And it could spell doom for humanity

Earth is facing an ‘insect apocalypse’ that’s killing off beasties which pollinate plants and help to feed billions of humans.

Scientists from around the world have published two papers which warn that urgent action is needed to boost the ‘mutual well-being both of people and insects’. Humans are ‘are pushing many ecosystems beyond recovery’ and sending vital insect species into extinction, they said.

If we don’t take urgent action, these natural systems could collapse and leave populations around the world facing starvation because ‘most crops depend on insects to survive’.

Ecosystem Services - by Pedro Cardoso

Image: Pedro Cardoso


‘With species loss, we lose not only another piece of the complex puzzle that is our living world, but also biomass, essential for example to feed other animals in the living chain, unique genes and substances that might one day contribute to cure diseases, and ecosystem functions on which humanity depends,’ said Pedro Cardoso from the University of Helsinki in Finland.

‘It is surprising how little we know about biodiversity at a global level, when only about 10 to 20 per cent of insect and other invertebrate species have been described and named. And of those with a name, we know little more than a brief morphological description, maybe a part of the genetic code and a single site where it was seen some time ago.’

The ‘dire situation’ is caused by invasive species, climate change, overexploitation of nature and harmful agricultural practices

 

How you can help to save insects:

  1. Avoid mowing your garden frequently; let nature grow and feed insects.
  2. Plant native plants in your garden, Avoid pesticides and go organic.
  3. Leave old trees, stumps and dead leaves alone because they are home to countless species.
  4. Build an insect hotel with small horizontal holes that can become their nests.
  5. Reduce your carbon footprint.
  6. Support and volunteer in conservation organizations.
  7. Do not import or release living animals or plants into the wild that could harm native species.
  8. Be more aware of tiny creatures and ‘always look on the small side of life’.

 

Read the full story at the Metro


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