"Bugs make up about two-thirds of life on earth and are the backbone of a healthy ecosystem. However, due to climate change, pesticides and destruction of habitats their population is in decline.
A report in Germany discovered that 75% of the flying insect biomass has vanished from protected areas in less than 30 years. The fact that the number of flying insects is decreasing at such a high rate in such a large area is an alarming discovery,” said Hans de Kroon who led the research.
They are so vital because ecosystems need them to function. The fruits and vegetables we eat, the wood-frame buildings we occupy, the cotton and linen we wear and the rubbish we send to landfills are all influenced by insects that pollinate plants and munch on organic matter.
They also play a critical role in the food chain. Without insects, hundreds of species of birds could starve and some ornithologists believe this lack of food is already causing declines in bird numbers. They are “the little things that run the world” according to the distinguished Harvard biologist Edward O Wilson.
If you have a garden, make it part of the solution. Why not plant plants which help which insects: winter flowers such as hellebore, erica and mahonia for pollinators such as bees; evergreen shrubs and climbers for bugs such as woodlice and spiders. You can also check out our ‘how to build a bug hotel’ guide to make a cosy home for your local wildlife.
Here at intu we are taking our Big bugs on tour around the country, helping make people aware of the beauty and importance of bugs. Come and see them up close at your local intu centre.