We actually need them for all of our ecosystems to function properly - they represent food for other creatures, pollinators and they are also recyclers of nutrients.
The pace of insect decline appears to be the same in tropical and temperate climates, though there is far more data from North America and Europe than the rest of the world. The scientists reviewed 73 studies from around the world published over the last 13 years to reach their conclusions. 'The main factor is the loss of habitat, due to agricultural practices, urbanisation and deforestation, ' he told BBC News.
This is the message from a leading biologist following a new scientific review of insect numbers, which suggests there will be "dramatic rates of decline" for 40 per cent of species around this world.
Their study was published this week in Biological Conservation.More news: Nintendo Direct presentation will be taking place tomorrow
"It is very rapid". Sands said an immediate danger of the insect decline was the loss of insectivorous birds, and the risk of larger birds turning from eating insects to eating each other.
Birds, lizards and even plants pollinated by insects could be wiped out, the researchers warn - saying that extinction rates among insects are eight times higher than among mammals, birds and reptiles.More news: Labor shifts on medivacs for asylum seekers ahead of vote today
Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades.
"Second is the increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds". Based on the findings of the report, Statista has drawn up this handy - and, frankly, worrying - infographic of insects and their percentage decline over the past decade.
"The essential role that insects play as food items of many vertebrates is often forgotten", the researchers said.
According to The Guardian, insects overall are decreasing in population by 2.5 percent a year, which means they could completely disappear within 100 years.More news: Mickelson leads by three at Pebble Beach
He added that while the overall message was alarming, there were things that people could do, such as making their gardens more insect friendly, not using pesticides and buying organic food.
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