A landmark report by the United Nations’ scientific panel on biodiversity warns that humans are at dire risk unless urgent action is taken to restore the plants, animals and other natural resources they depend on to survive. The report, which was issued in Paris on Monday by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), describes a world where living and future generations of people face the threat of worsening food and water shortages, because of habitat and species loss.
De globale insectenpopulatie is op weg richting een totale uitroeiing als de trend van de afgelopen dertig jaar zich voortzet. Binnen enkele decennia dreigt er geen enkel insect meer te zijn op onze planeet. De gevolgen zullen catastrofaal zijn voor de “natuurlijke ecosystemen”, maar ook voor “de overlevingskansen van de mensheid”. Dat stellen twee wetenschappers, onder wie een Belg, in de eerste wereldwijde studie over het onderwerp.
Pesticide use is driving an “alarming” decline in the world’s insects that could have a “catastrophic” impact on nature’s ecosystems, researchers have warned. More than 40 per cent of insect species are at risk of extinction with decades, with climate change and pollution also to blame, according to a global scientific review. Their numbers are plummeting so precipitously that almost all insects could vanish within a century, the study found.
When American entomologist Bradford Lister first visited El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico in 1976, little did he know that a long-term study he was about to embark on would, 40 years later, reveal a “hyperalarming” new reality. In those decades, populations of arthropods, including insects and creepy crawlies like spiders and centipedes, had plunged by an almost unimaginable 98% in El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest within the US National Forest System.
Auf Einladung des Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) referierte der Insektenforscher Thomas Hörren vom Entomologischen Verein Krefeld (EVK) im Möllner Quellenhof vor 90 Besuchern über deren bahnbrechende Studie zum Thema “Rückgang der Insekten-Biodiversität”. An zahlreichen Standorten ausschließlich in Schutzgebieten hatte der EVK 27 Jahre lang die Insektenfauna untersucht. Aufgrund des enormer Datenbestand und der wissenschaftlichen Methodik waren die Entomologen in der Lage, nicht nur den schleichenden Verlust an Arten, sondern auch an Insekten-Biomasse zu dokumentieren.
Neonicotinoids are widely known for their link to declining pollinator populations, but new research finds that the ill effects of these chemicals also extends to amphibian populations. In a study published late last month, scientists from the National Wildlife Research Center in Ottawa, Canada found that chronic exposure to real-world levels of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid limits the ability of juvenile wood frogs to escape a predator attack. This research adds additional evidence that neonicotinoids are harming aquatic food chains.
Arthropods, invertebrates including insects that have external skeletons, are declining at an alarming rate. While the tropics harbor the majority of arthropod species, little is known about trends in their abundance. We compared arthropod biomass in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest with data taken during the 1970s and found that biomass had fallen 10 to 60 times. Our analyses revealed synchronous declines in the lizards, frogs, and birds that eat arthropods.
Frogs are one of the oldest vertebrates on this planet. They have survived four mass extinctions, but currently they face rapid decline mostly due to habitat loss, pollution, pesticide use, over harvesting for food, collection for dissection and experimentation, disease, shrinking water sources, lack of conservation awareness and so forth. This has caused the extinction of hundreds of species worldwide.
The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) is one of the more prehistoric-looking animals that is still around today. These ancient creatures – dating back 170 million years – are amphibians that can grow up to six feet long and weigh 140 pounds. They’ve been depicted in Chinese culture for thousands of years, but have now become a highly coveted delicacy amongst the country’s wealthy. As a result, they have all but disappeared from their freshwater habitats.