Insects are going extinct eight times faster than other animals


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/11/insects-are-going-extinct-eigh.html


#2

Well, I’m sure the other animals will catch up real soon.


#3

From The Guardian

aaand here is the link to the article (ahem, @frauenfelder)


#4

Except mosquitoes and roaches, 'natch.


#5


#6

Don’t worry, they just found a new bug in a BC cave, and they are speculating that it’s a survivor of the ice age.

Sometimes quality matters more than quantity.


#7

true 'muricans see opportunity here instead of a problem. Who would like to invest in my micro drone pollinators?


#8

“It is very rapid. In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none.”

The end of the world, brought to you by math.


#9

Indeed, declining biodiversity and environmental damage are both grave concerns. But is there not already an astonishing number of insect species with more being discovered regularly?


#10

Firstly, I’m scared of insect decline and think there needs to be immediate changes to human behavior for this and many other environmental reasons.
But the claims of that report are highly speculative and any attempt to give exact percentages of insect species when thousands of insect species are still undescribed is pretty iffy. Not to mention extrapolating speculative figures decades into the future.


#11

Thats right! and we all know how well it will end, dont we? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

HatedInTheNation2


#12

cdfdb23eda098ed8ba7998fa6b74d733629b13b94eb4a9ee6a198cf643163fb6


#13

oh? you think so?

Scientist Brad Lister returned to Puerto Rican rainforest after 35 years to find 98% of ground insects had vanished

its not so much about different species, but about overall loss in mass.


#14

This is totally unsuspected I mean cause it’s not like anyone ever wrote a book where lower animals died off first due to ecological collapse, and then the upper animals and then it was like all silent in one of the seasons that Climate change will soon deprecate.


#15

I’ve read Lister’s Puerto Rico paper. I found it horrifying.The same researcher, with the same methods, examined the same species in the same forest and found 98% decline. Extrapolating from a half dozen species in a single forest to all insects on earth is completely speculative, though.
I get the importance of lost biomass. As I said, I’m very much in favor of immediate actions to address the problem. None of that makes the findings more concrete. They only had data from 1 site in Africa, 1 site in South America, and 1 site in mainland Asia. That makes it impossible to have precise quantifications of world trends.

Full article:

1-s2.0-S0006320718313636-main.pdf (1.3 MB)


#16

yes it is. but all other researchers dont extrapolating from a single forest, but from all studies they can find so far. or do you really think that -for example- the german studys are sloppy?


#17

Humans don’t really understand how we impact the world. A lot of the arguments about human population growth and sustainability are based on incomplete knowledge and guesswork regarding possible improvements in agriculture. But if there are no insects to pollinate our fruits and vegetables, it won’t matter what advances we come up with.


#18

Parasites are OK. Only insects adapted to thrive off of human beings will be around in a few thousands of years.


#19

No, I do not think the german studies are sloppy. By reputation and my personal experience german biologists are very rigorous (which is likely why data from Germany is over represented).
I don’t know if I was unclear, but my point is that if you have studies primarily from Europe (no matter how thorough) and little data from areas with the majority of insects (both species and biomass) it is speculative to specify a current rate of insect extinctions on earth. Similarly extrapolating from the past few decades for that limited number of locations to predict “the extinction of 40% of the world’s insect species over the next few decades” (the primary claim) is very speculative.
To avoid any confusion, the data absolutely demonstrates a need for people to make immediate environmental changes to reduce losses in biodiversity


#20

We are so screwed