Cornucopia’s Take: Insect mass is declining by 2.5% annually. They pollinate plants, recycle waste, and provide food for many species, and humans cannot live without their various ecosystem services. More insects can be observed on organic farms than conventional or GMO farms. Deforestation, pesticide use, and other changes to ecosystems are thought to be major contributors to the catastrophic species loss.
Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’
by Damian Carrington
Exclusive: Insects could vanish within a century at current rate of decline, says global review
The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.
More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.
The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. They are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients. Read Full Article »