But according to the new review, the proportion of insects in decline is now twice as high as that of vertebrates and the insect extinction rate is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles.
The review of declining insect populations was conducted by Dr Francisco Sánchez-Bayo from the University of Sydney and Kris Wyckhuys from the University of Queensland, and published online this month in the journal Biological Conservation. Sands said an immediate danger of the insect decline was the loss of insectivorous birds, and the risk of larger birds turning from eating insects to eating each other.In his native Australia, "birds that are running out of insect food are turning on each other", [the report's co-author, Caspar Hallman] said, adding that this is likely a global phenomenon'.
Only a few species of insects - mainly in the tropics - are thought to have suffered due to climate change, while some in northern climes have expanded their range as temperatures warm. It involved a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports of insect declines from across the globe, systematically assessing the underlying drivers of the population declines.
Francisco Sánchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney said, 'If insect species losses can not be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet's ecosystems and for the survival of mankind.
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Some insect populations could be extinct within a century, according to research published by a group of global scientists.
They maintain soil structure and fertility, pollinate plants and control insect and plant pests. There are 17 times more insects around the world than humans, according to another study. Also, climate change plays an important role.
If insects continue dying, it would create major problems for life around the world, because insects are some of the main food sources for many animals including birds, fish, reptiles and some mammal species.
"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".
"Agricultural intensification" as well as the use of pesticides and herbicides are the main factors driving this decline, according to the expert. "It's quite plausible that we might end up with plagues of small numbers of pest insects, but we will lose all the wonderful ones that we want, like bees and hoverflies and butterflies and dung beetles that do a great job of disposing of animal waste".