12 January 2021.
The world’s vital insect kingdom is undergoing “death by a thousand cuts,” .Entomologists from all over the world fear that the population of insects is declining rapidly and this sounds alarm in the scientific fraternity.
About Insect Apocalypse:
Insect Apocalypse means that the Earth is losing by 2.5% each year, with more than 40% of insect species threatened with extinction. The “insect apocalypse” was highlighted in “Proceedings of the National Academics of Science”, which was written by 56 scientists from around the world.
Reasons for insect decline:
- Climate change,.
- Light pollution.
- Invasive species.
- Changes in agriculture and land use.
Ecological Significance of insects:
- Insects cycle nutrients.
- Pollinate plants.
- Disperse seeds.
- Maintain soil structure and fertility.
- Control populations of other organisms.
- Provide a major food source for other animals.
- Decomposition of waste matter and dead animals.
- Insects act as indicators of the health of the ecosystem. They have been used as research models to discover key scientific principles.
Decline of pollinator species –bees and butterflies.
Major causes of the decline;
- Land-use change and fragmentation
- Changes in agricultural practices including use of fungicides and insecticides pesticides.
- Change in the cropping pattern and crops like the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and mono-cropping.
- High environmental pollution from heavy metals and nitrogen.
- Growth of invasive alien species.
- Lack of food..
CMS COP -13- first international mention.
- CMS COP 13 discussed the effects of insects decline on migratory species for the first time.
- According to the Convention on Migratory Species, insect extinction is to begin.
- A draft resolution was prepared at the convention.
- The resolution will help understand die off of the insects and its effects on migratory species.
What can you do in backyard to help:
- Mow your lawn less frequently and allow part of it to flower.
- Allow weeds such as dandelions — which are great for bees — as wildflowers to grow.
- Make a bug hotel or provide a log or brush pile. These attract humble insects and invertebrates like woodlice, which recycle nutrients and act as food for birds and small mammals.
- Dig a pond to attracts dragonflies, pond skaters and whirligig beetles.
- Urge local authorities to plant native trees that flower on streets and parks and plant wildflowers in road medians.