Worst extinction since the dinosaurs: Total biomass of flying insects down by a staggering 76%, warn German researchers

Michael Alexander – Natural News Feb 24, 2020

We are in the middle of an extinction phase. The animals in danger of extermination? Flying insects.

This is according to entomology enthusiast Martin Sorg, president of the Amateur Entomology Society of Krefeld, who, over the last 37 years, collected 80 million insects from the German countryside. And while the Society’s collection is considered a world-class scientific treasure, it is also gaining a reputation as “evidence” of what is being described as one of Earth’s worst extinction phases since the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago, which resulted in the eradication of dinosaurs.

According to Sorg, the total annual biomass of flying insects collected by him and several volunteers have plummeted by 76 percent since the Society first started its collection – a troubling scenario that can disastrously impact global food chains and habitats.

“We only became aware of the seriousness of this decline in 2011, and every year since then we have seen it get worse,” Sorg said, noting that at the time, the news did not make major waves outside of ecological circles as concern about biodiversity loss focused mostly on larger species.

Although the exact roots of the massive die-off have not yet been made clear, Sorg is adamant that humans are to be blamed. “The cause is anthropogenic, there’s no doubt about it,” Sorg said, pointing to continued pesticide use, unchecked industrialization and habitat destruction.

This is echoed by researchers Francisco Sánchez-Bayo and Kris Wyckhuys, who recently published the first synthesis of 73 studies on entomological fauna around the world over the past 40 years.

In that meta-study, which covered locations ranging from Costa Rica to southern France, Sánchez-Bayo and Wyckhuys calculated that over 40 percent of insect species are threatened with extinction, and that each year about one percentage point is added to the list.

And it appears that this extinction threat isn’t just wide-ranging – it’s also happening quite rapidly. (Related: Bee warfare: Domesticated honey bees spread viruses on plants, driving wild bumblebees to extinction.)

“In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none,” Sánchez-Bayo said in an interview with The Guardian.

Sánchez-Bayo noted that the effects of insect eradication will weigh heavily on the many birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and other animals that prey on the creatures. “If this food source is taken away, all these animals starve to death,” Sanchez-Bayo, a researcher from the University of Sydney, in Australia, said.

According to the two researchers, habitat change caused by deforestation, urbanization and conversion to farmland emerged as the biggest cause of insect decline – and by a large margin. This is followed by pollution and the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers in commercial agriculture, as well as the introduction of invasive species, among others.

“The main cause of the decline is agricultural intensification,” Sánchez-Bayo told The Guardian. “That means the elimination of all trees and shrubs that normally surround the fields, so there are plain, bare fields that are treated with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.”

Sánchez-Bayo added that insect decline appears to have started at the dawn of the 20th century, sped up during the 1950s and 1960s, and then reached “alarming proportions” over the last two decades.

In addition, Sánchez-Bayo thinks new classes of insecticides introduced in the last 20 years, such as neonicotinoids and fipronil, have been particularly damaging since they persist in the environment and “…sterilize the soil, killing all the grubs.” According to Sánchez-Bayo, this has effects even in what would appear to be pristine environments – a particularly sobering fact given that the insect losses recorded in Germany by Sorg and company were in protected nature reserves.

“The conclusion is clear,” Sánchez-Bayo and Wyckhuys wrote in their study. “Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” the researchers said.

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9 responses to “Worst extinction since the dinosaurs: Total biomass of flying insects down by a staggering 769, warn German researchers”

  1. I used to drive 60 miles to see my mum and when i arrived my windscreen was covered in small insects, now there are none.
    This means our wild birds are starving, i put out food scraps each day for the little chaps
    and over the years, if i am late they fly up to the window, to attract my attention
    almost saying ” hey where is my lunch”
    please put out a small bird table and your scraps for them

  2. Modern corporate farming methods with the use of pesticides, no doubt, is mainly responsible, with the other factors mentioned like deforestation being minor. Last I heard Germany preserves its forests. I have a friend who just retired from running a 60 acre organic farm. He knows quite a bit about the business in raising grass-fed cattle and organic crops. He is quite upset with the media propaganda lies that farming with all the chemicals and pesticides is more efficient, and he maintains that the corporate, centralized farming methods are extremely wasteful and far less efficient. Also, we are now seeing all of the resulting environmental, insect and toxic soil conditions becoming more problematic. , .

  3. Scientists have measured earth’s age at 4.5 billion years old, insects go back 400 million years. After all that time, which is impossible to even fathom, all of a sudden the human specie shows up and unravels the web of life causing a ecological crash.

    How is is even possible that this new specie is so out of balance it destroys the planet? The clue to this mystery is that the new specie is sentient, conscious, and has a holy book that says the god or gods created us.

    Were humans genetically engineered – an unnatural specie – and put on the planet?

  4. WiFi Wireless technology is also to blame for this. 5G is just going to accelerate the decline of natural life in addition to providing a control mechanism over the masses. ( brain entrainment )

    I live in Northern Virginia where swarms of gnats at night or moths around street or porch lights is a thing of the past. I have been monitoring a localized family of bats for over fifteen years and their population has stayed the same or dwindled, it never increases from one year to the next. The young seem to perish between Fall and Spring of the next year. I dread the day I fail to see them in the sky at dusk. We still have an abundance of Fireflies, for the time being. last year For the first time Inever saw a Honey bee in my yard, only Bumble bees and some Wasps/Hornets .

  5. What if these 80 million collected insects had been left alone in the German countryside?
    How many descendant insects would we be having now?
    Why do scientists have this gruesome habit of killing what they seem to be studying?

  6. When I grew up in Florida, we had fireflies inland of the Indian River.

    By 1985? our fireflies ‘ecological niche’ had been overtaken by ‘love bugs’ Yech.

  7. Jack, you ask how is it possible, we humans screwed up the planet in such a short time being on it. Original sin is the answer.

    We have the freedom by virtue of our foresight, self interest, and imaginations to act outside of the universal compatibility of God’s being and his creation. Evil is the absence of the good. It is parasitic on the good. It cannot exist by itself. It is an aberration to the good. It is as if when we do evil, we are asserting our interests, independence and dominance over something or someone without the balance of objective and right reason, simply because it satisfies our unbalanced interests. Then when making a mess of things, at the same time we continue justify our choice as good, until we admit we were wrong.

  8. Don’t forget the deliberate spraying or cloud seeding of our sky, better know as chem-trails.

  9. All who support the giant agribusiness, scientists, etc., get a free pass from governments who are actually supposed to be defending our health and the health of the planet. But the vast majority of governments are hopelessly corrupt and in the pay of pretty much every corporation, Agribusiness being one of the main benefactors. Don’t expect anything to change as long as money talks and bull shit walks.