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techkenyot.com April 18, 2019


Insects Are Dying Off at an Alarming Rate

13 February 2019, 04:32 | Glen Norman

Insects Are Dying Off at an Alarming Rate

An Indian farm worker sprays pesticide on a paddy crop near Jalandhar. Pesticide use is a major contributing factor to plummeting insect numbers a recent study has found

According to The Guardian, insects overall are decreasing in population by 2.5 percent a year, which means they could completely disappear within 100 years.

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

Forty per cent of insect species are suffering dramatic declines in their populations that could lead to extinction, a review of global insect numbers has found.

"Because insects constitute the world's most abundant and (species-diverse) animal group and provide critical services within ecosystems, such events can not be ignored and should prompt decisive action to avert a catastrophic collapse of nature's ecosystems", they wrote.

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Review author Francisco Sanchez-Bayo told The Guardian that if insect species loss can not be halted, it will also have catastrophic consequences for the survival of mankind.

Published in the journal Biological Conservation, it reviews 73 existing studies from around the world published over the past 13 years. The loss of any large insect population will throw an ecosystem into disarray, ultimately affecting every other species, including apex predators like humans. The Huffington Post noted that many insects, including native bees, butterflies, beetles, moths, and aquatic insects are bugs that might die within the next century.

We learned that more than 40% of the species of insects are declining and a third is already endangered.

They maintain soil structure and fertility, pollinate plants and control insect and plant pests. "It is very rapid", he went on to say, "in 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none".

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"Second is the increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds".

"There is not a single cause, but the evidence is clear, to halt this crisis we must urgently reverse habitat fragmentation, prevent and mitigate climate change, clean up polluted waters and replace pesticide dependency with more sustainable, ecologically-sensitive farming". Of the insects that remain, 41pc are in decline.

Insects are also being hit by biological factors, such as pathogens and introduced species, and by climate change, where rising temperatures could affect the range of places where they can live.

Professor Goulson encouraged people to make more insect-friendly gardens and to stop using pesticides and buy organic food.

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