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Old 13th February 2019, 02:20
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Old 18th February 2019, 05:04
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Default What Bugs You (pun intended)! Insects are vanishing at alarming speeds

My apologies for the length of this post but a point is in there somewhere ... the entire article can be found here.
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http://scientificamerican.com/article/as-insect-populations-decline-scientists-are-trying-to-understand-why/

As Insect Populations Decline, Scientists Are Trying to Understand Why
When Susan Weller traveled to Ecuador to study tiger moths in the 1980s, she found plenty of insects. A decade later, Weller, now director of the University of Nebraska State Museum, returned to conduct follow-up research. But the moths she was looking for were gone.

“Just in that time frame, areas I had collected had been transformed. Forests had been taken out. … brand new cities had sprung up. I tried to go back and collect from other historic collecting sites, and those sites no longer existed. They were parking lots,” she says.

Around the globe, scientists are getting hints that all is not well in the world of insects. Increasingly, reports are trickling in of unsettling changes in populations of not only butterflies and bees, but of far less charismatic bugs and beetles as well. Most recently, a research team from the U.S. and Mexico reported a startling decline between 1976 and 2013 in the weight of insects and other arthropods collected at select sites in Puerto Rico.

Some have called the apparent trend an insect Armageddon. Although the picture is not in crisp enough focus yet to say if that’s hyperbolic, enough is clear to compel many to call for full-scale efforts to learn more and act as appropriate.

“I would say the insect decline in biomass and diversity is real because we see things repeated across different sites across different groups,” says Weller. “But is it an Armageddon? That part is more difficult to tease out.”

“We do know we have some declines, some very worrisome declines,” echoes David Wagner, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut and author of a chapter on insect biodiversity trends in the 2018 Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene. “The bigger question is, ‘Why?’” he says. “And that’s so very important. You can’t fix something until you understand what the problem is.”
Unsung Heroes

Many people tend to think of animals as large, furry, likeable creatures. In reality, insects are the dominant form of animal life. Close a million species have been described to date—compared with a paltry 5,416 mammals. And depending on who you ask, entomologists suspect there could be two to 30 times as many actually out there.

Not only that, but insects are linchpins of the living world, carrying out numerous functions that make life possible.

Insects pollinate a spectrum of plants, including many of those that humans rely on for food. They also are key players in other important jobs including breaking dead things down into the building blocks for new life, controlling weeds and providing raw materials for medicines. And they provide sustenance for a spectrum of other animals—in fact, the Puerto Rico study showed a decline in density of insect-eating frogs, birds and lizards that paralleled the insect nosedive.

All told, insects provide at least US$57 billion in services to the U.S. economy each year.

“They’re the unsung heroes of most ecosystems,” says applied entomologist Helen Spafford, who helped write Entomological Society of America’s 2017 position statement on endangered insect species.
Real Problems

It’s unsettling, then, to imagine that insects might be in trouble. But a spectrum of studies, combined with anecdotal evidence, increasingly suggests that things are, in the words of Harper Adams University entomologist Simon Leather, “not how they should be.”
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In the 1990s, reports started cropping up around the world of disappearing pollinators. In 2006, researchers reported dramatic declines in counts of moths attracted to light traps in Great Britain. A 2010 international gathering of firefly experts reported unsettling downward trends. In 2017, scientists reported a decline of more than 75 percent in insect biomass across 63 nature areas in Germany between 1989 and 2016. A 2018 census found an ominous drop in monarch butterflies along the California coast. Anecdotal evidence from Australia earlier this year indicates insect declines there as well.

Worldwide, a 2014 summary of global declines in biodiversity and abundance estimated a 45 percent drop in the abundance of invertebrates, most of which are insects. And many individual species and species groups are declining or even being threatened with extinction, from bumblebees in Europe and the United States to fungus weevils in Africa.

“I think all the indicators point to real problems with insect and invertebrates in decline across the world.” – Scott Black“The vast majority of studies that have come out in the last decade are showing a decline in populations or insect species or biomass, and we’re seeing that consistently whether in Germany or equatorial areas or the United States,” says Scott Black, executive director of the Xerces Society, an invertebrate conservation nonprofit. “I think all the indicators point to real problems with insect and invertebrates in decline across the world.”
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Old 18th February 2019, 13:16
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its because of human overpopulation of course
We really need to do something about that.
Who's going first?
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Old 18th February 2019, 18:19

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We really need to do something about that.
Who's going first?
if people would just stop overpopulating now

africa is expected to quadruple its population to 4 billion by 2100 - will there be any wildlife left on that continent? elephants, rhinos, hippos, lions?
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Old 18th February 2019, 19:05
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This is simply a thought and I may well be out to lunch on this one but in my personal opinion I don't think that we have as much a problem with overpopulation as we have a problem under-utilization of land. In Canada we have more land than most countries in the entire world yet with our population of around 37 million people but 90% of us live within 100 miles of the USA. Granted up here in the great white north a lot of this wonderful country is "uninhabitable" some say 90% which I question and would say more like 50%, but the point is that we could easily take in another 100-150 million and still have plenty of elbow room. Damn that would put some nice tax dollars in the coffers ...

Look at a world map and notice the concentration of people and you will quickly see that if they spread out a little better things would look a lot rosier, especially with pollution concerns that would be dispersed quicker by ma nature if it wasn't so concentrated.

Anyway my original thought on the topic was the blood sucking bane of our existence, the pesky mosquito. Other than piss us off in the summer, do they really serve a purpose? They seem to think so LOL!

Interestingly enough a bat can eat as many as 1000 mosquitoes per hour and consumes about 6000-8000 mosquito size insects per day ...

What If Every Mosquito On Earth Went Extinct Tomorrow?

Mosquitoes don't have too many fans. Their bites are itchy, they spread disease, and their numbers swell rapidly. But just what would happen if we all woke up tomorrow in a world that was completely empty of mosquitoes?

Public health entomologist Grayson Brown joined us today to take our questions about mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, including Malaria, West Nile, and Chikungunya. One question, in particular, kept popping up — and it wasn't one that was particularly flattering to the blood-sucking insect. What would happen if we wiped out the mosquito population? Brown explains:

If mosquitoes went extinct: Mosquito larvae are very important in aquatic ecology. Many other insects and small fish feed on them and the loss of that food source would cause their numbers to decline as well. Anything that feeds on them, such as game fish, raptorial birds, etc. would in turn suffer too. Mosquitoes can be wiped out but the ecological damage that would be necessary (draining swamps/wetlands, applying pesticides over wide areas), along with strict regulatory enforcement, would make eradication not worth it unless there was a very serious public health emergency.


There is a follow-up to this article that I will post later so that this post doesn't get too long to keep attention. Or you can check out the link for the redirect.
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http://io9.gizmodo.com/what-if-every-mosquito-on-earth-went-extinct-tomorrow-1646840383
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Old 18th February 2019, 20:23

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This is simply a thought and I may well be out to lunch on this one but in my personal opinion I don't think that we have as much a problem with overpopulation as we have a problem under-utilization of land.
we do have a problem though. human overpopulation causes destruction of animal habitat - it is the number one problem. When i was growing up there would be thousands of butterflies every spring, many different varieties, now i see almost none except for the ugly cabbage moth. There used to be huge swarms of Monarch butterflies flying from the U.S. to Mexico every year and now? There used to be all kinds of interesting bugs in the tall unmown grass, now instead i more often see hundreds of the same kinds of bugs but very few varieties. There used to be tens or hundreds of thousands (millions?) of Canadian geese flying south ever winter and now?

we have more than enough selfish greedy humans already
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Old 18th February 2019, 21:30
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I am still not sold that we couldn't populate a large part of the world without devastating effects on wildlife but there is always going to one asshole that wants to build condo's on prime animal habitat, it is human nature to fuck shit up LOL. Nuf said and let's get back on the topic of insects.

Honey bees, this is one that depending on which side of the argument you are on it is either in serious trouble or it isn't ... honey bees are a "managed species" and some like FOX News would have you believe that the sky is falling and for every negative article from one side I could show you a positive one from the other. I say "follow the money" and it will show you who is blowing things out of proportion for financial benefit. Shock value sells, plain and simple.

Bee populations in Canada are actually on the rise as are they in Europe and other places. Does the cold Canadian climate kill off some, sure but that is the cycle of life ... but again most cases of decline could be traced back to declining habitat and again I will say that that needs to be better controlled as a society.

I will post an excerpt from an article that some are sure to call bullshit on but I am only the messenger lol!

Colony Collapse Disorder is not the same as bee losses linked to diseases and chemicals

The independent Bee Informed Partership, which was founded by a grant from the US Department of Agriculture, reported that despite bee health problems in recent years, trends are favorable in tracking overwinter losses, considered the key statistic in evaluating bee colony health.

According to a recent USDA report on honeybee health, beekeepers have been able to adapt their managerial practices and repopulate their stocks when cold weather or virus-related losses occur. Winter losses can easily be replenished by splitting hives, but experts say that’s not the optimal solution; it would be better for bee stocks for overwinter losses to continue their recent decline.

“The media have overstressed the mortality aspects and largely ignored the fact that the beekeeping industry is able to rebound,” Michael Burgett, professor emeritus of entomology at Oregon State University and a co-author of the report, told the GLP. “The honey bee is in no way endangered.”

Burgett has been studying bees since 1969, and has noticed a significant uptick in public interest in, and funding for, honeybee research since the onset of “Colony Collapse Disorder” first raised eyebrows when it appeared in California in 2006.

“As a practicing academic for the last 49 years, I’m always delighted when more money becomes available to do research and outreach programs,” Burgett said. “However, it’s based on the falsehood that our honeybee industry is on the decline.”

CCD, which lasted for about 3-5 years, is a sudden phenomenon in which the majority of worker bees mysteriously disappear. That problem, which showed up most dramatically in California, abated by 2011. But reporters continue to use the term, erroneously, to describe other health challenges faced by bees since then, including the growing threat of mite infestations.

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Originally Posted by ww345 View Post
we do have a problem though. human overpopulation causes destruction of animal habitat - it is the number one problem. When i was growing up there would be thousands of butterflies every spring, many different varieties, now i see almost none except for the ugly cabbage moth. There used to be huge swarms of Monarch butterflies flying from the U.S. to Mexico every year and now? There used to be all kinds of interesting bugs in the tall unmown grass, now instead i more often see hundreds of the same kinds of bugs but very few varieties. There used to be tens or hundreds of thousands (millions?) of Canadian geese flying south ever winter and now?

we have more than enough selfish greedy humans already
Too many humans are not willing to share the earth or allow nature to cut into their profits. All of those pretty butterflies need sustenance just like we do. Do you grow a garden? Maybe you should. There will likely be more of these beautiful creatures around if they had a food source minus the pesticides etc.
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Too many humans are not willing to share the earth or allow nature to cut into their profits. All of those pretty butterflies need sustenance just like we do. Do you grow a garden? Maybe you should. There will likely be more of these beautiful creatures around if they had a food source minus the pesticides etc.
yes i've had (organic) gardens before but i'm not able to at my current location - one person can't make much difference on this anyway

i look around where i'm at and there are huge swaths of farmland that are just bare empty soil right now in the winter time and they support no life at all. Then in the summer all this farmland will be growing single crop monocultures, mostly useless again. The farmers pat themselves on the back because they"re "feeding the world" but they're destroying the ability for anything that isn't human to survive
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