(ASSOCIATED PRESS) The world has lost more than one quarter of its land-dwelling insects in the past 30 years, according to researchers whose big picture study of global bug decline paints a disturbing but more nuanced problem than earlier research.
From bees and other pollinators crucial to the world’s food supply to butterflies that beautify places, the bugs are disappearing at a rate of just under 1 percent a year, with lots of variation from place to place, according to a study in Thursday’s journal Science.
That’s a tinier population decline than found by some smaller localized studies, which had triggered fears of a so-called insect apocalypse. But it still adds up to something “awfully alarming,” said entomologist Roel van Klink of the German Centre for Integrative Biology, the study’s lead author.
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