Sunday 28 April 2019 | 8

The disappearance of insects, an unprecedented disaster

Scientists have concluded, insect populations have collapsed. The consequences are immediate: a fall in the populations of birds, amphibians and bats. One Voice has challenged itself to create a vast network of "Arches of Nature", private sanctuaries and gardens and natural spaces, guaranteeing the absence of pesticides and prohibiting hunting.

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If anyone doubted it, the study published in the journal Biological Conservation on February 10th 2019 is very clear, we are no longer running from a disaster, we are now right up to our necks in it! If from year to year we had noticed that we have heard less and less birds singing in our countryside, few of us may have noticed the decline, much more significant however, the populations of insects. However, it is the disappearance of these insects that has caused the decline in the number of birds.

Researchers from the universities of Sydney and Queensland have synthesized a dozen studies that have been done around the world by various scientific organizations. Their observation is formal: the catastrophe announced by Rachel Carson in 1962 in her work "Silent Spring" has indeed arrived! We have destroyed billions and billions of insects with the over use of pesticides, so much so that we may have reached the point of no return !

The point of no return already reached?

Puerto Rico has lost 98% of its insects! Even in German nature reserves the insect populations have dropped by 80%. We have done no better here in France. This is true for most species’ groups, and especially for pollinators. The consequence of these disappearances is as serious as it is rapid: 80% of flowering plants are pollinated by insects. Without them, eight to nine plants out of ten would not be here today.

On the survival of insects depends ours

The disaster will not only be felt on the diversity of wild flora, but also on the crops used for our consumption. Without insects, only grasses (wheat, rice, barley, etc.) which are pollinated by the wind, will be able to bear fruit and reproduce ! No more tomatoes, zucchini or apricots ! Our menus will become very sad, this situation will inevitably lead to famines around the world, and with them, their share of human and animal migrations and of course the armed conflicts that they will cause. This from the lack of butterflies, bees or pollinating flies !

Birds already impacted

Already, it is our friends the birds who have paid a very heavy price for our thirst for dominating nature, for intensely producing agricultural products that are increasingly toxic to humans and the environment. The passerine populations have already dropped by more than a third and of course, it is the species subservient to open environments, therefore to agricultural areas, who pay the highest price for the disappearance of insects. Some species, commonplace 30 or 40 years ago, have now become very rare. Thus now, we hear and see rarely the buntings or the grey shrike. The larks, which were still so numerous in our yesterdays, have become scarce over their entire area of presence (despite this very significant drop in their population, the larks are nevertheless still hunted in France, using cruel traditional methods of hunting! ...).

Most passerine species, even granivores, require insects (larvae or adults) to feed their young and to feed themselves during the breeding season. In Europe, the loss of 80% of insects over the past thirty years has caused the disappearance of 400 million birds !

There is an emergency, let's act!

Birds aren't the only ones experiencing starvation. Bats, shrews, frogs and lizards, also consumers of insects, are directly affected by their disappearance.

It is our responsibility, and even our duty to act. By our patterns of consumption, of course, by favouring products from organic farming, but also by direct actions for insects. Let's open up our gardens, meadows and fields! It's urgent!

Join the One Voice “Arches of Nature” network. Leave flowers and even "weeds" to feed and breed insects away from sprayers. This is the biggest challenge we will face. If collectively we do nothing in practice, the government will continue to favour intensive agriculture which has led us to this disaster.

We are counting on you ! Download and sign the "Arches of Nature" charter and return it by post (One Voice, 7 place de la République, CS 20263, 56007 Vannes Cedex) or by e-mail to info@one-voice.

Naturaliste, conseiller de One Voice Pierre Athanaze
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Comments 8

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

MARIE | Sunday 05 May 2019

Comme beaucoup je constate la disparition inquiétante des insectes et des oiseaux.
Je donne des graines et des pains de graisses et boules dorénavant toute l'année MAIS je ne vois plus que 5 chardonnerets au lieu de 70/80, les mésanges à peine une vingtaine.
Il n'y a que les moineaux qui restent en nombre assez important parmi les "petits".
Les hirondelles qui avant étaient jusqu'à 60 sur le fil électrique ne sont plus qu'une dizaine. C'est horrible et pour elles, à part les laisser entrer dans notre cellier où il y a 3 nids depuis des années je ne vois pas ce que je peux faire pour leur venir en aide ? Je suis dans le Perche à 50 m d'un bois (chasseurs ....) et limitrophe d'un champ cultivé (agriculture raisonnée mais pas bio).

Myl | Saturday 04 May 2019

Tous solidaires pour la vie qui nous a été donnée, pour toute la création !

murgod2018 | Friday 03 May 2019

Il est temps d'agir vite et efficacement sinon il sera trop tard pour l'éternité - y compris pour les humains. Les hommes politiques ne peuvent-ils comprendre ça? Et les agriculteurs qui continuent à utiliser des pesticides?

marie | Friday 03 May 2019

bonjour, nous allons à une catastrophe sans précédent, une planéte sans insectés c'est pas possble , nous devons prendre cela aux sérieux, et vite