Insects are facing extinction worldwide

Broadacre cropland has removed crucial habitat for insects and other animals

"If we don't have insects as moderators of other pest populations, we have insect populations that flare up and ruin crops and make them hard to grow", he said.

Insects could completely disappear from the Earth within 100 years if they continue to decline at current rates, The Guardian notes: "More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found".

"Because insects constitute the world's most abundant animal group and provide critical services within ecosystems, such an event can not be ignored and should prompt decisive action to avert a catastrophic collapse of nature's ecosystems", the report said.

Francisco Sánchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney said, 'If insect species losses can not be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet's ecosystems and for the survival of mankind. Additionally, when insects die, they return nutrients to the earth; insects are at the bottom of the food chain, with many small animals relying on insects as food; and some insects help with pest control, according to a National Geographicinterview with author David MacNeal.

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The main driver behind the decline, they found, was habitat loss due to intensive agriculture and urbanisation.

The first global scientific review of insect population decline was published this week in the journal Biological Conservation and the findings are "shocking", its authors said, Huffington Post reported. The loss of any large insect population will throw an ecosystem into disarray, ultimately affecting every other species, including apex predators like humans.

The study found that declines in nearly all regions may end in the extinction of as many as 40 per cent of insects.

They maintain soil structure and fertility, pollinate plants and control insect and plant pests.

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'It is very rapid.

"Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades", the researchers wrote.

The new study shows 41 percent of insect species have seen steep declines in the past decade, with similar drops forecast for the near future. Pollution, particularly the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, is also a major contributor to the dwindling number of insects around the world.

"Climate change is one of the big reasons we have got to obviously start and tackle climate change properly, to tackle it and also reduce it". Lepidoptera, the order of insects that includes butterflies, which are often the canary in the coalmine for ecosystem problems, have declined by 53 percent.

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