Butterflies, beetles, and bees are some insects in danger of extinction, according to global scientists. (Photo Credit: Nandhu Kumar/Unsplash)

Some insect populations could be extinct within a century, according to research published by a group of international scientists.

Their findings, which were published this week in the Biological Conservation journal, revealed that this “bug apocalypse” might lead to the extinction of 40 percent of insect species over the next few decades. The global scientific review, which studied 73 historical reports of insect population declines, said that “habitat loss by conversion to intensive agriculture” is the main culprit of this ecological dilemma.

“It is very rapid. In 10 years, you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left, and in 100 years you will have none,” Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, one of the study’s co-authors, told The Guardian. “If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind.”

According to the study, the total mass of insects is falling by 2.5 percent each year. The Huffington Post noted that many insects, including native bees, butterflies, beetles, moths, and aquatic insects are bugs that might die within the next century. What’s more, the study said the insect extinction rate is accelerating eight times faster than those of other species, including birds, mammals, and reptiles.

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Even though the study pointed out that intensive agriculture and urbanization are the main drivers of major insect losses, other factors, including climate change, pathogens, and synthetic pesticide pollution, could be contributing to this catastrophic bug issue. Scientists added that “a rethinking of current agricultural practices,” and “effective remediation technologies” are necessary to help preserve insect populations worldwide.

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