Insects could be wiped out within a century - scientists

14 February, 2019, 12:16 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Urban cockroaches might do well amid a collapse of insect populations globally

They are a food source for many animals, are critical pollinators and recycle nutrients back into the soil.

The general insect decline is being caused by intensive agriculture, pesticides and climate change.

He also stressed that the review's unusually strong language aims to "really wake people up", adding that "when you consider 80 per cent of biomass of insects has disappeared in 25-30 years, it is a big concern".

The analysis, the primary worldwide assessment of its type, checked out 73 historic reviews on insect declines around the globe and located that the whole mass of all bugs on the planets is lowering by 2.5% per year.

The paper reviewed 73 existing studies published around the world in the past 13 years and concluded that one-third of insect species are "endangered", while 40 percent could be extinct within decades.

Said said Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, at the University of Sydney, Australia, who co-wrote the review, to The Guardian: "It is very rapid".

The researchers also note this is the first study of its kind to provide a global picture of insect decline. "The repercussions this will have for the planet's ecosystems are catastrophic, to say the least".

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The study highlights the recent massive decline in Puerto Rican tropical forests and the and drop in flying insects in Germany.

"There are hardly any insects left-that's the number one problem", Vincent Bretagnolle, an ecologist at French National Centre for Scientific Research says. They found that there are 41% of insects that are in decline, while 31% of insect species have encountered threatening declination, according to the numbers set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

"It is becoming increasingly obvious our planet's ecology is breaking and there is a need for an intense and global effort to halt and reverse these terrible trends - allowing the slow eradication of insect life to continue is not a rational option". However, insects are the most varied creatures we have, and they outweigh humanity by 17 times.

The report highlights the ongoing loss of biodiversity as environmental degradation, pollution, over hunting, habitat loss and climate change deplete animal populations to worrying levels.

"It's not just about bees, or even about pollination and feeding ourselves - the declines also include dung beetles that recycle waste and insects like dragonflies that start life in rivers and ponds", said Matt Shardlow from United Kingdom campaigners Buglife.

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

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