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HomeNewsNew Study Shows an Alarming Decline in Insect Populations

New Study Shows an Alarming Decline in Insect Populations



Have you noticed that fewer bugs are hitting your windshield recently? Or that the fireflies of your childhood are disappearing? A new study reports that 40 percent of insect species are in decline and may die out within the next century. The current rate of extinction for insects is eight times higher than it is for mammals, birds, and reptiles. Losses of larger animals are being studied, but there is not as much data about insects. However a growing number of studies have begun to show the extent of insect losses.

There are many causes of these losses. In areas with large-scale agriculture, pesticides are harming insect populations. In the tropics, climate change may be killing them. For example, in the rainforest in Puerto Rico mentioned above, the average high temperature had gone up by four degrees Fahrenheit over the period of the study. Other factors include habitat loss due to deforestation, large-scale agriculture, urbanization, and pollution. Finally globalization is also causing problems, since now parasites and diseases that are harmful to insects spread easily and quickly around the globe.

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