The world’s vital insect industry is under “death by a thousand cuts,” said the world’s biggest belly experts. Climate change, insecticides, herbicides, light pollution, invasive species and changes in agriculture and land use are likely to cause the Earth to lose 1% to 2% of its insects each year, said University of Connecticut entomologist David Wagner, lead author of the specialty package. of 12 studies in Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences written by 56 researchers from around the world.
The problem, sometimes called the insect apocalypse, is like a jigsaw puzzle. And scientists say they still do not have all the pieces, so they have trouble understanding its enormity and complexity and getting the world to notice and do something.
Wagner said researchers need to find out if the number of insect losses is greater than with other species. “There̵
Co-author and University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum, a National Medal of Science winner, said, “Insect decline is comparable to climate change 30 years ago because the methods of assessing the extent, the rate (loss) were difficult.”
Making things worse is that in many cases, people hate bugs even though they pollinate the world’s foods, are essential to the food chain and get rid of waste, she said.
Insects “are definitely the substance with which Mother Nature and the tree of life are built,” Wagner said.
Two celebrities –and – best illustrates insect problems and decline, he said. Honeybees have been in dramatic decline due to disease, parasites, insecticides, herbicides and lack of food.
Climate change-driven drier weather in the U.S. West means less milk grass for butterflies to eat, Wagner said. And changes in American agriculture are removing the weeds and flowers they need for nectar.
“We are creating a huge biological desert apart from soybeans and corn in a huge area in the Midwest,” he said.
Last month,Tuesday that the monarch bird was a “candidate” for federal designation as an endangered species – but will not receive the designation for several years as there are other priorities.
The number of honey bees has fallen from the “dangerously low” levels of less than 30,000 monarchs in the last two years, the zoo said. “The incredible migration of Western monarchs is a unique but fragile piece of North America’s natural history, and it’s on the verge of collapse,” said Paige Howorth, director of invertebrate care and conservation at San Diego Zoo Global.
Monday’s scientific articles do not contain new data, but still show a large but incomplete picture of a problem that is beginning to gain attention. Researchers have identified 1 million insect species, while probably 4 million more are yet to be discovered, Berenbaum said.
University of Delaware entomologist Doug Tallamy, who was not part of the study, said they highlight how the world has “spent the last 30 years spending billions of dollars on finding new ways to kill insects and just ear that working to preserve them. “
“The good news is, with the exception of climate change, individuals can do much to reverse insect decline,” Tallamy said in an email. “This is a global problem with a grassroots solution.”
Sophie Lewis contributed to this report.