Sunday 5 February 2023

Where have all the birds and insects gone - and should we care?

Anyone over 30 will probably have noticed (if they think about it) that there are a lot less insects, birds and other wildlife now than there used to be in the UK and Europe. 

When gardening now, I hardly ever find any insects these days and very rarely hear a bird sing (despite living in a small rural village), but when I was a boy, the skies were full of birds and the lawn and gardens were crawling with all sorts of insects.

I can remember driving at night when I was much younger (1980s) and always seeing hundreds of insects caught in the beam of the car headlights and they were also stuck to the windscreen of the car. These days, I am lucky if I see one moth on my windscreen in a month!

The weight of insects caught per trap per day in 63 nature reserves in Germany declined by 76% between 1989 and 2014, a decline which is, statistically speaking, highly unlikely to be due to chance (p<0.001) [Hallmann et al. 2017].

No one seems to care, but it is really very important for our health, our food production and our planet because we are not only killing all the wildlife on the planet but also the human race.