Environmentalists are sounding the alarm: in Germany disappeared nearly all insects

Environmentalists are sounding the alarm: in Germany disappeared nearly all insects

Environmentalists are sounding the alarm: in Germany disappeared nearly all insects

A fresh call by the Christian conservation charity for more to consider joining their "eco churches" initiative was prompted after a new study concluded flying insect populations have been "decimated" in Germany.

At 82 percent, the decline of insects biomass during midsummer, when insects populations tend to peak, proved more severe than the annual average decline.

Although much attention has been paid to the decline of bees and butterflies, the latest findings suggest a problem with a much wider scope.

Countless insects living in every corner of the world, prevents to conduct such calculations directly, so scientists conducting them, installing special traps in the national parks and counting the number of insects that fall in them for a certain period of time.

Scientists have long suspected that insects are in dramatic decline, but new evidence confirms this.

"If total flying insect biomass is genuinely declining at this rate [about 6% per year], it is extremely concerning", she said. "Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth [but] there has been some kind of horrific decline", Professor Dave Goulson of Sussex University, UK, told The Guardian.

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The research is based on a dozen of entomologists across Germany, who began using a standardized way of collecting insects back in 1989. According to Caspar Hallmann (Radboud University), who performed the statistical analyses, "All these areas are protected and a lot of them are managed nature reserves".

"This confirms what everybody's been having as a gut feeling - the windscreen phenomenon where you squash fewer bugs as the decades go by", said Caspar Hallmann of Radboud University in The Netherlands. Changes in the weather, landscape and plant variety in these areas are unable to explain this. "It is possible that these areas act as an "ecological trap" and jeopardize the populations in the nature reserves".

In the study, researchers conducted a "census" 60 nature reserves created in Germany over the past century.

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".

"But exactly what is causing their death is open to debate".

"We don't know exactly what the causes are, " said Hans de Kroon, also of Radboud University, who supervised the research.

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