines from across the globe, systematically assessing the underlying drivers of the population declines. Other factors such as pathogens, introduced species, and climate change are also some of the key factors that threaten insect populations.

"Unless we change our way of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades", concluded the peer-reviewed study, which is set for publication in April.

So, which insects are most in danger of disappearing first?

'Second is the increasing use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds.

Sánchez-Bayo and his co-authors centered their evaluation on bugs in European and North American nations.

"So we still need the bees and the other insects to come along and pollinate them".

They suggested overhauling existing agricultural methods, "in particular a serious reduction in pesticide usage and its substitution with more sustainable, ecologically-based practices". Lepidoptera, the order of insects that includes butterflies, which are often the canary in the coalmine for ecosystem problems, have declined by 53 percent.

Insects play a profoundly important role in Earth's ecosystems.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.