Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Insects could be extinct within a century, scientists say

Insects could be extinct within a century, scientists say

Meanwhile, the planet is said to be undergoing its sixth mass extinction due to the "biological annihilation" of wildlife in recent decades, while the insect population collapses that have already been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico are now thought to be related to a crisis that's global. One-third of insect species are classed as Endangered.

Are insects really taking their path to extinction?

Ultimately, if huge numbers of insects disappear, they will be replaced but it will take a long, long time. The Huffington Post noted that many insects, including native bees, butterflies, beetles, moths, and aquatic insects are bugs that might die within the next century.

Reports of insect decline are not new: researchers have been warning of the phenomenon and its impact for years.

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Brian Resnick at Vox reports that the individual numbers are sobering. Of the insects that remain, 41pc are in decline.

One-in-six species of bees have gone regionally extinct somewhere in the world. And as Business Insidernoted, the report estimates that the insects are declining eight times as fast as mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Additionally, the authors of the study called this "the largest extinction event on Earth since the late Permian and Cretaceous periods", as per Phys.org. "If we don't have insects as moderators of other pest populations, we have insect populations that flare up and ruin crops and make them hard to grow". But birds, lizards, bats and plants aren't the only species that will suffer if insects continue to decline. Deforestation, agricultural expansion and human sprawl top the list. Pollution, particularly the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, is also a major contributor to the dwindling number of insects around the world.

"It is becoming increasingly obvious our planet's ecology is breaking and there is a need for an intense and global effort to halt and reverse these awful trends".

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"The chief driver of this catastrophe is unchecked human greed".

Perhaps counterintuitively, the report states that before the insect apocalypse is complete, some areas may see insects flourish.

The projections are based on the downward trajectory of the world's insect mass, which is thought to be falling by 2.5% per year. The solutions sound familiar for anyone following the various environmental catastrophes unfolding across the globe.

Professor Goulson encouraged people to make more insect-friendly gardens and to stop using pesticides and buy organic food.

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