Insects are dying at a very high rate, according to scientists. Our ecosystems are becoming more unbalanced, and our planet’s biodiversity is declining at a fast pace.
Immediate action must be taken to set the unfortunate insect species on a path to recovery. 75 experts writing in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution have come up with steps to prevent or slow down the extinction of the insects. More studies have to be conducted on this subject, but until more findings are being discovered, there are a few short-term measures that we need to follow.
Reducing the use of pesticides and having a diversity of farmlands could be the step to help these poor small creatures.
“We reap what we sow,” said Jeff Harvey, an ecologist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and lead author of the roadmap. “It’s a no-brainer that decline of insects will affect other species in the food chain… We can’t just put little bandages on this.”
The Insect Apocalypse
Last year, a global review raised awareness regarding the future of insect species. The survey showed that 40% of insect species could cease to exist after a few decades. However, experts stepped in to contradict the risk of extinction.
“Very little data is available for most species in most countries, so it’s simply untrue to claim that there is scientific consensus that insects are in global decline,” said Manu Saunders, an ecologist at the University of New England. “This is a very different issue to insects being under real threat from various drivers, particularly land clearing, pesticides, climate change, etc.”
IPBES, an intergovernmental organization, conducted the most complete research done so far on the insect species. Based on the data collected, 10% of insect species could go extinct in the future.
“I think globally we have quite a decline in species,” said Josef Settele, an ecologist at Germany’s Helmholtz-Center for Environmental Research. “40% might be too high, and 10% in our global assessment is too low, but this is the range.”