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 been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, and the first global scientific review, published in February, said widespread declines threaten a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”.
Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'
Insects can be helped to recover by “rewilding” urban gardens and parks, Goulson said. “There is potential for a huge network of insect-friendly habitats right across the country. Already a lot of people are buying into the idea that they can make their gardens more wildlife friendly by letting go of control a bit. There are also quite a lot of councils going pesticide free.”