Infographic shows which bugs will likely die off first in 'insect apocalypse'

Scientists Predict'Catastrophic Consequences for Mankind as Insects Die OutCC0

Currently, 40% of Earth's insects are at risk of dying out while another third are considered endangered, according to CNN. Drastically reduce pesticide use and redesign agricultural systems to make them more insect-friendly.

The new paper, which was published in the journal Biological Conservation, takes a broader look at overall insect populations.

The study says the biggest driver in insect declines is the loss of habitat and conversion of land to intensive farming and urban areas, followed by pollution, mainly by chemical pesticides and fertilisers. 'Fast-breeding pest insects will probably thrive because of the warmer conditions, because many of their natural enemies, which breed more slowly, will disappear, ' he said.

The repercussions of insect extinction would be "catastrophic to say the least", according to the report, as insects have been at "the structural and functional base of numerous world's ecosystems since their rise ... nearly 400 million years ago". Invasive species, pathogens and climate change are also getting punches in.

It reviewed 73 existing studies published around the world in the last 13 years.

Some insect populations could be extinct within a century, according to research published by a group of worldwide scientists.

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Sánchez-Bayo and his co-authors centered their evaluation on bugs in European and North American nations.

While the focus in the past has been on the decline in vertebrate animal biodiversity, this study stressed the importance of insect life on interconnected ecosystems and the food chain. Also, climate change plays an important role.

Many other studies in recent years have shown that individual species of insects, such as bees, have suffered huge declines, particularly in developed economies.

"Agricultural intensification" as well as the use of pesticides and herbicides are the main factors driving this decline, according to the expert.

"It is becoming increasingly obvious our planet's ecology is breaking and there is a need for an intense and global effort to halt and reverse these terrible trends" Matt Shardlow of the United Kingdom advocacy group Buglife tells Matt McGrath at the BBC. The number of bees has also been seriously affected. Given insects' importance for sustaining plant and animal life-by pollinating plants and serving as a food source-that's as dire a prediction as they come.

The in-depth research found that one third of insect species are already classed as endangered, with 40 percent in nearly all regions around the world expected to face extinction over the next few decades.

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