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A new scientific study has shown that the insect populations are declining dramatically due to many factors such as monoculture farming and the loss of habitat. The worst thing of all is that most people don’t understand the important role the insects play in our ecosystem. So the question is – should we be worried about what’s happening to the insects?
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The cause and evidence of insect decline
The study conducted in Germany showed that in past 27 years, flying insect populations have declined by more than 75%! By measuring insects biomass (the weight of the insect catch) from each of the traps (Malaise traps, a kind of net that catches insects) set up in 63 nature protection areas in this country, researchers documented the alarming drop in insects numbers. The fact that the study recorded the declines in protected areas means that for urban or agricultural areas the numbers are even higher.
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We needed the warning
The case of German study was the warning we needed. After identifying the problem of declining number of insects, the obvious next step is finding a solution, but it has to be done quickly since the consequences are going to be severe. Insects are very important for our food web, not only because they pollinate our food, but also because some insects like ladybugs help keep pests in check and therefore in a way take care of our crops.
Also, other insect-eating creatures like bats are affected. They are as well affected by the declining of insect populations. All of these serious disbalances in our ecosystem aren’t good. According to a study conducted in 2016, bats are also on a decline since these insectivores don’t have enough food. Along with bats, many bird species rely on insects as food, almost 60% of all birds out there and unsurprisingly, there are almost 40% fewer birds species now than there were 40 years ago.
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Pests need to be controlled
Education is the solution
Tanya Latti, a researcher and a teacher in entomology at Sydney University’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences says: “The first step is acknowledging that we have a problem, and working to correct that – how do we design our agriculture to encourage insects? It could be something as simple as growing wildflowers along the edges of fields.”
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