The speed of extinction is eight times greater than that of mammals, birds and reptiles.
The global population of insects may disappear within 100 years. A century, that is what they could have left. This is the first result of a scientific study based on years of research on insect populations. According to the survey, this path to extinction can trigger a “catastrophic collapse of natural ecosystems.”
The report, by Francisco Sanchez-Bayo and Kris AG Wyckhuys, looked at several published insect studies over 40 years and found that more than 40 per cent of the species died out in the following decades.
The analysis was published in the journal ‘Biological Conservation’ and points out as main factors intensive agriculture and the use of pesticides. Urbanization and climate change are also considered significant factors.
The speed of extinction is eight times faster than in the case of mammals, birds and reptiles. Since these types of animals are essential for the functioning of ecosystems, researchers point out, such as food for other creatures, pollen farmers and nutrient recyclers.
“Unless we change our way of food production, insects as a whole will get in the way of extinction in a few decades,” they write in the conclusion, adding that “the repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems will be catastrophic at a minimum “.