Why do insects matter? They are “the tiny empires that run the world” ~ Milman!
WHAT ARE “INSECTS”?
🦋 Invertebrates with 3-part body (head, thorax, abdomen), 6 legs, compound eyes and 1 antennae pair.
🐞 There are 10 quintillion individual insects, representing 6-10 million species, 50%+ of all known living organisms, and possibly 90%+ of all animal life!
🐜 Wingless and winged, live on land and in water, and communicate with sounds, pheromones, and light. Some solitary, others social, even showing maternal care.
WHY DO INSECTS MATTER?
🌼 Our lives and Earth’s ecosystems depend on insects! They pollinate plants, break down waste, control pests, are the base of the food pyramid People rely on, are consumed by humans as food, and provide direct economic benefit like honey from honeybees and silk from silkworms.
🐝 Insects are amazing. Honeybees can add and subtract, bumblebees can play soccer, and other bees can detect landmines!
IS THERE AN INSECT EXTINCTION CRISIS?
❗️Yes. 40% of insect species are declining globally, 1/3 are endangered, and 500,000 species are threatened by extinction, many in the next few decades!
⚠️ Threats to insects include human-driven habitat loss, pesticides like neonics, climate change, invasive species, parasites, and diseases.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
🌏 Insect extinction is bad for the Planet because ecosystems will collapse from starvation.
👶 It also bad for People, because ⅓ of human food crops depend on pollinators, so ↓ pollinators = food insecurity.
IS THERE HOPE?
💪 We can take action to stop insect extinction. From action comes hope, not the other way around!
👀 Key individual actions: learning about, appreciating, and speaking up for wildlife and wild places; changing lifestyles (like Buy Less, Buy Better); building homes for insects; and reducing pesticide use.
🐛 Key collective actions: “Protecting Our Planet Challenge”, a $5B commitment by 9 charities – like our official partner Rainforest Trust
– to conserve 30% of the Planet by 2030.
🌱 Share this information if you care about solving the extinction-climate crisis. Engaging and educating others is one way to help change the ending of our own story!