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szdaily -> Kaleidoscope -> 
Insects could be wiped out in 100 years
    2019-02-14  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

INSECTS could become extinct within a century if their rapid rate of decline continues, according to the first global scientific review.

A damning study found 41 percent of all insect species are in decline and the loss of these animals will trigger a “catastrophic collapse” in the planet’s ecosystems.

Scientists at the University of Sydney revealed the total mass of insects was found to be falling by 2.5 percent a year and may go extinct within a century.

The startling claims rely on no conservation efforts being successful and the famously durable and adaptable insect phylum failing to adapt to the ongoing natural flux.

Insects have long been heralded as the “great survivors” of the animal kingdom and it would require an astonishing degree of destruction to eradicate them permanently.

Researchers have defended the hyperbolic claims and insist they are not alarmist — saying they are hoping to raise awareness of the ongoing issue facing insect conservation.

The findings build on previous claims that Earth has entered its sixth mass extinction — the first since a giant asteroid slammed into modern-day Mexico and triggered the demise of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

The speed at which insects are dying out is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles.

Insect numbers were found to be dwindling at an unprecedented rate and this prompted the researchers to issue a stark warning to the public as part of their scientific conclusions.

Writing in the ground-breaking paper, the researchers used an unusually forceful manner to drive the message home.

Its condemning tone is against the norm for scientific papers but was deemed necessary by both the authors of the study and the editors of the journal in order to bring the global crisis into view.

Figures show that 53 percent of butterfly species have dropped over the past decade, while 46 percent of bees species are in decline.

The worst-hit group of all is the caddisfly with 68 percent of species declining, but dragonflies and beetles have also seen a significant drop of 37 percent and 49 percent, respectively.

Intensive agriculture was found to be “the root cause of the problem,” but a host of issues were identified by the researchers as contributing to the insect genocide, such as climate change, urbanization, habitat loss, disease and the introduction of invasive species.

(SD-Agencies)

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