Thursday 31 August 2017

A subtle insight into the state of our planet: 60 % decline of insects in the UK since 1970: Car windscreen no longer covered in dead insects after journey


A quotation attributed to Albert Einstein claims: “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.”
We have known about dying bees and butterflies for years now but you would be shocked to know these two species are just the very tip of the iceberg!
“Moths, hoverflies, wasps, beetles and many other groups are now sparse where once they were abundant.”

According to Buglife wiping squished bugs off your windscreen used to be an annoying summertime task for every motorist.
But experts say the decline of insects in the UK has reached such a critical level that drivers have noticed their front window is now fly, gnat, wasp and moth-free.
It's not just the UK, here in Holland, every summer the Dutch head off south to France, Spain and Portugal for their annual break, reaching the destination with the front of the car covered in insect road-kill with the difficult task of cleaning the front of the vehicle but not anymore, my neighbour couldn't wait to tell me a month ago how his camper was bug free arriving in France after a thousand kilometre journey from Holland.

So where have all the bugs gone?
“This is part of the wholesale loss of small animals in recent decades.
“The public know about bees and butterflies, but these are just the tips of the iceberg.
“Moths, hoverflies, wasps, beetles and many other groups are now sparse where once they were abundant.”

We can all remember as a child on hot days the car windscreen being covered in dead insects after a journey.
Not these days.
Nature lovers say the increasing use of pesticides and intensive agriculture over the past 50 years could be to blame.

Beekeepers have lost a third of their colonies every year since 2006 due to these practises, while research into the State of Britain’s Larger Moths, published in collaboration with the charity Butterfly Conservation, showed a fall of insects by 40 per cent in the South of England over the past four decades.
The RSPB’s State of Nature study suggests there has been a 59 per cent decline in insects in the UK since 1970.
While experts say the phenomenon is “near impossible” to prove, the changing shape of cars and increase in traffic on the roads could also be to blame.
Motors are now more aerodynamic, meaning fewer insects are likely to hit the windshield.
While Canadian scientists claim billions of pollinating insects are being killed by vehicles yearly.

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