"It's very fast, you'll have a quarter less in 10 years, in 50 years, only half will be left and in 100 years you will not have any left," co-author Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, an environmental biologist, remarks the University of Sydney, told the Guardian . "If the loss of insect species can not be stopped, it will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet's ecosystems and human survival."
The authors said that the global total amount of insects is decreasing by 2.5 percent each year. They found that insects die twice as fast as vertebrates, and their extinction rate is eight times higher than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. "If we do not change our way of producing food, insects as a whole will be endangered in a few decades," she wrote.
Scientists have previously blamed overpopulation and excessive consumption of human beings, which they believe is the beginning of the sixth mass extinction in the history of the planet. The authors of the essay, who examined 73 reports on the decline in the insect population, say that intensive agriculture (especially pesticides), climate change and urbanization are the factors that have the greatest impact on insects.
Butterflies and moths are among the most affected types of decline. For example, the number of butterflies in England fell by 58 percent in the first decade of this century. The authors also said Hymenoptera (an order that includes wasps, bees and ants), dung beetles, dragonflies and mayflies are among the most affected populations.