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Insect decline could cause 'collapse of nature'


Posted on Monday, 11 February, 2019 | Comment icon 14 comments

Things are not looking too good for the future. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Edwin Dalorzo
A new comprehensive review has highlighted a worrying decline in insect populations across the world.
The study, which is based on 73 historical reports, has revealed that the decline in insect populations around the world is happening eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles.

Within the next few decades, as much as one third of all insect species could disappear.

Butterflies, moths, bees, beetles and aquatic insects are thought to be most at risk of going extinct.

"Our work reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40 per cent of the world's insect species over the next few decades," the researchers wrote.

"From our compilation of published scientific reports, we estimate the current proportion of insect species in decline (41 per cent) to be twice as high as that of vertebrates, and the pace of local species extinction (10 per cent) eight times higher, confirming previous findings."

A combination of factors including habitat loss, pollution, global warming and over hunting are believed to be responsible for this decline.

The outlook is worsened by the fact that insects are an important part of the world's ecosystems, meaning that their disappearance will have dire consequences for other species.

"Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades," the researchers wrote.

"The repercussions this will have for the planet's ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least."

Source: News.com.au | Comments (14)

Tags: Insects

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Tatetopa on 11 February, 2019, 18:44
Funny isn't it. We seem to be worried about the the "other" political party or religion or a foreign nation threatening us when it might be insects or a lack of them that might be a bigger worry.
Comment icon #6 Posted by RoofGardener on 11 February, 2019, 19:03
when I was a seedling back in the 1980's, any car journey in the summer would involve hundreds of insects kamikazi'ing themselves on the car windscreen.  Not so any more. I hardly have ANY.  That is a BIG change. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by openozy on 12 February, 2019, 0:43
No use whinging about it, people should have put up with the odd hole in their apple.Suck it up humanity and enjoy the blemish free fruit of our temporary World.
Comment icon #8 Posted by paperdyer on 12 February, 2019, 3:37
I'd hate to see some of those go.  Can we get the common house fly on the list?
Comment icon #9 Posted by AstralHorus on 13 February, 2019, 11:06
There’s so much wrong with this statement, at the least there won’t be any apples to eat with a major collapse of such a vital role in the eco system.
Comment icon #10 Posted by openozy on 13 February, 2019, 12:39
I'm thinking they will find other ways to pollinate plants,but as I said its temporary.Can't see anything wrong with the statement.Without insects every living thing is doomed.
Comment icon #11 Posted by toast on 13 February, 2019, 12:49
Every summer I sow meadow flowers on my balcony to feed and entertain the bumblebees and up until 2017 there was always a lot of traffic here, but in 2018 almost 5% of it. Thats not good.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Doug1o29 on 13 February, 2019, 14:47
The first thing we need to do is figure out exactly what is happening.  It won't do any good to rush right out and do the wrong thing.  We could make the situation worse, or more likely, waste a lot of time and money on ineffective actions. Doug
Comment icon #13 Posted by lightly on 13 February, 2019, 22:08
It's all connected.  It is worrisome.     As a young bug, on a lake in the forest, I remember a super abundance of all sorts of wildlife....now that same area is deathly quiet in comparison.      It's sad.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Raptor Witness on 15 February, 2019, 13:04
The bugs are in peril, I suspect due in part, to chlorine use by humans. I have no proof, just a suspicion from my own research. However, they are far more adaptable than us, so I’m not worried about them. It is we who are in very real danger of a collapse.


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