“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades. The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least,” write the authors of “Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers” by Sánchez-Bayo and Kris A.G.Wyckhuys in the journal Biological Conservation.
The report analyzed the work of the 73 best studies on insect decline.
Findings of the analysis include:
- Annual 2.5 percent loss of the total mass of insects over the last 25-30 years.
- Honeybee colonies in the U.S. in 1947 were approximately 6 million. Since then, over half have been lost.
- A 27-yearlong study of Germany’s protected areas found a 76 percent decline in flying insect biomass.
- Over a 36-year study of Puerto Rico’s rainforests found a 98 percent decline in ground-foraging and a 78 percent decline in canopy-dwelling arthropods. The study also showed a parallel with the insect decline and the decline of bird, frog and lizard populations as a result of food shortages.
According to a report released by Science and Policy for People and Nature in 2016, a group affiliated with the United Nations, 35 percent of the world’s crop production volume rely on pollinators such as bees, butterflies, wasps and moths, as well as bats, worth a value of $577 billion.
The full report can be found by visiting: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320718313636