Scientists Predict 'Catastrophic Consequences' for Mankind as Insects Die Out

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Sánchez-Bayo told the Guardian: "It is very rapid".

The new study shows 41 percent of insect species have seen steep declines in the past decade, with similar drops forecast for the near future. The analysis, which looked at 73 studies that assess insect decline, found that butterflies and moths are the worst hit by the trend.

They do everything from providing food for small animals, pollinating 75 percent of the world's crops and replenishing soil, to limiting pest numbers.

Already, more than 40pc of insect species are experiencing a notable decline, with a further third being categorised as endangered.

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A new study warns that insect populations around the world are falling dramatically.

The analysis, the primary global assessment of its type, checked out 73 historic reviews on insect declines around the globe and located that the whole mass of all bugs on the planets is lowering by 2.5% per year.

Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades.

"There is not a single cause, but the evidence is clear, to halt this crisis we must urgently reverse habitat fragmentation, prevent and mitigate climate change, clean up polluted waters and replace pesticide dependency with more sustainable, ecologically-sensitive farming".

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While the focus in the past has been on the decline in vertebrate animal biodiversity, this study stressed the importance of insect life on interconnected ecosystems and the food chain. Meanwhile, when asked about the main cause of the decline, Sánchez-Bayo believes it's due to agricultural intensification, specifically in relation to insecticides that have been introduced in the last 20 years.

But where many die, others are expected to thrive, as "plagues of pests" may arise out of the loss of butterflies, bees, and dung beetles. While climate change is making the tropics much hotter and pushing insects to extinction, warming in more temperate zones are making theses areas more hospitable for certain insect species, including flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches and agricultural pests. Pollution, particularly the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, is also a major contributor to the dwindling number of insects around the world.

He added that while the overall message was alarming, there were things that people could do, such as making their gardens more insect friendly, not using pesticides and buying organic food. However, the lack of bugs is a awful menace - one that would set off a "catastrophic collapse of Earth's ecosystems", brand new research warns.

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