A new study published in the journal Biological Conservation described as “a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports of insect declines from across the globe” makes a grim prediction: “dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world’s insect species over the next few decades.”
Insects could completely disappear from the Earth within 100 years if they continue to decline at current rates, The Guardian notes: “More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.”
Pesticides used in an intensive agriculture industry, urban sprawl, and climate change are all factors in insects’ decline.