Insect Populations Reach Alarming Record Low
A new scientific study revealed an alarming decline in insect population, triggering fear of ecological Armageddon.
According to a study Researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands and the Entomological Society Krefeld in Germany, more than 75 percent of the insect population in Germany has declined in the last two decades.
The study says, “The flying insect community as a whole… has been decimated over the last few decades.”
The surprising discovery was confirmed by Dave Goulson, one of the lead researchers for the study.
Goulson said, “We face an ecological Armageddon. It sounds melodramatic but it’s true. We need to do something and it’s urgent, it’s not something we can ponder for a few more years.”
This key finding was based on the study conducted at German nature reserves over the duration of 27 years of study.
Insects play an important role in the world’s ecosystem. Scientists assert the insect’s role in biodiversity should not be underestimated. They serve a function as pollinators of many cultivated plants, as natural enemies of harmful species, or as producers of valuable materials such as honey and silk.
Aside from that, insects make up around 70% of all animal species. This dramatic decline signals a ravaging impact on humankind. The scientists also believe that the recent dramatic decline could have far-reaching consequences for the world’s crop production and natural ecosystems.
The researchers said, “Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services.”
The researchers said there are several factors that could have contributed to the population decline, including climate change, pesticides, and agricultural practices.
But Goulson asserted, that all these factors have one thing in common – they’re all man-made.
Goulson said he hopes the study’s findings will serve as a wake up call and that changes will be implemented – and quickly – before it’s too late.
“Insects are food for most birds and fish, and bats, they’re kind of central to everything. This isn’t something that only matters to academics in labs or butterfly collectors.”
Latty says, “The first step is acknowledging that we have a problem, and working to correct that – how do we design our agriculture to encourage insects? It could be something as simple as growing wildflowers along the edges of fields.”