People have started to care about insects. Now we need action, say experts

‘If you had asked me this question four years ago, I would have given you a totally different answer.’ Professor David Kleijn, an ecologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, is talking about the change in people’s feelings towards insects. Traditionally, the relationship has been far from a comfortable one, but Prof. Kleijn notes signs … Read more

Pheromones, mulch and wildflowers – how to control pests without pesticides

Pheromones that interfere with insect mating patterns, crops that are grown together with others and fields edged with wildflowers are just some of the techniques being developed by European scientists to defend crops from pests without resorting to pesticides, which have been linked to widespread insect biodiversity loss. Most crops require pesticides to grow profitably. But … Read more

What urban nature really means for insect biodiversity

Parks and green spaces in cities provide health and wellness benefits to human inhabitants, but they’re not necessarily beneficial for other urban dwellers – like insects. Researchers are investigating urban biodiversity with approaches such as ‘bee hotels’ to see how cities can better foster insect life. Green spaces now cover about 40% of cities in Europe, … Read more

Q&A: Climate monitoring, pandemic insight, decomposition – what insects do for us

Insects are vital to the health of our planet but they can also reveal a lot about climate change and help us fight future vector-borne disease outbreaks, says Alexey Solodovnikov, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, who runs the rove beetle-dedicated Solodovnikov Lab and is a curator at the Natural History Museum of Denmark.  Dr Solodovnikov … Read more

Public action and ‘fundamental social change’ needed to reverse biodiversity decline

Getting the general public to monitor local plants and animals could help paint a clearer picture of the global biodiversity crisis, but fundamental social change is needed if we are to reverse the loss of nature critical to our survival, say biodiversity experts. A million species are under threat of extinction, according to a global landmark … Read more

Sixth mass extinction could destroy life as we know it– biodiversity expert

Image credit - Paul VanDerWerf, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Alarming declines in the number of insects, vertebrates and plant species around the world have raised fears that we are in the midst of a sixth major extinction that could cause a collapse of the natural ecosystems we rely upon to survive. Urgent international action is needed to halt this potentially catastrophic decline in biodiversity, … Read more