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Insects could be wiped out within a century - scientists

14 February 2019

Their findings, which were published this week in the Biological Conservation journal, revealed that this "bug apocalypse" might lead to the extinction of 40 percent of insect species over the next few decades.

He said insects made up more than half the species on Earth, but the research showed they were disappearing much faster than birds and mammals.

But researchers say that some species, such as houseflies and cockroaches, are likely to boom.

Experts have also said that pest insects will thrive in the warmer conditions. There are 17 times more insects around the world than humans, according to another study.

But this new paper takes a broader look.

The study found that declines in nearly all regions may end in the extinction of as many as 40 per cent of insects. Though most focus on North America and Europe, and it is the first attempt at quantifying the global impact.

"We estimate the current proportion of insect species in decline - 41 per cent - to be twice as high as that of vertebrates", or animals with a backbone, Francisco Sanchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney and Kris Wyckhuys of the University of Queensland in Australia reported.

"Second is the increasing use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds".

Insects are also being hit by biological factors, such as pathogens and introduced species, and by climate change, where rising temperatures could affect the range of places where they can live.

Their numbers are plummeting so precipitously nearly all insects could vanish within a century, the study found.

Matt Shardlow, chief executive of wildlife charity Buglife, added: "It is gravely sobering to see this collation of evidence that demonstrates the pitiful state of the world's insect populations". The number of bees has also been seriously affected.

"It is becoming increasingly obvious our planet's ecology is breaking and there is a need for an intense and global effort to halt and reverse these awful trends". "Allowing the slow eradication of insect life to continue is not a rational option". The Huffington Post noted that many insects, including native bees, butterflies, beetles, moths, and aquatic insects are bugs that might die within the next century.

Next was pollution and the widespread use of pesticides in commercial agriculture.

The study highlights the recent massive decline in Puerto Rican tropical forests and the and drop in flying insects in Germany.

Insects are considered vital to many of nature's ecosystems for the productive role they play, particularly in controlling populations of other organisms. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries.

Insects could be wiped out within a century - scientists