Insect fauna declines worldwide

A recent study has suggested the worldwide decline of Insect fauna, which could lead to the collapse of natural ecosystems on the planet.

Insect fauna declines worldwide

“Our work reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40 percent of the world’s insect species over the next few decades,” according to the study published in the latest issue of Biological Conservation.

Researchers reviewed 73 historical reports of insect declines in the world. Systematic analysis showed the total mass of insects has fallen by 2.5 percent annually over the last 25 to 30 years.

“In terrestrial ecosystems, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and dung beetles appear to be the taxa most affected, whereas four major aquatic taxa (Odonata, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Ephemeroptera) have already lost a considerable proportion of species,” the report said.

Scientists warned that the study could be the latest proof of the start of a sixth mass extinction on the Earth, considering the essential role of insects in the proper functioning of ecosystems.

Habitat loss caused by intensive agriculture is the main reason for the decline, while the study also mentioned pesticide pollution and climate change as additional causes.

Researchers called on the global community to urgently change to sustainable agricultural practices and clean up polluted environments.