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Huge decline in insect numbers will have 'far-reaching consequences', expert warns

Huge decline in insect numbers will have 'far-reaching consequences', expert warns

DRASTIC declines in insect numbers will have 'far reaching consequences' for wildlife and people, experts are warning.
 
A new report commissioned by Wildlife Trusts, which includes the Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT), says the decline in insects will cause knock-on losses for birds, bats and fish which feed on the creatures, whilst also costing the economy millions in lost revenue and broken ecosystems.
 
Author of the report Dave Goulson, who is Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex, said: "Insects make up the bulk of known species on earth and are integral to the functioning of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, performing vital roles such as pollination, seed dispersal and nutrient cycling.
 
"They are also food for numerous larger animals, including birds, bats, fish, amphibians and lizards. If we don’t stop the decline of our insects there will be profound consequences for all life on earth.
 
"It’s not just our wild bees and pollinators that are declining – these trends are mirrored across a great many of other invertebrate species.
 
"Of serious concern is the little we know about the fate of many of the more obscure invertebrates that are also crucial to healthy ecosystems."
 
DWT president, and entomologist, Dr George McGavin, said insects are "fundamental" to the planet's ecology and it would be "difficult to imagine a world without them."
 
He said: "Our success as a species has come at great cost to the environment. If we continue to plunder and pollute our natural capital, we will find ourselves scratching around for survival on a bare, rocky planet."
 
DWT is urging people to take urgent action to reverse the "unfolding disaster" which is happening globally. 'Concerted action' from the government, councils and food growers is needed, the trust said.
 
DWT's largest campaign to date, Get Dorset Buzzing, has already highlighted the need to reverse the decline of pollinators, and this year 4,000 people took the pledge to do something in their gardens to help pollinators.
 
To read the report, titled 'insect declines and why they matter', and pledge to take action for insects, visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/action-insects 
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