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Earth Science

Flying Insects Have Been Disappearing Over the Past Few Decades, Study Shows (theguardian.com) 178

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists. Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is "on course for ecological Armageddon," with profound impacts on human society. The new data was gathered in nature reserves across Germany but has implications for all landscapes dominated by agriculture, the researchers said. The cause of the huge decline is as yet unclear, although the destruction of wild areas and widespread use of pesticides are the most likely factors and climate change may play a role. The scientists were able to rule out weather and changes to landscape in the reserves as causes, but data on pesticide levels has not been collected. The research, published in the journal Plos One, is based on the work of dozens of amateur entomologists across Germany who began using strictly standardized ways of collecting insects in 1989.
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Flying Insects Have Been Disappearing Over the Past Few Decades, Study Shows

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  • Good. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Fuck bugs.

    • Re:Good. (Score:4, Funny)

      by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @08:41PM (#55393869)

      You can have my bug zapper when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Take off and nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      I once worked for a non-profit that funded scientific field research. Two of us were standing outside with a researcher who had just returned from spending months in one of those inflatable rainforest tree rafts, when a huge, iridescent staghorn beetle landed right at our feet.

      The scientist shoved us back. "Don't step on it!"

      The other staffer I was with gave him a totally uncomprehending look, and I had to explain to the researcher: "The kind of people who work here don't step on weird looking bugs. They

  • Not Mosquitos (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Too bad the reduction in bees hasn't translated to a reduction of mosquitoes.

    I would gladly destroy every bee on earth if I could sit outside without spraying a ton of chemicals on myself to prevent mosquito bites carrying disease.

    Nuke em all, and let the god of flying bastards sort it out.

    • Re:Not Mosquitos (Score:4, Interesting)

      by glitch! ( 57276 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @08:01PM (#55393643)

      I would gladly destroy every bee on earth if I could sit outside without spraying a ton of chemicals on myself to prevent mosquito bites carrying disease.

      I agree that mosquitoes are despicable vermin. Most bugs have some purpose in the grand cycle, and I leave them alone so long as they stay outside where they belong. But I have to ask, just what the hell is the place of mosquitoes in the scheme?! Yes, if the price was agreeable, I would support the 100% elimination of this bug forever.

      • Re:Not Mosquitos (Score:4, Informative)

        by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @11:02PM (#55394335)

        I would gladly destroy every bee on earth if I could sit outside without spraying a ton of chemicals on myself to prevent mosquito bites carrying disease.

        I agree that mosquitoes are despicable vermin. Most bugs have some purpose in the grand cycle, and I leave them alone so long as they stay outside where they belong. But I have to ask, just what the hell is the place of mosquitoes in the scheme?! Yes, if the price was agreeable, I would support the 100% elimination of this bug forever.

        Or ticks! Little cocksucers latch onto you and can even screw you up big time, via lyme disease and one even carries some disease that makes a person allergic to meat.

        Tip - I don't know if you know about Picardin, but its a tick and mosquito repellent that is as effective as DEET. And it doesn't melt plastic or make you feel like a greaser - like DEET - either. I use Picardin all the time.

      • Re:Not Mosquitos (Score:5, Informative)

        by thomst ( 1640045 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @11:57PM (#55394461) Homepage

        glitch! wondered:

        I agree that mosquitoes are despicable vermin. Most bugs have some purpose in the grand cycle, and I leave them alone so long as they stay outside where they belong. But I have to ask, just what the hell is the place of mosquitoes in the scheme?! Yes, if the price was agreeable, I would support the 100% elimination of this bug forever.

        I'm sorry to have to inform you that mosquitoes are an important food source for insectivorous birds. Hummingbirds, in particular. And Gnatcatchers [wikipedia.org]. Bats are also major predators of adult mosquitoes. Their larvae are an important food source for fish, dragonflies, crawdads, and smaller water-loving birds, as well.

        Insectivorous birds are also eager predators of ticks, which are particularly important to them in winter, when many other insect adults are absent from temperate ecosystems.

        Note that, having said all that, I myself hate both of them, along with every other kind of parasite you might care to name.

        Fleas, for instance ...

        • Re:Not Mosquitos (Score:5, Interesting)

          by brianerst ( 549609 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @09:20AM (#55396145) Homepage

          Bats, purple martins and other insectivores get a vanishingly small amount of their calories from mosquitoes - less than 1% of the stomach contents of bats. Mosquitoes are quite small and therefore not very calorically rich. Unlike midges and gnats, they don’t really swarm in a way that would allow insectivores to get a whole bunch in one swoop, so generally mosquitoes are providing fewer calories than the expense required to fly at them. Bats, martins and the like mostly end up eating moths and midges. Some species of dragonfly are mosquitovores but, again, not as a large percentage of their caloric intake.

          There are a handful of species that target mosquito larvae, which bunch up enough to be worth it. The aptly named mosquitofish is one such creature.

          But the saving grace even among mosquitofish is that they don’t care what species of mosquito larva they eat - getting rid of the handful that target humans will leave space for the hundreds of other species that exist in the US (let alone the thousands worldwide). There are approximately 3,500 species of mosquito and only about 40 that target humans. Most of the human targeting mosquitoes are invasive species in nearly all of their range, brought by humans. (Aedes aegypti and the Asian Tiger mosquito, for instance, shouldn't be found in the Americas...)

          Contrast that with the enormous chemical inputs we put into our lakes, streams and rivers in order to just control mosquitoes - we are surely inadvertently killing off other species of insects just trying to control mosquitoes. And when we drain a wetland because of mosquitoes, we impact far, far more species than even the worst case scenario of mosquito extinction.

          There have been a number of discussions among ecologists and the consensus [nature.com] is that wiping out human-targeting mosquito species is fine [theguardian.com]. Even E.O. Wilson, the famed biologist and campaigner for biodiversity, wants to kill them all [pri.org]. (He’s actually slightly more cautious, but basically wouldn’t spill any tears over eradicating human-feeding insects.)

          • by thomst ( 1640045 )

            brianerst confided:

            Mosquitoes are quite small and therefore not very calorically rich.

            Really?

            I'm not questioning your assertion as it applies to hunting mosquitoes, but I'd think mosquitoes who have recently fed would be pretty calorie-rich for their size. Can I persuade you to elucidate further ... ?

            • Certainly, a blood filled mosquito female has more calories than a male mosquito. They also fly slower. In highly constrained environments, in this case [slashdot.org] a netted area where bats were only allowed to eat mosquitoes, they ate enough females to decrease the mosquito egg population by 30%.

              However, in reality, bats don’t do this. In the absolute best conditions (lots of swarming mosquitoes, no other insects, highly motivated bats) a bat can capture at most 10 mosquitoes a minute. There are about 100 mosqui

      • by Evtim ( 1022085 )

        According to "The book of general ignorance" mosquitoes were the biggest killer of humans throughout history. The claim was rather bold though, IIRC that half of humans who ever lived died because of a disease transmitted by mosquitoes. That's 50 billion!!

        Off-topic addendum - in the same book they say that the animal that has saved most human lives in history is the horseshoe crab, thanks to its "old fashioned" evolutionary speaking, blood. At least these days they don't kill them but "milk" them. It seem

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Mosquito_Control_Association [wikipedia.org]

        KABS employees carry out mosquito control on a 300 km stretch of the Rhine between Bingen and Offenburg over an area of around six thousand square kilometers. They exclusively use a protein produced by Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI). ...At a cost of 400 thousand Euros annually the result is a reduction of the mosquito population by 99% compared to untreated areas.

      • There was talk about putting in a recessive gene that made males sterile. The speculation was that over time certain species would fade out. Why that hasn't been applied to mosquitoes and flies immediately I'll never know. Talk about making the world a better place.
      • Mosquitoes pollinate plants and provide a food source for probably a billion other things. Most of the time they aren't even biting people, but sucking plant juices right? I do hate them all the same, but they aren't useless.

        But holy crap, what percentage of flying insects are gone? 25% less or 75% less???? Either way this does sound like something really dangerous is happening... no way is normal life on earth going to exist "normally" if such a huge biomass and basis for so much food is missing.

        Quote from

      • I would gladly destroy every bee on earth if I could sit outside without spraying a ton of chemicals on myself to prevent mosquito bites carrying disease.

        I agree that mosquitoes are despicable vermin. Most bugs have some purpose in the grand cycle, and I leave them alone so long as they stay outside where they belong. But I have to ask, just what the hell is the place of mosquitoes in the scheme?! Yes, if the price was agreeable, I would support the 100% elimination of this bug forever.

        I feel the same about bird-eating spiders. What the fuck?

      • But I have to ask, just what the hell is the place of mosquitoes in the scheme?

        Their purpose is exactly the same as your purpose : to make little copies of their genomes in new bodies.

    • Mosquitoes, rattlesnakes, the common cold, and herpes... living proof the ecological nightmare otherwise known as hominid clearly falls short of omnipotence.

      It's not easy being an earthly life form humans would prefer to eradicate, so the one that make it are subject to Arrakian-like environmental culls.

    • I would gladly destroy every bee on earth if I could sit outside without spraying a ton of chemicals on myself to prevent mosquito bites carrying disease.

      What are you going to do when a lot of foods are no longer available or are prohibitively expensive?

    • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

      And then starve as the all the pollinators have been killed.

    • Re:Not Mosquitos (Score:4, Interesting)

      by No Longer an AC ( 4611353 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @11:10PM (#55394359)

      I hate mosquitoes but I found I solved that problem by moving far away from the Gulf Coast.

      I was chased out of a park once by a swarm of them. And some people are trying to get me to move back there. Bad timing. I told them you just had a hurricane and your homes are flooded and I don't even want to imagine what the mosquitoes are like. I think I'll stay up here in the mountains far away from any bayou.

      In between living in the swamp and living in the mountains I lived in the desert for a couple of years and I don't believe I saw a single mosquito in the desert. And I've only seen one palmetto bug (roach) since I moved out of the swamp and I'm pretty sure that one just hitchhiked its way across the USA- just like in that Lou Reed song.

      I hate most bugs especially roaches and mosquitoes but I made a mistake a few years back. When I moved into my current home I killed all the wasps with chemical weapons and they never came back. Some might call this a successful victory over stinging insects but I realized after the fact that I had done wrong. Unlike mosquitoes, wasps don't want to sting or bite humans. They just wanted to pollinate the plants. I regret killing the wasps.

      One type of bug I've never killed though is spiders and they've been good to me. One spider rid my house of some kind of tiny fly infestation - they weren't gnats or fruitflies - not exactly sure what they were but the spider built a web and caught them all and when they were gone the spider went away.

      Supposedly there are mosquitoes around here but I can't remember the last time one bit me.

      • The nice thing about long, cold winters - only a few months of mosquitoes, and they rarely venture far from a few known areas before old man winter eradicates them.

        Spiders are great, and I try to never bother them. They've done too good a job at keeping my apartment bug free, because they eventually moved on and now I have no spiders.

        A few weeks ago, a massive swarm of wasps was trying to breach the south side of my 5 story apartment building. At first I thought it was just a nest on my balcony, but looki

  • My money is on... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @07:51PM (#55393601)

    Neonicotinoids

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Used to drive 150 mph all the time. I'd clean the windscreen every day. Today, I drive 150 mph all the time. I NEVER clean the windscreen!

  • The TSA!

    Quite the coincidence isn't it?

  • by Presence Eternal ( 56763 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @08:02PM (#55393657)

    They would have found the missing populations if they'd bothered to check my living room last Thursday.

  • by swell ( 195815 )

    copyright t. swell

    Bugs!
    they counted them,
    you know;
    took 'em ten years, using
    airplanes
    with nets and special
    radar.
    that's what they do;
    scientists
    from Israel, China and
    Britain.
    count bugs.
    short ones tall ones big ones
    small ones
    tasty or otherwise, bugs
    dominate.
    they surround us, they live
    on & in us
    they crawl, squirm, hop
    and fly
    by day, by night, while
    you sleep...
    bugs
    are bigger than we -
    total weight greater than
    all humanity.
    7 trillion bugs fly over
    your head
    every year; spring
    and fall;
    far above your head
    up to a mil

  • More complete BS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nicoleb_x ( 1571029 )
    Did they even consider that 25 years ago they had an unusually high density of insects and now we are back to normal? I think they did not!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's the most appropriate title for a /. post I've seen in a long time. I wish more people would label their posts correctly like you did!

  • I've read that the popularity of housecats creates tremendous predation of small animals in urban areas. I wonder if the prevalence of birdfeeders creates similar booms of insectivores.

    • I've noticed that the prevalence of cats creates tremendous predation of small birds in urban areas. I wonder if the prevalence of catfood bowls creates similar booms of feathers all over the yard.

      (Apologies In Advance)

      • The cat food bowls are happily accepted by raccoons.

        I wonder if the prevalence of catfood bowls creates similar booms of feathers all over the yard.
        And yes to that! Some birds are so perky to try to steal food from the catfood bowls!

  • insect population in Germany only was studied

    might be happening elsewhere, but let's not go full alarmist yet eh?

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @08:30PM (#55393805)
    so they don't
  • So we ended up with the lose-lose of banning DDT and still ending up with the outcome she predicted [wikipedia.org].

    Now what?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MangoCats ( 2757129 )

      Rachel Carson was concerned with the adorable songbirds and how DDT was not only killing insects but causing direct harm up the foodchain. Local scale problems, there were always more insects out there...

      Now we are killing all insects, with less direct harm up the foodchain - except: there's no more food. Global scale problem, like the fish stocks in the oceans.

      7B is just too many, no matter how we try to live. Everybody becoming vegetarian just won't cut it. I think if we could scale back to 2B, we'd b

      • 7B is just too many, no matter how we try to live.

        I heard the same thing at 6B, 5B all the way back to 1B, in fact I think the Romans may have even voiced concerns when there was only a few million.
        Assuming we do want to scale it back, the easiest method is peace and prosperity. There's a direct correlation between wealth, happiness, and smaller families. I recall seeing something where most of the west is already in stable growth mode (eg Japan is already negative) and that most population growth is from the developing world and immigration.

        • by tsa ( 15680 )

          Immigration may cause the number of people on planet America to increase but on planet Earth it jus means people move around.

      • 40% - 50% of all food produced is thrown away.
        Most of it does not even reach the super market, and plenty of it is not even used as food for livestock.

        The planet easily can hold up to 50B people with nature intact if we would get rid of "greed capitalism".

        Poisoning the planet with CO2, because it is cheaper than renewables ... by what metric? Dollars?
        Exploiting the Oceans instead of sustained fishing and "working" sea farms. Yes, we have sea farms, but "greed capitalism" makes them more harm than good and t

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not sure what the prediction is that you're referring to, but I', approaching 50 years old and saw *no* raptors when I was growing up unless the family was driving through very remote mountains.

      Today-- there are large birds everywhere.

      Banning DDT had a very clear positive effect of allowing large birds to live.

    • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @11:17PM (#55394377)

      So we ended up with the lose-lose of banning DDT and still ending up with the outcome she predicted [wikipedia.org].

      Now what?

      Umm, no we didn't. Neonicotinoids are almost certainly the cause of this, has nothing to do with DDT. DDT, which for some halfassed reason is championed by some as the holy grail of insect killers, a majick chemical that no insect will ever develop immunity to, because majick!

      DDT was retired because birds were susceptible to it, laying thinner and thinner shells until they would crack under their own weight. Not sure how old you are, but when I was a kid in the early 1960's, it was so rare to see a hawk or other raptor, to the point that if we saw one while out in the car, we'd often stop because it was exciting. Hellava price to pay for a chemical that the insects will develop resistance to, just like weeds have developed resistance to Roundup.

      Under some emergency stopgap circumstances, we can use DDT. Just not regularly. Don't want resistance built up to it. Just like old school penicillin, we're saving it. Because once those two are no longer effective, we are well and truly fucked. Just not in the fun way.

      • DDT also accumulated in the food chain.
        And is super dangerous for humans in the end ...

        DDT is basically a variation of Dioxin(s)
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        • DDT also accumulated in the food chain. And is super dangerous for humans in the end ...

          DDT is basically a variation of Dioxin(s) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          I cringe when I see the videos of people being dusted with that stuff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] And there is a video of San Antonia Texas being swamped with DDT in some kind or weird attempt to combat Polio. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] Which disease is spread mostly by fecal matter, not bugs.

          A nasty poison that has a weird cult following, of it's mythical status. I wonder if these folk would like to go back to using Paris Green, a mixture of Copper II acetate and lead arsenide?

          We obvio

      • Heh, and here all this time I thought it was because it doesn't break down easily and builds up in the water table and therefore is potentially harmful to humans, well that is mentioned in the Wikipedia entry, but it's not the main reason. Thanks, I learned something new today, I can go home now :-)
      • So we ended up with the lose-lose of banning DDT and still ending up with the outcome she predicted

        Umm, no we didn't. Neonicotinoids are almost certainly the cause of this

        Looks like I was a bit too subtle. We banned DDT but then created a bunch of replacements that still ended up wiping out the lowest layer of the ecosystem, which if this study is even remotely close to accurate will now shortly end up working its way up the food chain. Birds still eat bugs, last I checked.

    • Population control. All these problems will just worse the more people there are.
  • still no shortage.

  • We're good for another 4 billion people. Then the population will balance out and mother nature will live harmoniously with our industrial farms and floating plastic continents and if you all know what's good for you...lots more coal power plants...god bless 'em.
    • And humans will subsist exclusively on Roundup in our underground caverns. The future will be amazing!
      • And humans will subsist exclusively on Roundup in our underground caverns. The future will be amazing!

        Considering the effects of Roundup on humans - there will actually be less of us too.

  • I swat one every few days or so.

  • Look at your car windshield if you want to see where a big chunk of them are going. I've lived in areas where it sounded like rain at night, there were so many bugs being smashed as I drove down the road.
    • by tsa ( 15680 )

      That was one of the tings I noticed recently, that my car windshield hardly does't get any bugs on it anymore, even on long trips.

      • I guess it depends where you are... 2 weeks ago I drove the night in the Adirondacks park (upstate NY) and my (white) car was scattered with bugs...

        • Adirondack Park, and Thruway (90) between Albany and Buffalo - total slaughter. Never seems as bad on the Masspike or the thruway (87) down to NYC.

    • That... that is a good point.... I enjoy seeing more raptors and large birds than when I was a kid, but the windshield does stay cleaner on long drives... you used to have to scrape it off every fillup on road trips. I wonder if it is the bugs or the aerodynamics of the cars, though?
  • by grep -v '.*' * ( 780312 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @10:38PM (#55394277)

    He works for a chemical company. A few decades ago on one fine, hot summer day he and a friend were out there (for more than a week) with a few crickets, an air hose, and a windshield or fifty.

    He and a friend spend their time having fun blasting crickets from the hose onto the windshields, each treated with a different mixture to test, thus imitating a car driving thru a (?cricket storm? It's the same idea as having a teeny tiny mouse process 10,000 gallons of aspartame so see what happens. The mouse finally dies in the bathroom of boredom I think.)

    It was fun for the first 30 minutes or so, I hear. They started cracking jokes and whistling. After a few days they started watching "The Fly" with Vincent Price on a TV they bought. On Repeat.

    One fine day they put pictures of their boss behind some of the windshields. Their accuracy and attention span greatly improved that day.

    Nowdays he just sits in the corner and chirps slightly. (I exaggerate. He actually stomps on every cricket he sees, even if it's on the ceiling -- he's a pretty good shot with a shoe.)

    So, kids, you've a choice between depressing old Emily Dickinson and weird e eEEEEE! Cummings or STEM research with bugs and fire and electricity. Personally, I'd stay in the theoretical physics side of things -- where no one expects understandable results anyway.

  • Noted (Score:4, Interesting)

    by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @12:00AM (#55394467)

    I was sitting outside a few days ago and thinking about how bugs aren't nearly as bad as they used to be. Just sitting there drinking a glass of iced tea enjoying a beautiful day, and nothing buzzing my head. No gnats flying in my ears, no flies trying to light on my glass. I thought maybe it was just me but the last 2 or 3 years I had wondered why bugs weren't so bad anymore. Now this makes me wonder, are they really dying off?

  • The end is near (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @12:12AM (#55394501) Homepage

    Most ancient civilizations disappeared because they totally depleted their immediate environment of all things needed to live. Nowadays our immediate environment is the whole planet. We're doomed.

    • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @09:07AM (#55396023)
      Please name more than two ancient civilizations which disappeared because they depleted their immediate environment of things they needed to live.
    • Human population is stabilizing. If anything it's declining in the developed world with birth rates around 1.8 per couple. Overpopulation turned out not to be a thing.

      As the population declines the strain on the planet combined with our need to get resources out of it will drop. The only question is if we can keep this trend up. To be honest, it comes down to whether we can mellow our religion. That's the main driving force to increase population and oppose birth control. Specifically the notion that Go
  • Does it ever seem like no matter what we do, it's wrong? From so many directions our impending doom approaches.. from nuclear war, climate change, and other ecological disasters, like this and bee colony collapse.

    Maybe we should all watch more of Primitive Technology on Youtube, seems like we're going to have to learn how to live like that again sometime sooner than expected, if at all.

  • Of course we have a huge drop in insect populations. What did you expect was going to happen?

    One of the genetic modifications done to corn in 1995 was the introduction of genes from bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). These genes make plants themselves produce toxic crystals which destroy insect guts. Thus, farms don't have to spray insecticide anymore, the plants themselves ARE insecticide.

  • by ET3D ( 1169851 ) on Thursday October 19, 2017 @04:22AM (#55394943)
    Regardless, while the downward trend is clear, the 75% figure is bullshit. There was 50% variation over the first two years, and these major changes continue over time. The overall fall is still dramatic, just less than what is stated.
    • This number has floated around a few times this year.

      Personally I think if there is a decline, it's due to mankind's smash-and-grab of as much land as we can take, filling it with concrete and asphalt, then spraying pesticides everywhere. We hose down crops with insecticides as well, though that practice seems to be (I'm no farmer) waning. I don't like bugs in my house, and have pest control treat our lawns for fire ants - those guys are assholes - quarterly. Not trying to be a hypocrite... but you look at

  • PESTICIDES

    PESTICIDES

    You can't drop tons of chemicals engineered to kill insects into a biosystem, and NOT expect it to kill insects.

    - Jason

  • OK, I'm sorry, but I have serious problems extrapolating from one highly industrialized country in the middle of a highly industrialized continent to the entire world. The results they found in Germany are a basis to justify funding to see if the same holds true in the rest of the world, but not a very solid basis to draw a conclusion about what is happening in the rest of the world.

    Personally, I am somewhat skeptical of their conclusions because the number of bats and insectivorous birds which I see are
  • Germany is one of the most intensively human modified environments in the world. The current goal [www.bfn.de] of the Germans is to have 2% of their country be wilderness area by 2020 (it's currently 0.5%).

    Doing a wildlife study of Germany and extrapolating globally from that is fairly ridiculous. It might apply to a few other countries in Europe and maybe New Jersey in the US, but otherwise is useless.

  • "gathered in nature reserves across Germany"

    Couldn't the fact that it's in a nature reserve affect the outcome?

  • for the Northeast, especially Maine and Massachusetts. We're not bug scientists, but a lot of us noticed that something's been wrong for a few years.

    The states don't appear to be interested in funding any studies though. On guy actually said - I kid you not - if we don't study it, it doesn't exist.
  • I saw an article about this somewhere else recently, saying that here in the UK you just don't get the same amount of dead insects on your windscreen in the summer as you used to, although that was more anecdotal than evidence-based..

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.

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