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Collapse of Insects

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

insect population decline

Story at-a-glance -

  • Worldwide, more than 40 percent of insect species are threatened with extinction in the next few decades
  • Overall, the total mass of insects is said to be falling by a “shocking” 2.5 percent a year; if this rate continues unchecked, insects could disappear within 100 years
  • Habitat loss due to land converted to intensive agriculture, as well as urbanization, are major threats to insects
  • The next most significant contributor to insect declines is pollution, primarily that from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers
  • The best course of action to reduce the harm industrial agriculture is having on insects is to support organic, grass fed farms that are not relying on synthetic chemicals and other intensive agriculture practices

Insects worldwide are declining at a dramatic rate, according to a scientific review, and modern-day agriculture is largely to blame. Worldwide, more than 40 percent of insect species are threatened with extinction in the next few decades.

Lepidoptera, insects that include butterflies and moths, hymenoptera, which are insects that include bees, and dung beetles are those most at risk on land. As for aquatic insects, those most affected include those in the odonata order (dragonflies and damselflies), along with plecoptera (stoneflies), trichoptera (caddisflies) and ephemeroptera (mayflies).


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