More than 75% of flying insects have disappeared from Germany’s nature reserves | GBRI

A new study has found that flying insects in Germany’s nature reserves are disappearing at a shocking rate. They have already lost more than 75% of flying insects, which is quite disturbing as most of our fruit crops and wild plants are insect-pollinated.

For the study, researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands, alongside their German and English colleagues, measured the biomass of trapped flying insects at 63 nature preserves in Germany since 1989. They were shocked to discover that the total biomass decreased dramatically over the 27 years of the study, with a seasonal decline of 76% and mid-summer decline of 82%, when insect numbers tend to peak.

The reason behind the population decline is unclear. A press release for the study said: “Changes in the weather, landscape and plant variety in these areas are unable to explain this. The weather might explain many of the fluctuations within the season and between the years, but it doesn’t explain the rapid downward trend.”

Incidentally, most of the 63 nature reserves in the study are surrounded by agricultural lands, meaning pesticide use may be to blame.

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