Friday, 27 October 2017

Scientists warn of 'ecological Armageddon' after study shows flying insect numbers plummeting 75%


Destruction of wild areas for agriculture and use of pesticides considered likely factors

The Independent Online

The number of flying insects has plummeted by 75 per cent in the last 25 years, according to a study that suggests we are approaching an “ecological Armageddon”. 

The implications for humanity are profound, with insects providing an essential role for life on earth as pollinators of plants and prey for larger animals.  

Although it was known species such as bees and butterflies were declining, scientists were left shocked by the drop in numbers across nature reserves in Germany.

While no single cause was identified, the widespread destruction of wild areas for agriculture and the use of pesticides are considered likely factors. Climate changewas also cited as playing a potential role. 

Dave Goulson, professor of life sciences at the University of Sussex and the study’s co-author, said: “Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth but there has been some kind of horrific decline.

“We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.”


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