A collection of new scientific articles, created by 56 experts from around the world, reiterates growing concerns about reducing bugs and calls on people and governments to take urgent action to address the biodiversity crisis called the “insect apocalypse”.
“The global decline of insects in the special characteristics of the Anthropocene”, which includes the introduction and 11 documents, was published on Monday in Notices of the National Academies of Sciences along with related news. “Nature is under siege,”
The set of studies – the result of a symposium in St. Louis – comes as the volume of insect reduction research has increased in recent years, leading to large estimates published in February 2019 and April 2020, as well as a roadmap, published last January by 73 scientists detailing how to fight the Bug Bug.
As the new package and chart below explain, the human stressors that experts attribute to error reduction include agricultural practices; chemical, light and sound pollution; invasive species; land use changes; nitrification; pesticides; and urbanization.
Highlighting the effects of such declines, University of Connecticut entomologist David Wagner, lead author of the package, told Associated Press that insects “are absolutely the fabric from which mother nature and the tree of life are made.”
According to Wagner, many insect populations are declining by about 1-2% per year. As he put it The guardian: “You lose 10-20% of your animals in a decade and that’s just scary. You tear the tapestry of life.”
Although most of the causes of the downturns are well known, “there is a really big uncertainty and that is climate change – that’s what really scares me the most,” he said, warning that the crisis could cause “rapid disappearance, which we have not seen before. “
“To mitigate the effects of the sixth mass extinction event we have caused, the following will be needed: a stable (and almost certainly lower) human population, sustainable levels of consumption and social justice” https://t.co/ m3q4tLUxz4
– Damian Carrington (@dpcarrington) January 11, 2021
Roel van Klink of the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research told The guardian that “the most important thing we learn [from these new studies] is the complexity behind reducing insects. No quick fix will solve this problem. “
“There are certainly places where the abundance of insects is declining sharply, but not everywhere,” he said. “It’s a cause for hope because it can help us figure out what we can do to help them. They can bounce back very quickly when conditions improve.”
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