Insects in major decline globally (#journal)
Biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide. Authors present a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports of insect declines from across the globe, and systematically assess the underlying drivers. This reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world's insect species over the next few decades. The main drivers in order of importance are: i) habitat loss and conversion to intensive agriculture and urbanisation; ii) pollution, mainly that by synthetic pesticides and fertilisers; iii) biological factors, including pathogens and introduced species; and iv) climate change. A rethinking of current agricultural practices, in particular a serious reduction in pesticide usage is urgently needed. In addition, effective remediation technologies should be applied to clean polluted waters.