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Indexed under : Life Sciences / Zoology

Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Insect population decline

Various scientific studies have shown that the global terrestrial* insect population is in sharp decline.

The declines are primarily found in 'developed' nations. Estimates for the rate of decline vary wildly. One review study, which compiled the results of 166 previous surveys, suggested that it could be as high as 9% per decade (Science, 24 Apr 2020. Vol 368, Issue 6489, pp. 417-420)

The reasons for the decline are not yet clear. Possible factors include :

  • habitat destruction
  • intensive agriculture
  • the use of pesticides
  • urbanization
  • industrialization
  • air pollution
  • introduced species
  • climate change

See Wikipedia


The decline in insect species is one of the factors which has been suggested as a reason for regional declines in the wild bird population - especially the 'aerial insectivores'. As an example, in the UK almost a third of the native bird species are now on the endangered 'Red List'. See: Birds of Conservation Concern 5open access , British Birds, 114, December 2021, 723–747

*The Science study cited above found that in contrast to land-based insects, aquatic insect populations are rising.

Also see : Bee Colony Collapse Disorder [ CCD ]plugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigBee Colony Collapse Disorder [ CCD ]

"Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is the phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the quee…

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