Insects could become extinct in 100 years, warns scientists.
They are dying out eight times faster than mammals, birds and reptiles, with more than 40 per cent of species declining and a third endangered.
The scientists’ review of 73 previous studies indicates it is a worldwide crisis.
One of its authors, Francisco Sanchez-Bayo, from the University of Sydney, described the 2.5 per cent rate of annual loss over the past 25-30 years as ‘shocking’. He said: ‘It is very rapid.
In ten years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none.
If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind.’
The decline is blamed mainly on intensive agriculture.