Author Topic: Scary scenario  (Read 244 times)

Online Rabbitproof

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Scary scenario
« on: February 11, 2019, 10:34:59 AM »
Article from Fox News:

A decline in insect populations happening across the planet has Earth’s ecosystems and humankind facing catastrophic consequences.

The sobering message has emerged from a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports on insect population declines which found the rate of extinction is eight times faster than vertebrates such as mammals, birds and reptiles.

More than a third of the world’s insects are threatened with extinction in the next few decades.

“Our work reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40 percent of the world’s insect species over the next few decades,” researchers wrote.

They found evidence for decline in all insect groups reviewed, but said it was most pronounced for butterflies and moths, native bees, beetles and aquatic insects such as dragonflies.

“From our compilation of published scientific reports, we estimate the current proportion of insect species in decline (41 percent) to be twice as high as that of vertebrates, and the pace of local species extinction (10 percent) eight times higher, confirming previous findings,” they wrote.

The report highlights the ongoing loss of biodiversity as environmental degradation, pollution, over hunting, habitat loss and climate change deplete animal populations to worrying levels.

Humans have wiped out about 60 percent of the planet’s animal life since 1970, according to the latest Living Planet Index.

Due to the high level off species loss, Earth is considered to have entered into its sixth mass extinction event in half-a-billion years as conservationists warn that more needs to be done to protect our environmental systems.

The review of declining insect populations was conducted by Dr. Francisco Sánchez-Bayo from the University of Sydney and Kris Wyckhuys from the University of Queensland, and published online this month in the journal Biological Conservation.

Dr. Sánchez-Bayo could not be reached for comment but speaking to The Guardian, he said the stakes were seriously high.

“If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind,” he said.

Insects are considered vital to many of nature’s ecosystems for the productive role they play, particularly in controlling populations of other organisms.

They maintain soil structure and fertility, pollinate plants and control insect and plant pests. Many insects feed on dead animals and fallen trees, thereby recycling nutrients back into the soil.

Various insects are also a common food source for larger animals. “If this food source is taken away, all these animals starve to death,” Dr. Sánchez-Bayo said.

The pair of researchers set out to “systematically assess the underlying drivers” of the drop in insect populations.

The main driver behind the decline, they found, was habitat loss due to intensive agriculture and urbanization.

They also pointed to the growing use of pollutants, mainly synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, as well as the impact of invasive species and climate change.

“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” the report said. “The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.”

Conservation and biodiversity groups have called on the more careful use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture to address the problem.

“A rethinking of current agricultural practices, in particular a serious reduction in pesticide usage and its substitution with more sustainable, ecologically-based practices, is urgently needed to slow or reverse current trends, allow the recovery of declining insect populations and safeguard the vital ecosystem services they provide,” the report said.

This story originally appeared in news.com.au.

Offline Double B

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Re: Scary scenario
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 03:03:57 PM »
I will slip my tin foil hat on ::)

I am not sure if this was someone who sits inside all day in a laboratory but here in the real world, we have seen an increase in nearly everything. We have more bugs, wasps, bees, and different types of insects than we have ever had. Closer to the pond, we have more dragonflies than ever at certain times of year.

When I was young, we never saw bald eagles and now we have mating pairs all around us. So many hawks, ospreys and other birds of prey too. This sounds like someone with an agenda to me.

Right now my yard looks like a crawfish farm with all of the mud huts they have built. Last year, we saw so many hummingbirds of different varieties it was unreal. I am sure that in different places there are different results but here all is well. We have lots of agriculture around us but land is being cleared all the time and new houses are going up. I guess it is a sign of the times. I'll go ahead and slip my tin foil hat off now ;)
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Re: Scary scenario
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 06:12:54 PM »
Double B----Yay!!...hope you are right. I saw only 2 honeybees and one bumblebee last yr....worried me, as I usually see more, even tho there has been a steady decline for the past number of years. I saw no dragonflies, and I used to see lots of those,too. I grow organically, so at least I myself am doing nothing to kill them. There has been more development of land in our area so maybe that alone is the cause....????

Online DB

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Re: Scary scenario
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 06:30:05 PM »
Double B, I'm looking for my tin hat too. ;D Possibly the insects have heard about your place and mine, and have all come to visit us. ;D  The key word in your post was agenda.
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Re: Scary scenario
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 08:23:58 AM »
DB...Ha ;D, 90% of what we hear today is definitely some entity's "agenda"....go with your eyeballs is my take on it,too. I will definitely plant some tasty things to the bees this year,tho, in my garden....they are really missed here.

Offline Double B

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Re: Scary scenario
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 08:41:37 AM »
Rabbitproof,

My neighbor down the road with the greenhouse starts our spring seeds for tomatoes and peppers but also plants seed starts of milkweed. This dramatically helps the Monarch butterflies. I don't know if they migrate where you are at but they are making a super come back here.
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Re: Scary scenario
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 10:02:49 AM »
Double B....we are not on the migration route. Have not seen a Monarch since I left Ms. ....have missed them a lot!  The truly weird thing is that I have not seen hardly any bad insects either....stinkbugs, mexican bean beetles,etc...strange!!  I used to have beneficial brachonid wasps galore, wasps, butterflies, bees, ladybugs,etc. I never use pesticides, herbicides, and use only manure or mushroom compost and worm castings. What the heck is going on? Has been steadily noticeable decline now for about maybe 6-7 years....slow decline until this past year was really shocking. Now just because I am organic does not mean that my neighbors are....they could be using tons of pesticides....don't know. I am in a subdivision on a long road with lots of subdivisions but also some planted fields. Well, this year I am going to make a concerted effort to attract some beneficials. Am thinking of planting a plot of native wildflowers near my garden....got to try to do something.

Online Boudin

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Re: Scary scenario
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2019, 11:01:20 AM »
I don't doubt the validity of that info.  My own eyeball test tells me that the deer and turkeys have disappeared from my once rural community as every wooded lot and overgrown pasture has been converted into subdivisions.  We have all noticed that there aren't as many bees around as there once was.  People keep spreading out and the wild places are fewer and fewer.  Simple logic will tell you, if you take away the places that critters live, there will be less critters.

Online jimmiec

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Re: Scary scenario
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2019, 03:03:43 PM »
This year, I'm trying to add more flowers to my garden and surrounding area too and trying to attract more beneficial insects and birds to the garden / house.  Last year, I got luck with a reduction in stink bugs.  For the bees, right now I'm leaving the bolting mustard, radish, lettuce, bok choy, or broccoli plants, at least until I need the area here in a couple weeks.  I don't need the seeds but the bees are welcome to any pollen they can get.  They help me out with peaches so I'll try and help them. 

I don't understand the need for stink bugs, weevils, or mosquitoes.  There can not be an ecological reason for them.   
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Online whiskydog

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Re: Scary scenario
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2019, 04:15:58 PM »
a lot of this stuff is coming from overseas.. the bees get a mite and the mite was bought in here from somewhere else.. come to think of it honey bees aren't native here either.. seeing something called kudzu bugs they are new.. well kudzu was brought in too..

I don't know if we will figure out exactly what is causing the increase in diseases, of things that once were rare.. but i like many others wonder about the GMO crops, the round up chemicals, and other poisons we are using now days... I feel we as gardeners may well hold the answer to our own health in our gardens.. 
If I'm not having problems,, I'm not doing it right..

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Re: Scary scenario
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2019, 03:18:29 PM »
What Whiskeydog said... :-\ :-\ :-\
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