For those who may not stay up to date on the latest news stories concerning insects, it should be known that researchers all over the world are deeply concerned about the rapid decline in global insect populations. Obviously, this is a potentially catastrophic trend, as much of the world’s food is produced by crops that are pollinated by insects such as bees, wasps and even moths. It is estimated that insects pollinate 75 percent of the world’s crops. Insects are essential for maintaining the balance of the planet’s ecosystems. If one insect species becomes extinct, then all animals that relied on that insect species for food will also be in trouble. Such extinctions can set off chain reactions that can negatively affect other insect and animal populations and habitats. Some people may assume that this trend will, at least, reduce insect pest populations as well. Putting aside the fact that many insect pests are essential components of ecosystems, like termites, researchers believe that the decline in beneficial insects will cause insect pest populations to boom. The insect pests that researchers refer to in this case are cockroaches and flies.
Insects that are beneficial, or to be more precise, essential, such as bees, ants and beetles, are declining eight times faster than mammals, birds and reptiles. In some regions, experts predict that 40 percent of all insects will become extinct within the next few decades, and one-third of all insects in the world today are classified as “endangered”. However, researchers believe that a minority of insect species will adapt to new conditions and ultimately survive the current crisis. Unfortunately, these surviving insects will be pests. Insect pests reproduce more rapidly than most other insect species and they also thrive within warm conditions. This makes roaches and flies ideal species for a future climate that has been warmed by pollution. Cockroaches and flies reproduce more rapidly than their predators, giving pests an advantage over the insects that are supposed to keep these pest populations in check. The loss of insects that remove and recycle animal dung into fertilizer, such as dung beetles, will become extinct, leaving behind large amounts of dung to attract insect pests, like flies and roaches. Based on a review of all scientific publications concerning the current insect decline, numerous researchers believe that future humans may be plagued by hoards of insect pests unless a solution is found to the current problem of insect decline.
Do you believe that honey bees will become extinct in some parts of the world within the next decade?