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Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'
The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review. More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century. The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. Insect population collapses have recently been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, but the review strongly indicates the crisis is global. One of the biggest impacts of insect loss is on the many birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish that eat insects.

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