Insect populations around the world are rapidly declining. Within the next 20 years, 40% of the earth’s insect species may be extinct and within 100 years insects could disappear completely.
Insects are the foundation of the planet’s ecosystems. When just one type of insect disappears, dozens of other species, including humans, are directly and indirectly impacted. In fact, some scientists contend that humans could become extinct and the planet would not perceptibly suffer (in fact, it might become healthier), but if insects vanish, the world’s systems will collapse.
When faced with dire predictions of worldwide implications, the initial response is often to shrink back from any responsibility. The excuse becomes, “What can I, as just one individual, actually do?” It turns out that there are many steps, both large and small that we can all take to help reverse the trend of insect decline. Try a few of them yourself — the bugs will thank you. And so will the birds, the frogs, the turtles, the lizards and the all the rest of our wildlife.
Citizen Science Opportunities
There are a number of environmentally focused Citizen Science programs. The Xerces Society has several designed to assist researchers as they track the nation’s insect populations. The following link takes you to a listing of some of their current programs. Some ask you to record sightings while others ask for uploaded photos. None are burdensome, but all are beneficial and can be fun to do with your children or grandchildren.