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‘Decimated’: Germany’s Birds Disappear as Insect Abundance Plummets 76%

A new study in PLOS ONE reveals a 76 percent reduction in Germany’s flying insect biomass over the past 27 years while another reports the country’s bird abundance has declined 15 percent in just over a decade.  While the causes behind the insect decline haven’t yet been conclusively studied, the PLOS ONE study suggests agricultural intensification like increased pesticide use may be contributing to the decline.  Neonicotinoid pesticides have been blamed for bee declines, and studies also link them to declines in aquatic insect communities. Many flying insects have aquatic life stages.  More research is underway to better understand the causes and ramifications of such a big decline in flying insect biomass.  Read more...

 

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