Earth is losing 2% bugs every year. Scientists call it 'insect apocalypse'. Photograph:( AFP )
World’s top bug experts believe that the insect kingdom, which is intrinsic to the functioning of our ecosystems is quickly dying
World’s top bug experts believe that the insect kingdom, which is intrinsic to the functioning of our ecosystems is quickly dying.
Referring to what’s happening as “death by a thousand cuts”, bug experts blamed the dwindling populations on climate change, herbicides, invasive species, insecticides, along with changes in how we use land. Owing to such changes, Earth is losing 1 to 2 per cent of insects ever year!
The “insect apocalypse” was highlighted in Monday’s “Proceedings of the National Academics of Science”, which was written by 56 scientists from around the world.
University of Connecticut’s entomologist - David Wagner is the lead author of 12 studies in the “proceedings”, and told The South China Morning Post that the insect kingdom is witnessing “death by a thousand cuts”.
The “insect apocalypse” resembles the pattern of a jigsaw puzzle, whereby scientists are unable to put together all the pieces. Wagner claims that scientists need to ascertain whether loss in insect populations is bigger than how it is with other species.
“There is some reason to worry more because they are the target of attack”, Wagner added.
Another author of the study - May Berenbaum from the University of Illinois told SCMP that loss of insects right now may be compared to climate change 30 years ago - when there were so significant measurements in place to figure out the extent of the damage.
“Insect decline is kind of comparable to climate change 30 years ago because the methods to assess the extent, the rate (of loss) were difficult”, Berenbaum said.
Bugs are intrinsic to the food chain and help in getting rid of waste. Insects also pollinate foods across the world. According to Wagner, insects constitute the “fabric by which Mother Nature and the tree of life are built”.