By John Vibes / Truth Theory
Over the past few years, many insects have been disappearing all over the world. There have been small warning signs along the way to illustrate this massive reduction of the insect population, but it doesn’t seem like anyone is paying attention. One obvious sign is that we rarely have to clean off the windshields on our cars anymore.
20 years ago, the windshields of cars would be covered in splattered bugs, just because there were so many out on the roads, but now that hardly ever happens.
People who don’t think deeply about the situation might be relieved that they no longer have to deal with the small inconvenience of cleaning their windshields, but insects are obviously a vital part of the earth’s ecosystem.
Another glaring example of the bug decline is the disappearance of fireflies, the luminescent insects that once lit up the evening sky with beads of colourful light.
20 or so years ago, this sight was very common, even in urban areas, but nowadays you are lucky to find a place where these magical insects still light up the sky. It is rare to even spot them anymore, and environmental watch groups all over the world are warning that they are nearly extinct.
Earlier this year, The Center for Biological Diversity and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation filed an emergency petition seeking Endangered Species Act protections for the Bethany Beach firefly of Delaware.
Candace Fallon, a senior conservation biologist at the Xerces Society who helped issue the petition, says that fireflies in the Delaware beach area are in grave danger of extinction.
“We’re on the brink of losing a unique piece of Delaware’s biodiversity, one that symbolizes the very habitats that have drawn so many people to this state in the first place. There’s no question that this firefly urgently needs our help to prevent it from going extinct,” Fallon says.
Other areas throughout the United States are experiencing a similar decline in firefly populations.
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Andrew Wetzler, managing director of the Nature Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Block Club Chicago that fireflies are disappearing throughout the midwest as well.
“For me, the most heartbreaking thing is fireflies. I have a little girl who’s 13 and I remember how magical it was for her when she was 3 and 4 and we could see fireflies at night. You just can’t see that many of them anymore,” Wetzler said.
“We’re profoundly dependent on nature. One out of every three bites of food that we take are pollinated by an insect or bat. If we were really to lose insects from the region, and bats, we’d see a spike in insects that are pests and a decline in pollinators, which means that we’d have less food to eat and more expensive food to eat,” he added.
This problem is not limited to the US either, firefly species all over the world are in decline. The same thing has been happening in Malaysia and other areas of Asia, according to recent reports.
Scientists estimate that there are 2,000 different species of firefly that are currently facing extinction.
Much of this decline has been attributed to pollution and pesticide use.