There is alarming new evidence that insect populations worldwide are in rapid decline.
As Prof. Dave Goulson of the University of Sussex, a co-author of a new insect study, put it, we are “on course for ecological Armageddon” because “if we lose the insects, then everything is going to collapse.”
The study, which tracked flying insects collected in nature preserves across Germany, found that in just 25 years, the total biomass of these insects declined by an astonishing 76 percent. The reasons for the decline are not entirely clear — and only flying insects were collected, so the fate of crawling insects, for example, is not known — but the scientists suspect two main culprits: the use of pesticides and a lack of habitat in surrounding farmland.
This isn’t the first study to indicate that insects are in trouble. The Zoological Society of London warned five years ago that many insect populations worldwide were declining, and a 2014 study published in Science magazine documented a steep drop in insect and other invertebrate life worldwide, warning that such “declines will cascade onto ecosystem functioning and human well-being.”
Learn more: Insect Armageddon
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