Insect Armageddon: Are Insect Populations Declining?

30mon2-master768Recently, the New York Times published an interesting opinion article about new research from the University of Sussex. Researchers found a 76% decrease in flying insects over a 25 year period. The study collected flying insect biomass in nature preserves in Germany in order to identify the decline. Researchers, however, are uncertain about factors that may be causing the decline:

“The reasons for the decline are not entirely clear — and only flying insects were collected, so the fate of crawling insects, for example, is not known — but the scientists suspect two main culprits: the use of pesticides and a lack of habitat in surrounding farmland.”

The article provides interesting food for thought: are insects on the decline in other parts of the world? Other studies in recent years report insect populations in other parts of the world also declining. More research is needed to better understand the extent and potential causes of the problem. What do you think?

Julie Whitson