Declining Insects

21 June 2018

At… … the reason this has popped up on WattsUp is the fact that the researchers claim light pollution is a bigger factor than climate change for the ongoing decline in insect numbers. The interesting theory is advanced by scientists at a German institute of Freshwater Ecology and Fisheries (where one have thought the climate change meme would have taken precedent). They discovered a sharp decline in flying insects as a result of light pollution. Artificial light confuses insects (such as moths and flies) – but is this one of the reasons for the decline?

Insects have declined by as much as 75 per cent and in the past habitat change and farm practise have usually been the whipping boys. The researchers say that is not enough to account for such a drastic decline – other factors are at play. The research focuses on insects that fly by light – and confusion caused by street lights and neon signs etc. However, the decline is across all insects – including those that fly by day. In other words, most insects may not be affected by light pollution (but this does not concern the present study). I suppose it might depend on how old the researchers might be as I can remember flying insects being a problem when riding a push bike and riding a motor bike. Flies in the eyes was a common problem back in the day. Car windscreens also tended to fill up with dead and shattered insects impacted by the fast moving road vehicles – but alas no more. Rarely do we need to wash dead insects from a windscreen nowadays – or use a cloth to dig out insects from the eyelids. Insects have been in decline for many years – in the day time and the night time. The occasional moth is still attracted to the bedroom light but nothing like the numbers back in the day.

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