Insect apocalypse: German bug watchers sound alarm

Insects, which comprise two thirds of all terrestrial species, have been dying off at alarming rates, with disastrous impacts on
Insects, which comprise two thirds of all terrestrial species, have been dying off at alarming rates, with disastrous impacts on food chains and habitats, amateur German researchers have found

For almost 30 years they passed as quirky eccentrics, diligently setting up their insect traps in the Rhine countryside to collect tens of millions of bugs and creepy crawlers.

Now the group of German entomology enthusiasts can boast a world-class scientific treasure: evidence of what is described as one of Earth's worst extinction phases since the dinosaurs vanished.

Insects, which comprise two thirds of all terrestrial species, have been dying off at alarming rates, with disastrous impacts on and habitats, researchers say.

The home of the Amateur Entomology Society of Krefeld on the Dutch border is a former school building where thick curtains block out the sunlight.

Inside in glass cabinets are stored thousands of butterflies, their wings bleached by time, along with exotic fist-sized beetles and dragonflies, brought back from around the world by amateur collectors.

Treasure trove

Traditionally "entomology was mainly about drying and collecting rare specimens," says the society's president Martin Sorg, wearing John Lennon-style glasses, a multi-pocket jacket and sandals.

He and an army of volunteers have over the years gathered as many as 80 million insects that are now floating in countless ethanol bottles.

These butterflies are part of a collection of insects at the Entomology Society in Krefeld, western Germany that its president s
These butterflies are part of a collection of insects at the Entomology Society in Krefeld, western Germany that its president says is a "treasure trove" of quantitative data

Each bottle contains the amount caught by a single insect trap over a set period, and each box represents a collection of such catches over nearly three decades.

"Since 1982, the traps we manufacture ourselves have been standardised and controlled, all of the same size and the same material, and they are collected at the same rate in 63 locations that are still identical," explains Sorg.

The result is a treasure trove of quantitative data that dwarfs that of any funded university project, he says.

But if he is visibly proud of the society's research, the outcome terrifies him: in the test period, the total biomass of flying insects here has plummeted by 76 percent.

Quaint Sunday hobby

To demonstrate the rapid decline, a lab technician holds up two bottles: one from 1994 contains 1,400 grammes of trapped insects, the newest one just 300 grammes.

"We only became aware of the seriousness of this decline in 2011, and every year since then we have seen it get worse," says Sorg, the man who sounded the alarm.

At the time, the news didn't make major waves outside ecological circles.

Dutch professor Hans de Kroon uses the German group's data to back up his hypothesis on why the region's bird population is in d
Dutch professor Hans de Kroon uses the German group's data to back up his hypothesis on why the region's bird population is in decline

Concern about focused mostly on large charismatic mammal species, and environmental monitoring such as that in Krefeld was considered a quaint Sunday hobby, largely ignored by the scientific community.

Also in 2011, just across the Dutch border, ecology professor Hans de Kroon was working on the decline of birds in the region.

He hypothesised that the birds suffered from a shortage of food, especially insects, but had no data to prove it.

"Then our German colleagues from Krefeld got in touch and said, 'we have the data, we've witnessed a strong decline, we are very concerned, could you analyse the data?'.

"That's how it all started."

'Point of no return'

In the search for the cause, the landscape around Krefeld provides some clues.

In the distance, industrial chimneys billow smoke.

The contents of an insect trap underscore Kroon's fears that western Europe could soon reach "a point of no return" in
The contents of an insect trap underscore Kroon's fears that western Europe could soon reach "a point of no return" in terms of shrinking biodiversity

On one side of the road lies a protected nature reserve. On the other, a sugar beet field is being sprayed with pesticides by an agricultural machine.

"You see, protected reserves are not so protected," says Sorg.

Across the border, Kroon says, "we must realise that here in western Europe our nature is getting smaller, the agriculture fields are very hostile to insects. There is no food, they get poisoned.

"And nature areas are also more and more isolated. Insects can't move from one place to another, it's too far away."

Although the exact cause for the die-off is not yet clear, he says, "the cause is anthropogenic, there's no doubt about it.

"It is our greatest fear that a point of no return will be reached, which will lead to a permanent loss of diversity."

'Path of extinction'

The Krefeld research played a central role in a meta-study published by Francisco Sanchez-Bayo and Kris Wyckhuys from the Australian universities of Sydney and Queensland.

Martin Sorg, head of the volunteer-run Entomology Society Krefeld says: "in western Europe our nature is getting smaller, t
Martin Sorg, head of the volunteer-run Entomology Society Krefeld says: "in western Europe our nature is getting smaller, the agriculture fields are very hostile to insects

In February, they published the first synthesis of 73 studies on entomological fauna around the world over the past 40 years, listing places from Costa Rica to southern France.

They calculated that over 40 percent of are threatened with extinction, and each year about one percent is added to the list.

This is equivalent, they noted, to "the most massive extinction episode" since the dinosaurs disappeared.

The main drivers appeared to be habitat loss and land conversion to intensive agriculture and urbanisation, followed by pollution, mainly from pesticides and fertilisers, and .

"The conclusion is clear," they wrote. "Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades."


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World seeing 'catastrophic collapse' of insects: study

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Jul 01, 2019
Heat Wave ?, Plutonium Manufacturing Explosion on the 8th of June ?,
Every Reactor on the planet reacting in sympathy ?
The insects are dying you say ?
Freakin Volcanoes Exploding ?

BAN PLUTONIUM!.
TEACH REALITY!.

Jul 01, 2019
"The conclusion is clear," they wrote. "Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades."

For those who may not realize the impact of this statement: If the insects go extinct - so will we. Because that will mean the collapse of all our terrestrial food sources.

Jul 01, 2019
The terrifying thing is that we, as a species, do not appear capable of reacting rationally to long term ecological threats when there are short-term economic costs for doing so. Worse, many of us elect leaders who do their best to make our situation worse.

Jul 01, 2019
In space and on other planets we are supposed to be growing field crops as if we are still on earth. These crops are extremely inefficient, with small yields per enormous amounts of space and resources, the only advantage being the free sunlight that lets them grow. Off-planet we even have to create this artificially.

We synthesize fuel for our machines. We are beginning to synthesize meat to replace food animals because we recognize how wasteful and inefficient they are. The foods we grow here are not compatible with living off-planet and we will begin to develop ways of manufacturing it without having to grow it.

This does not mean that ecosystems won't collapse here on earth, it just means that we will continue to invent ways of relying on them less and less. Domesticated plants and animals are a cobble we designed to support pops that had grown beyond the ability of the environment to support them.
Cont>

Jul 01, 2019
Domestication will give way to direct synthesis. This applies to the domesticated human animal as well. Machines have already begun replacing us. Pops will collapse as well and fewer people will need far less resources to support them.

One need only look at the entirely artificial environments much of civilization is already living in, in regions entirely devoid of natural ecosystems.
https://en.m.wiki...ki/Dubai
https://en.m.wiki...i/Venice
https://en.m.wiki...ork_City

-On Mars we will be living underground in completely artificial environments. The microecologies we create there will be for entertainment and archival purposes only. Mars will be a test bed for future life on earth. With each gen, life on this planet will resemble the colonies more and more.

Jul 01, 2019
Terraforming, if it ever makes any sense at all, will derive from methods we devise here on earth to save and replace environments lost to the ravages of civilization and overpopulation.

Earth is already a lot less habitable than we think it is. As the above article indicates, collapse could be just around the corner. Obesity, addiction, neurosis, inflammatory disease, sterility are becoming the norm due to pollution and contagions we cannot escape, and ridding the surface of this planet of these contaminants may not be possible.

Jul 01, 2019
I live on 18 acres in North Texas. Most of my land is forested, with some flood plain mixed in. My husband and I both noticed that there are less noticeable bugs this spring/summer. On another, but easily related note: very few of our wild plums trees even have fruit. This is concerning since most years the little trees are almost weighed down by their small but bountiful plums.
We are not near any sort of factories, no farming near us, and we let the wildlife be. Not sre what could be causing any decline from what's mentioned above.
I'd like to start cataloging our insect population though it would be more of a hobby than serious field work.

Jul 01, 2019
BAN PLUTONIUM!.
TEACH REALITY!.


How many people died in nuclear power accidents in nuke history?
How about NONE!!!
You alarmist dope.

Jul 01, 2019
Because that will mean the collapse of all our terrestrial food sources.


No, we are using pesticides to grow mega amounts of food, and that's killing the insects.
And amazingly you got 7 postive votes for your ignorant comment, bizarre.

Jul 01, 2019
Perhaps the insects have become naturally selected to avoid the traps... reaching to a conclusion based upon bias is antithetical to actual science...

Jul 01, 2019
Throughout history, as creatures have gone extinct the number of humans has continued to grow and living conditions have improved. I have a hard time just accepting that because extinction continues to happen, or that because there's less of some animal or bug, that's a threat to people when the exact opposite has been demonstrated throughout human history. Why is the apparent decline of insect biomass some threat? What studies back that up. If a particular insect is a concern, why? Mosquitos kill a lot of people every year. Bugs in general spread a lot of disease. Where is the balance between the disease impacts and whatever negative impact may exist due to reduced bug biomass? Maybe, it's still even lower than today.

Jul 01, 2019
Here in Canada, insects become nearly extinct in October of every year. But every May their exponential reproductive rate allows them to come back to full strength in less than two weeks after the ground thaws. Do the authors of this study even take that into account?

Jul 01, 2019
anonym427419
Chem trails or rather stratospheric aerosol injection could be playing a large role in the die off. Check out geoengineeringwatch.org. Those aren't con trails up there.

Jul 01, 2019
LIFE IN THE FREEZER versus EXTINCTION

Tiede
Here in Canada, insects become nearly extinct in October of every year. But every May their exponential reproductive rate allows them to come back to full strength in less than two weeks after the ground thaws. Do the authors of this study even take that into account?

LIFE below freezing point
Nature is cunning
Hibernation
Antifreeze
Dormancy
As
Nature uses variations of these techniques in the heat of the desert
But
As this a big BUT
NATURE has no defence against pesticides
Agricultural chemicals
Because these insects are not cocooned alive against the ravages of winter
Chemicals are not a form of hibernation
For chemicals kill stone dead
For this, nature has no defence
As this has a name
It is called
EXTINCTION

Jul 01, 2019
Dane Wigington geoengineeringwatch.org has the explanation for what's happening. Go to his site, search 'insect dieoff'. Short clip here: bitchute.com/video/O3YHm76kITJI/

Jul 01, 2019
I live on 18 acres in North Texas. Most of my land is forested, with some flood plain mixed in. My husband and I both noticed that there are less noticeable bugs this spring/summer.


buy a bee hive.

Jul 01, 2019
The last few years in upstate New York certain seasonal insects have disappeared. The may flies, the little black and red bugs that eat the blackcaps. The no seeums came out late. This year even flies and mosquitos are in short supply. I suspect that the weird weather patterns of unseasonable heat and cold are screwing up their mechanisms for knowing when to break dormancy. We also have a dearth of hummingbirds, who eat mosquitoes, at our feeders.

Jul 02, 2019
What are all these Anonymxxxxxx posters? O notice spammers are using the same. Is this some kind of random sock generator or something? One poster or multiple?

Anybody?

Jul 02, 2019
Not mentioned yet...

https://www.thela...fulltext

"Due to the exponential increase in the use of wireless personal communication devices (eg, mobile or cordless phones and WiFi or Bluetooth-enabled devices) and the infrastructure facilitating them, levels of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation around the 1 GHz frequency band, which is mostly used for modern wireless communications, have increased from extremely low natural levels by about 10^18 times (figure)."
...
"A recent evaluation of 2266 studies (including in-vitro and in-vivo studies in human, animal, and plant experimental systems and population studies) found that most studies (n=1546, 68·2%) have demonstrated significant biological or health effects associated with exposure to anthropogenic electromagnetic fields. "


Jul 02, 2019
...
"We have published our preliminary data on radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, which shows that 89% (216 of 242) of experimental studies that investigated oxidative stress endpoints showed significant effects.7
This weight of scientific evidence refutes the prominent claim that the deployment of wireless technologies poses no health risks at the currently permitted non-thermal radiofrequency exposure levels. Instead, the evidence supports the International EMF Scientist Appeal by 244 scientists from 41 countries who have published on the subject in peer-reviewed literature and collectively petitioned the WHO and the UN for immediate measures to reduce public exposure to artificial electromagnetic fields and radiation."

I'm pretty sure that contributes.

Jul 02, 2019
with non-constructive way of living and losing the meaning of life this anthropocene looks like the rage of madness of the species that loses connection with environment

Jul 02, 2019
the meaning of life
So what might that be pray tell?

Jul 03, 2019
Their concern is insect biomass in and around agricultural areas. Of our pesticides, insecticides are the real concern as they spread outside the fields.

But they have not considered the speciation rate inside cities and their fragmented ecologies, which has been claimed to also be extreme. Likely not making up for the extinction rates but guaranteeing plant, mammal, bird - and hopefully insect - survival.

If the insects go extinct - so will we. Because that will mean the collapse of all our terrestrial food sources.


Not really, but insect-fertilized important crops will vanish and has to be replaced by lower producing ones. ",,, research shows that bees are responsible for pollinating approximately 16% of global flowering plants and around 400 agricultural crop plants." [ https://www.world...ees.html ]

Many crops feed the world [ https://medium.co...0e87e0ce ].

Jul 07, 2019
Some insects may interfere with enjoying life. They can spoil things or bite. But thanks to technological progress, special devices appeared to protect against insects. If you are interested in such devices you can click here for info

Jul 07, 2019
I can't believe people are talking about it being OK to kill off perhaps half of extant species on Earth and figuring to survive it.

What do you think most birds eat?

Jul 08, 2019
I bet catching them in bottles is not helping either. I pulled all the grass, by hand (zero chemicals for me), in my 1/3 acre property, and after 13 year it's a mature wildlife habitat/food forest. Plenty of all sizes of native bees (found a total of just two bumble bees-mother and daughter when I started), some not native honey bees, dragonflies, butterflies, all kinds of beneficial insects (and some not so much), numerous birds and small creatures while being located in the middle of a town of lawns. Stated when I was almost 60. I am now 72 and the works almost done. If an old woman could, any one can. Just stupid excuses by people who count insects but do nothing for them to survive. This is a HUMAN thing not nature. Zero chemicals, including those allowed for "organic", in my yard. The birds are now taking over and bringing all kinds of native plants seeds, while the bombard the yard with their fertilizing poop. Minnesota, where winter are very cold.

Jul 08, 2019
"What are all these Anonymxxxxxx posters?"
If you don't login, you get assigned an "Anonym" number. Spammers and bots usually don't bother to login.

"How many people died in nuclear power accidents in nuke history?"
44 at Chernobyl, and counting, you dope.

Jul 08, 2019
My front yard is chaparral. Rosemary, sage, manzanita, creosote bushes, mesquite, and so forth. I keep a lawn in my back yard, but it's small and planted with hardy grass that doesn't need much water.

I had an exterminator come knocking at my door and try to tell me I should be scared of the spiders. Snicker. Might as well be scared of toads.

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