Alarm over decline in flying insects

Insects within alcohol Malaise trapENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY KREFELD

Some of them have diets based mostly on insects, but others steem too much these animals to eat them due to their form, abilities, and colors. According to the results, there is a 76 percent decline and mid-summer 82 percent decline in flying insect biomass in the 27 years researchers conducted the study.

"This analysis is a good first cut of the data and I suspect, with further analyses, [the authors] can understand which of the species are decreasing because most certainly, it is not a 76-percent decrease of all of the species", says Krupke. "All these areas are protected and a lot of them are managed nature reserves", a co-author of the study from Radboud University, Casper Hallmann, said.

"Therefore", de Kroon continued, "we can only assess the overall decline over the study period, and are not able to look into the temporal variability in the rate of decline". Three years later, scientists are still trying to warn the public of the seriousness of the issue, calling the loss of wildlife a "biological annihilation" in a published paper.

Despite the unknown explanation, researchers say the dip is "alarming" as the disappearance of "field margins and new crop protection" have both been associated with insect decline.

For the study, researchers used sticky traps to collect insects at 63 nature reserves, then measured the biomass, documenting changes over time.

Professor Dave Goulson at the University of Sussex, one of the co-authors of the report, said: "Insects make up about two thirds of all life on Earth".

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"This study lumps all flying insects together", research teaching fellow in entomology at Sydney University's School of Life and Environmental Studies, Tanya Latty, said to CNN Thursday.

"However", he continued, "when you get an over 75 percent decline in total insect biomass, you know this is not due to a few or vulnerable species".

The finding was even more worrying given that it was happening in nature reserves, which are meant to protect insects and other living species, the researchers said. "The research areas are mostly small and enclosed by agricultural areas".

All of the natural preserves are lowlands regions, islands amid agricultural lands and human-populated areas.

While no single cause was identified, the widespread destruction of wild areas for agriculture and the use of pesticides are considered likely factors.

"As entire ecosystems are dependent on insects for food and as pollinators, it places the decline of insect eating birds and mammals in a new context", states Hans de Kroon.

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