The number of flying insects has dropped at an alarming rate, scientists have discovered – with 75% less than there were 25 years ago.
The finding has shocked scientists, with one expert describing it as ‘ecological armageddon’ – which could have knock-on effects for the environment and human beings.
The research was based on the work of amateur scientists in Germany, who have been catching insects in tent-like traps since 1989 on nature reserves.
Comparing samples from this year to 1989, the researchers found that the weight of insects in the same traps had dropped 76%.
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In summer, when insect numbers are highest, the weights have dropped 82%.
Dave Goulson, professor of life sciences at the University of Sussex says, ‘Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth but there has been some kind of horrific decline.
‘We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.’