Action is needed now! Unless you want a country free of insects and all that depends on them. At least two chemical pesticides have been proven to kill all insects including bees, yet they are in widespread use. Another main factor is habitat fragmentation, we build, build and build more. Britain is especially good at trashing their countryside, all the meadows have gone, all the fenland has gone or nearly, we build golf courses on all the sand dunes and so on. Yes, we still have lots of insects, but many are rare and only live in special places. This is really about Germany but its the same scenario here.
Is there any way to stop the decline? or is it simply not realistic?
Sadly the answer is the latter, not just in Germany, Norway or the UK but all over the world, including the tropics. There are a lot less butterflies here in Thailand nowadays, and masses more concrete and skyscrapers in large cities. Many butterflies that used to be common in Bangkok when I lived there in the early 1980s aren't seen there nowadays according to a friend, and over the years I have noticed gradual but obvious decline in habitat quality, particularly during the late 1980s and 1990s. Luckily the authorities here have done a reasonably good job at saving the remaining forest in many parts of the country, but there's relatively little left compared to 50 years ago. I think the official forest cover is 11% now, but a lot of that is degraded or dry teak forest rather than decent habitat for butterflies at least.
I agree that for tropical countries the situation will remain more and more difficult. There are too many humans on Earth and the development of "rich" countries is still made on the destruction of the nature of tropical countries (with the complicity of local governments of these countries) + most of tropical countries have a non-controlled local demographic explosion.
For developed countries though, it all depends of our governments (and citizens who elect them).
I will give you some signs of hope from countries I know : - France has recently banned the use of pesticide in cities (parks, streets...) and few years later we see honey bees, birds, back in town. - France and some other countries are now pushing at EU level for a ban of Monsanto's Round up in agriculture. Some EU governments like Germany are unfortunately defending it... we will see. - there are more and more citizen's envirommental associations in Europe to fight against plastic pollutions and so on.
- Brazil is destroying the Amazon. France is still protecting the Amazon forest in French Guyana without exploiting it too much. Costa Rica is a good example of economic growth thanks to "eco-tourism" (even if not perfect yet).
With few simple laws, we will see a part of the insect density coming back. Insect species have this ability to thrive even after difficult years if conditions are good for them. Of course, the insect diversity will remain the biggest issue as it is linked to the richness of plant biodiversity and habitat... which I am afraid are lost for ever in many parts of Europe.
Post by exoticimports on Oct 27, 2017 12:15:06 GMT
My childhood collecting grounds is now a human community.
Back then we made a killing one year by selling E. phaeton by the hundreds. The next year we were shocked and ashamed because the population had dropped 90%, likely as a result of our over-collecting. Within ten years though it didn't make a difference, because that area was destroyed for housing and today not a single phaeton, or anything else, lives there.