Insects May Not Be Doomed… If We Leave Them Be

A mass extinction is under way but many people remain oblivious to it. A reason is that it involves insects, which often escape our attention except when they come bothering us.

Apart from honeybees and pretty butterflies, insects tend to be unloved creatures, yet we should be paying them far more heed as their situation is rather dire across Europe, the United States and farther afield. In the United Kingdom, for instance, a third of 353 species recently surveyed, including wild bees and hoverflies, are found to have declined across their ranges. Some insect populations have plummeted so precipitously that they are at risk of going extinct entirely in England, Scotland and Wales.

Numerous other studies have painted similarly bleak pictures. In fact, experts have warned of an unfolding “insect apocalypse.” Bees and bumblebees have been among insects especially hard hit by manmade environmental stressors, including climate change and the widespread use of pesticides. The mass death of insects should be of grave environmental concern because the disappearance of creepy-crawlies will have knock-on effects for entire ecosystems: plants will lose their pollinators and various animals like birds will lose their main sources of food. Read more…

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