Kasey Dresser| April 1, 2019
This weeks segment is not an April fools joke; bugs could disappear within the next century.
At their current extinction rate, insects could completely disappear within a century.
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
Insects are disappearing eight times faster than mammals, reptiles, and birds. One in three species is endangered, and the world’s total mass of insects has been dropping 2.5 percent annually, according to a new scientific review.
It’s well known that losing bees will reduce pollination for some of our favorite fruits and nuts, but devastated insect populations will leave other critters hungry as well. Insectivores and their predators will starve if insects disappear.
Researchers from the University of Sydney and the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences analyzed 73 previous studies to assess the state of global insect populations and determine the cause of decline.
They believe intensive agriculture is the main driver. Wildland is increasingly converted to farmland, and new pesticides like neonicotinoids seem to “sterilize” the soil, killing larvae before they can move to safety, one researcher told the Guardian News.
For more information, visit iowa-environmental-focus-dot-org.
From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Sara E. Mason.