Where have all the insects gone?

In the latest edition of Science there is one such attempt to get the politicians and the public to raise their gaze. Entomologists have been assessing diversity and abundance across western Germany and have found that between 1989 and 2013 the biomass of invertebrates caught had fallen by nearly 80%.

This information gives the lie to our obsession with biodiversity – because the international lists of species of conservation concern, known as red lists, do not pick up on alarming losses within relatively common species. So there is a degree of comfort in looking at those lists – but they can deflect attention from the real problem, which is a loss not of biodiversity but a loss of bioabundance…


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