Freefalling insect numbers “threaten the collapse of nature”
At the current rate of decline, insects could completely vanish within a century, according to global review.
Earth’s insects are plummeting towards extinction, foreboding a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems,” warns the first global scientific review.
The analysis discovered that over 40% of insect species are in decline, and more than 1/3 are endangered. The rate of extinction in insects is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds, and reptiles. According to the best data available, the collective mass of insects is dropping by a staggering 2.5% every year – suggesting that insect life could be wiped out within a century.
Insects outnumber humans 17 times and are the most abundant and varied organisms on Earth. They are “essential” life support for all ecosystems and are a food source for larger organisms, vital pollinators and recyclers of nutrients. Put simply, without insects, life on Earth will undoubtedly suffer.
We have already witnessed recent collapses of insect populations in Germany and Puerto Rico (where the insect population has fallen by 98% in 35 years) – although needless to say, this is a global crisis that transcends boarders and current environmental policies.
The report continues to say,
“The [insect] trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting [on] life forms on our planet.”
“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” they write. “The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.”
The report undeniably concludes that anthropogenic activity is responsible for the phenomenal free-fall of the planet’s insect populations, and unless we seriously change our ways, insects won’t be the only beings facing extinction.
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