For the last several months, we’ve been hearing warnings from researchers about the decline in insect numbers around the world, largely because of the widespread use of agricultural pesticides. Insects are critical for pollinating and recycling nutrients, and they serve as food for other animals. Now, a global study just published in the journal Biological Conservation warns that the insect decline could mean “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems” within just a few decades.
Along those same lines, scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia and the Wildlife Conservation Society have released the results of their look at biodiversity loss, and that too was frightening. Those researchers examined more than 5,400 species of birds, mammals and amphibians around the world, and found that 1,237 of them were threatened in 90% of their habitats. They face “almost-certain extinction” without some kind of serious conservation intervention. The five countries facing the greatest threat were all in southeast Asia.
Here’s something else that’s concerning: With just a few exceptions, the alarming results of that last study did not even appear in most of the major U.S. newspapers.