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Source: ISTOCK

Insects Are Rapidly Declining in Population, Which Could Be a Disaster for the Earth

By Sophie Hirsh

When they're scurrying across your picnic blanket, stinging a crying child, or sucking your blood, insects may not be your favorite animal. But insects are extremely important to ecosystems worldwide, and according to a new report, more than 40 percent of insect species are on the path to extinction. Here's what you need to know about this alarming new report, and what you can do to help preserve insect populations.

The report, published by Elsevier's journal Biological Conservation and circulated by ScienceDirect.com, asserts that the "biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide." To conduct the study, researchers from The University of Sydney, the University of Queensland, and the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences reviewed 73 reports chronicling the decline of insect populations all over the world, and analyzed the data. 

According to The Guardian, insects overall are decreasing in population by 2.5 percent a year, which means they could completely disappear within 100 years. And as Business Insider noted, the report estimates that the insects are declining eight times as fast as mammals, birds, and reptiles. Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, one of the report's co-authors, told The Guardian: “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.”