Global insect decline may see 'plague of pests' like flies and cockroaches

Scientists Predict'Catastrophic Consequences for Mankind as Insects Die OutCC0

A lot of people don't necessarily appreciate insects, mosquitoes, bugs and bees, especially if they are allergic to bites or stings.

A third of the total world's insects are endangered, the report found, warning that at their current pace of extinction, they might disappear completely in 100 years. "If insect species losses can not be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet's ecosystems and for the survival of mankind".

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. "The repercussions this will have for the planet's ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least, as insects are at the structural and functional base of numerous world's ecosystems since their rise at the end of the Devonian period, nearly 400 million years ago". Meanwhile, when asked about the main cause of the decline, Sánchez-Bayo believes it's due to agricultural intensification, specifically in relation to insecticides that have been introduced in the last 20 years.

According to the study's authors, insects have served as the "structural and functional base of numerous world's ecosystems since their rise. nearly 400 million years ago".

Insects are also the world's top pollinators - 75 per cent of 115 top global food crops depend on animal pollination, including cocoa, coffee, almonds and cherries.


Matt Shardlow, chief executive of wildlife charity Buglife, said: "It's not just about bees, or even about pollination and feeding ourselves, the declines also include dung beetles that recycle waste and insects like dragonflies that start life in rivers and ponds". "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".

A leading Norfolk farming conservationist said farmers were already at the forefront of finding ways to reverse the decline of insects and wildlife - but all parts of society needed to work together to find solutions rather than "naming and shaming" individual sectors.

"Second is the increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds". Drastically reduce pesticide use and redesign agricultural systems to make them more insect-friendly.

While the focus in the past has been on the decline in vertebrate animal biodiversity, this study stressed the importance of insect life on interconnected ecosystems and the food chain. Also, climate change plays an important role.

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