Where have all the insects gone and what's next for birds, fish, or mammals that depend on these insects as food. I started to read The Insect Crisis by Oliver Milman (2022) which opened with a dystopian Sci-Fi future without insects. I quickly gave up in frustration and jumped to the book's references. A lengthy science book that does not include one photo, table, or graph is not my scene. Instead, I recommend reading The Insect Apocalypse Is Here - a 2018 New York Times article.
Entomologists and Citizen Scientists data lack:
- long term studies
- the right kind of studies to distinguish between 1) total insect numbers, 2) total weight of the insects and 3) local vanishing of specific insect species versus global vanishing of the same species
Decline in insect populations - Wikipedia page writes,
The causes of the declines in insect populations are not fully understood. They are likely to vary between different insect groups and geographical regions. The factors suspected to be important are habitat destruction caused by intensive farming and urbanisation, pesticide use, introduced species, climate change, eutrophication from fertilizers, pollution, and artificial lighting.
The use of increased quantities of insecticides and herbicides on crops have affected not only non-target insect species, but also the plants on which they feed. Climate change and the introduction of exotic species that compete with the indigenous ones put the native species under stress, and as a result they are more likely to succumb to pathogens and parasites. Plants grow faster in presence of increased CO2 but the resulting plant biomass contains fewer nutrients. While some species such as flies and cockroaches might increase as a result, the total biomass of insects is estimated to be decreasing by between about 0.9 to 2.5% per year.
A few more links to acknowledge the attached photos: