World insect population at risk of extinction
More than 40 percent of all insect species are threatened with extinction, scientists warn. The extinction rate of insects is eight times faster than that of mammals or reptiles. If the trend continues, insects could disappear within a century
More than 40 percent could become extinct in the next few decades. of all speciesoin insectsow. Such results come from the analysis of 73 reportow regarding the condition of insectsow. These studies have been conducted on majoroin Europe and America PoNORTH. A review indicates that the rate of extinction of the insectow is eight times faster than that of a mammalow, birdow and gadow.
Insects make up the majority of creatures living on land and provide key benefits to many other species, including humans. They play a key role in the food chain of many animals. They pollinate about 75 percent of. crops worldwide and process nutrients in the environment.
The analysis was detailedoThe effects of this on the ecosystem are described in detail in the magazine „Biological Conservation”.
Total mass of insectsow on Earth is declining by an average of 2.5 percent. annually. The data suggest that if this rate continues, insects could disappear within a century. If they leave, they will also take other animals with them, and this will be a serious problem for the world.
Scientists last year found that our planet has entered a shoste mass extinction of speciesow. Many species have disappeared in recent decadesow. The extinction of large animals is easier to study and hard to miss, but in the case of insectsow is different. Primarily because these are small creatures. They are the most rodiverse and numerous creatures on Earth and are essential to the proper functioning of all ecosystemsow.
„Our work reveals a disturbing trend thatory could lead to the extinction of 40 percent of the world’s speciesoin insectsoin the next few decades” – write the authors of the study. GloThe main reason for this is habitat loss due to increasingly intensive agricultural practices, including heavy use of pesticidesow. But urbanization and climate change are roAlso important factors.
„If we do not change our waysoin food production, insects as a whole face extinction within a few decades. The consequences of this for the ecosystemoin the planet will be at least catastrophic" – can be read in the publication.
– A loss of 2.5 percent. biomass insectow per year over the past 25-30 years is shocking,” said Francisco Sánchez-Bayo Bayo one of the authors of theoin analysis from the University of Sydney in an interview with the „The Guardian”. – It is very fast. In 10 years there will be a quarter fewer insectsow, in 50 years there will be only half left, and in 100 there will be none in ogole – added.
Insects are a dietary staple for many species ofoin birdow, reptileow, amphibianow and fish. If they run out of food, they will die. Such effects have already been observed in Puerto Rico, where recent studies have shown a decline in insectoin terrestrial by 98 percent. Within 35 years.
According to the analysis, butterflies are most at risk. The number of once widely distributed species ofoin butterflies decreased by 58 percent. on agricultural land in the UK between 2000 and 2009. Overall, the Islands have seen the greatest decline in insect numbersoin ogol, although this is probably due to more intensive surveying than in most other places.
The same is true for bees. The number of bee coloniesoThe total number of honey in the U.S. was 6 millionoin 1947, but since then 3.5 million of them have been lost. Only half of the speciesoin bumblebees present in Oklahoma in 1949 was observed in 2013.
According to the publication, a similar fate awaits many speciesoin beetles or mrowek. The authors also point out gaps in knowledge about many species ofoIn flies, aphids, crickets and other insectoIn and there is no causeow believe they are doing better.
– HeadoThe main reason for the decline in the number of insectsow is the intensification of agriculture. This means the elimination of trees and shrubsow, whichore normally surrounded by fields, which in turn are treated with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides – said Sánchez-Bayo. He pointed out that artificial fertilizers and pesticides sterilize the soil. In German nature reserves near pol of crops has been recorded at 75 percent. decline in the number of insectsow.
The scientist added that the beginning of the insect’s extinctionow began at the dawn of the 20th century, but accelerated significantly in the 1950s. i 60. and achieved „alarming proportions” over the past twooch decades. – Intensive agriculture on an industrial scale kills ecosystems – emphasized Sánchez-Bayo.
Other scientists not involved in the study agree with the conclusions of the analysis. – All the evidence points in the same direction,” said Prof. Dave Goulson of the University of Sussex in the UK. – This should cause great concernoj in all of us, as insects are the heart of any food web, pollinating most species ofoin plants, keep the soil healthy, process nutrients or control pests. You can love them or hate them, but we humans cannot survive without insectsoin – he pointed out.
In a similar vein, Matt Shardlow of the Buglife organization said the. – It is very sobering to see a collection ofor evidenceow evidence of the deplorable state of insect populationsoin the world. It is increasingly clear that the planet’s ecology is collapsing and there is a need for an intensive and global effort to halt and reverse theocut these terrible tendencies,” he assessed.