Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Massive insect decline could have 'catastrophic' impact, study says

Broadacre cropland has removed crucial habitat for insects and other animals TAMARA VONINSKI FAIRFAX MEDIABroadacre cropland has removed crucial habitat for insects and other animals
Frank Williams | 14 February, 2019, 12:14

We also learned that the rate of extinction is not eight times faster than the rate of extinction of mammals, reptiles, and birds.

Insects are considered vital to many of nature's ecosystems for the productive role they play, particularly in controlling populations of other organisms.

The study, to be published in the journal Biological Conservation, pulled together data from more than 70 datasets from across the globe, some dating back more than a century.

The biggest driver in insect declines is the loss of habitat and conversion of land to intensive farming and urban areas, followed by pollution, mainly by chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

A new study warns that insect populations around the world are falling dramatically.

Almost half of the world's insect species are at risk of extinction, threatening the collapse of nature.

The analysis, the primary global 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. He said: 'It is very rapid.

News Sergio Ramos, 600 games for Real Madrid
It's disappointing to give it away in the last few minutes. "Sometimes it has been harmful to us, and today it ruled out an important goal".

"In 10 years, you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left, and in 100 years you will have none", Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, one of the study's co-authors, told The Guardian.

Professor Goulson encouraged people to make more insect-friendly gardens and to stop using pesticides and buy organic food. From blood-filled mosquitos sustaining birds to dung beetles recycling waste into plant nutrients, the humble six-legged creatures' survival adaptions have allowed them to evolve and flourish until now.

Indeed, "ecosystem services provided by wild insects have been estimated at $57 billion annually in the US", according to an earlier study.

While some of our most important insect species are in retreat, the review also finds that a small number of species are likely to be able to adapt to changing conditions and do well. Of the insects that remain, 41pc are in decline. Further Reading:Climate change cited in dwindling of Puerto Rico insects Besides being a food source for birds and many bats and small animals, insects pollinate over 75 percent of our food crops, help in replenishing the soil and keep other insects in check.

"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".

"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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