Insect populations around the world are plunging at frightening rates. The climate crisis is the biggest factor, according to the authors of twelve new studies published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and reported in the Guardian.
Insects are the most varied and abundant species, outweighing humans by 17 times. They pollinate plants and provide food for other creatures.
Nature is under seige [and] most biologists agree that the world has entered its sixth mass extinction event. Insects are suffering from ‘death by a thousand cuts’ [and] severe insect declines can potentially have global ecological and economic consequences.Lead Analysis in the package of studies
Professor David Wagner of the University of Connecticut said that the abundance of insect populations is falling by 1-2% a year. “You’re losing 10-20% of your animals over a single decade and that is just absolutely frightening. You’re tearing apart the tapestry of life.” Climate change is the factor that scares him the most.
Declines in insect populations are uneven, and data is not complete, but UK butterfly populations have halved since 1976.
Individuals can protect insects by rewilding their gardens, cutting pesticide use and limiting outdoor lighting.