German scientists have warned of what they call an ‘alarming fall’ in numbers of flying insects. It could have consequences for both ecosystems, and food production.
The researchers investigated findings from 63 nature reserves over a 27 year period.
The decline in the number of insects in mid-summer was up to 82%.
The decline in insect populations in Germany is higher than the expected decline in the global insect population, which was set at 58% between 1970 and 2012, according to a report released by a group of German researchers in the online publication PLOS ONE.
The researchers believe that neither climate change, nor landscape changes are the cause. Their theory is that extensive farming and the use of insecticides and pesticides are behind it.
Insects play a key role in pollinating plants. They also make up a food source for birds, mammals, and amphibians, and their possible extinction puts many ecosystems at risk.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today