Chances are, the works of the world’s insects touch your lips every day. The coffee or tea you savor, both are insect pollinated. Apples, oranges, cabbages, cashews, cherries, carrots, broccoli, watermelon, garlic, cinnamon, basil, sunflower seeds, almonds, canola oil — all are insect pollinated. Honey, dyes, even some vaccines require insects to come to fruition. Vital to the world’s food web, nested in nutrient cycling, and embedded in industries — the closer we look, the more we see insects as vital to maintaining life’s frameworks. Referring to this fact, famed biologist E.O. Wilson wrote in 1987, “[I]f invertebrates were to disappear, I doubt the human species could last more than a few months.” Which is why the precipitous decline of insects is raising alarms. Insect populations are being reduced at varying rates across space and time, but on average, the decline in their abundance is thought to be around 1-2% per year, or 10-20% per decade. The rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) is endangered throughout its range in North America. Photo by Jill Utrup/USFWS (CC BY 2.0) “Think of a landowner with a million-dollar house on a river that’s a little bit wild. And they’re losing 10% to 20% of their land every decade, and it’s horrifying. It means that after even a century, you really don’t have anything left,” David Wagner, an entomologist with the University of Connecticut told Mongabay in an interview. That, he says of this comparison, is the danger we now face. Wagner has just edited…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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