Our declining insect population


common female blue butterfly
Insects play a vital role in our ecosystem | Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu  | February 12, 2019

With the biomass of insects declining, a crises like this could spell disaster for the environment.

Researcher Francisco Sanchez-Bayo  published a paper through the Biological Conservation Journal estimating a 40% decrease in insects within the century if the population doesn’t stop falling at its current rate of 2.5% per year.

Francisco reminds us that “bugs”–which make up 70% of the animal kingdom–are essential to our ecosystems, helping pollinate plants and regulate other, more harmful species of insects. Insects also serve as food for a large percentage of the bird population, and some horrofic cases of birds eating each other to survive when faced with a lack of insect food have been reported.

A combination of factors, including destruction of habitat and pollution from commercial fertilizers and pesticides are some of the main causes behind insects’ steady decline, though these are not easy problems to fix without good alternatives on hand.

Ultimately, more sustainable agricultural practices will give us a foothold with this problem, and can help us bring out bug population back where it belongs.

 

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