Invertebrate numbers slashed by 45 pc on average over 3 decades
A new study has revealed that invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45 percent on average over a 35 year period in which the human population doubled.
The study found similar widespread changes in both large vertebrates and invertebrates, with an on-going decline in invertebrates surprising scientists, as they had previously been viewed as nature's survivors.
The decrease in invertebrate numbers is due to two main factors - habitat loss and climate disruption on a global scale. In the UK alone, scientists noted the areas inhabited by common insects such as beetles, butterflies, bees and wasps saw a 30-60% decline over the last 40 years.
Scientists believe there is a growing understanding of how ecosystems are changing but to tackle these issues, better predictions of the impact of changes are needed together with effective policies to reverse the losses currently seen. Using this approach, conservation of species can be prioritised with the benefit of protecting processes that serve human needs, and successful campaigns scaled-up to effect a positive change globally.
The study was published in Science.
(Posted on 25-07-2014)