Population Crashes: Not Just Bees Anymore

You may not like insects, but you need them. The majority of animals are insects, and without them, ecology collapses. Terrestrial vertebrate populations have dropped by about one third during the 20th century. Over half of amphibians may be in danger of extinction. We could lose the coral reefs by the middle of the 21st century and with them, much of our ocean’s biodiversity.

Insects, however, seldom get a mention when it comes to mass extinctions. We are loosing insect species abundance. Many formerly abundant insects are now in decline, even in areas that have reduced pesticide use.

Many insects are important as pollinators, not just bees. Moths and beetles are also critical for the health of our plants. Insects control weeds, and predators eat the ones that eat our crops. Insects are critical in decomposition, soil formation, and the health of water ways.

Data suggests that we are now losing insect abundance rapidly, with falls as high as 1-2% per year in some areas (10% or more per decade).

Some insects are doing better. As climates changes, some are expanding their ranges.

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