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Plummeting insect numbers

(94 Posts)
Lisagran Tue 12-Feb-19 07:22:57

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

Anja Tue 12-Feb-19 07:40:52

Lisa I read that too. It is very worrying.

Most don’t realise just what bad news this is for humans.

crystaltipps Tue 12-Feb-19 08:07:25

Yes this is what we and our esteemed politicians should be getting concerned about. I’d like to join an environmental group but not sure what would be the best one. Green peace? Friends of the Earth?

AlieOxon Tue 12-Feb-19 08:34:27

I have found a local group doing some things - look locally and find other people?

New book 'The Uninhabitable Earth' just out

BBC news today

Culag Tue 12-Feb-19 08:44:29

After long car journeys in the 50/60s, I remember my father’s windscreen would be plastered with dead insect bodies. It doesn’t happen these days. We are ruining out planet!

AlieOxon Tue 12-Feb-19 08:54:16

Yes, we are.
And the worst thing is that we all will need to pull together to avert this, and we aren't.

Lisagran Tue 12-Feb-19 09:00:24

Many articles about this have mentioned the sad truth that most people’s reaction initially is “Less flies?” “Great, I hate them”. shock

AlieOxon Tue 12-Feb-19 09:21:13

And it's not just flies. I mean, that is really important, but only part of the problems.

Look at trump recently with the US having a freezing time and he says 'Come back global warming.'

Lisagran Tue 12-Feb-19 09:23:44

It’s the holistic interdependence of all species that people are ignoring at their (their grandchildren’s) peril....

Culag Tue 12-Feb-19 09:56:04

I think the media is beginning to give environmental problems more attention at last which is good. It has been covered by The Today programme quite a bit recently, and there is to be a programme on global population with Chris Packham soon. All part of the problem which deserves action on.

AlieOxon Tue 12-Feb-19 10:03:35

About time global population - which has been the elephant in the room - was brought to the fore.....

Craftycat Tue 12-Feb-19 10:14:08

I heard this too- how come they are all congregating in my garden eating all my plants every summer!

Last year we had loads of bluebottles indoors too.

I do understand the problem though so will try & keep insecticides to a minimum but I am not prepared to have all my flowers eaten.

Grammaretto Tue 12-Feb-19 10:24:03

Some of my braver younger friends are allying with the international campaign group Extinction Rebellion. XR
They reflect our growing impatience at the slow response of nations.

EllenT Tue 12-Feb-19 10:25:02

Indeed all very troubling since insects underpin the entire ecosystem. And agree that global population expansion drives so many of these potentially devastating environmental phenomena.

Grammaretto Tue 12-Feb-19 10:32:10

craftycat I have the moths in my woollies so sympathise but I'd rather have life than no life even with minor irritations and there are non-poisonous ways like companion planting which really work. Marigolds attract the insects away from tomatoes etc. You would have no flowers if there were no insects.

SillyNanny321 Tue 12-Feb-19 10:33:04

Will not be too long before the planet kicks us off for the way it is being treated by mankind! Mass extinction has happened regularly throughout the history of earth & is well on the way to happening again. Probably deservedly so with the way we treat our earth!

LJP1 Tue 12-Feb-19 10:33:35

Craftycat. Feed the birds and entice the tits particularly, into your garden, Start now and top up daily so they can recognise a reliable source of food and nest nearby - in your hedge if you have a reasonably thick one or you could put up nest boxes. They sit on shrubs & tall stems to wait their turn at the feeders and collect any insects as they wait.

We have never had to use insecticides & in the last half century, only see two small colonies of blackfly on the many rows of broad beans and they disappeared in a few days - the tits enjoyed them. Raspberries & blackberries are also clean.

As we have a spindle berry tree we should be plagued with blackfly as they overwinter there.

Try bird feeding and enjoy the pleasure they bring as well as the perfect blooms you crave.

Good luck!

Lisagran Tue 12-Feb-19 10:36:50

Excellent advice LJP1

Anniet Tue 12-Feb-19 10:44:17

My husband writes about the natural world and has done for the past 40 years. Lots of positive things are happening, but a great many more negative things - the decline in insects being one of many problems looming large for our children and grandchildren. The destruction of our natural world by agriculture, big business etc. etc. will be the death of us if we don't do something to stop it now! Rainforests are being destroyed for logging and to create more land to grow crops - using far too many chemicals. (Trees and plants help to mitigate the problems with pollution.) And this is not taking into account plants found in rainforests that we might use for medicinal purposes if only we are given enough time to discover their useful properties. Forests are being destroyed to grow palm oil (used in soaps, margarine and hundreds of other products - quite a few of them could be produced without the use of palm oil.) And, of course, the decline in the world's insect population, which is headline news at the moment. If we don't have insects to enrich the soil and to pollinate crops what will we have to eat? I don't think we realise just how important insects are in the production of our food. I don't want to sound like a 'tree-hugger' (not that I have anything against them.) But we need to take a positive stand on the way we are mistreating the only planet we have.

Anja Tue 12-Feb-19 10:45:20 those lazy people who just spray everything with insecticide, weed killer, throw down slug pellets.

And the stupid person I saw being interview on the news when talking about the declining bee population who said ‘that’s ok I don’t eat honey’.

madmum38 Tue 12-Feb-19 10:51:22

I was surprised as read the news article on Twitter and was very concerned over it yet most people were laughing and wanted to hurry it up etc. Do these people not realise that all these insects have their own important job to do to help keep this planet going ?

Grammaretto Tue 12-Feb-19 10:53:13

What made me specially sad this week was to hear my 6 yr old DGS saying there wouldn't be any humans in the future. He was quite matter-of- fact about it. I said I hoped he would be around and his children. He then went off to play with his Lego.

ReadyMeals Tue 12-Feb-19 10:54:31

I'm awful - my first thought on hearing that news was "good!"

Anja Tue 12-Feb-19 10:56:23

Readymeals and your second thoughts.......??

CardiffJaguar Tue 12-Feb-19 11:12:23

We can all do a bit. Create an area of wildness in our gardens. This encourages so many insects. Feed the birds. These little changes can make a difference as the more we do so the greater the benefit.