Insect mortality and what we can do

Very few people consider insects to be particularly cute, sweet and therefore unfortunately not particularly worthy of protection. Yet their performance is indispensable for our ecosystems and thus also for our food supply. Around 90% of all plant species worldwide depend on their pollinator performance. Under the slogan “Bees gone, shelves empty”, a well-known supermarket chain, in cooperation with NABU, showed that without the help of pollinators we would have to do without 60% of all items when shopping. Insects serve as a food source for a variety of other animal classes, such as birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. They are also responsible for the remineralization of organic matter, such as plant remains and animal remains in the soil and dead wood.

But how are our all-important comrades-in-arms at risk? The causes are manifold and yet can largely be traced back to just one culprit. Humans and their land use as well as climate change, which is also caused by them, are severely affecting insects. In Germany alone, more than half of the country’s land area is used for agriculture. Only a few useful plants dominate the picture. The monotony dominated by maize, rapeseed and wheat is reinforced by equally harmful cultivation methods. To maximize agricultural yields, most farmers use herbicides and insecticides. These in turn lead to direct death or reduce the insects’ ability to orientate and reproduce. The situation is not much better in the urban areas. Low-maintenance lawns or gravel beds with almost zero biodiversity are preferred. This serious transformation of the land has led to an enormous decline in plant diversity, favored by the cultivation methods. Many solitary wild bees are symbiotically dependent on a single plant species. If they no longer pollinate them, both the insect and the plant species may disappear.

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In the true sense, the zebra jumping spider (lat.: Salticus scenicusist) is
not an insect, but what is generally understood to be a crawling animal
and who would have expected that a company in Germany
living spider has such cute beady eyes?

What can we do?

A general reform of agriculture is essential and decisive for the preservation of biodiversity, but cities, municipalities and private individuals can also make a major contribution. Let’s allow nature a place in our gardens, green spaces and balconies. Native natural forms are important here, rather than varieties bred for their appearance. The selection of plants should be as diverse as possible in order to provide a habitat or food source for many different insects. Variety instead of monotony is the motto. A beautiful flower meadow is better than an English lawn. You can find our guide to a natural garden here. [Verlinkung Blogartikel „Naturnaher Garten“]
But our influence goes beyond the home garden. Around 80% of the world’s agricultural land is used for the large-scale and monotonous production of animal feed for our meat consumption. Eliminating meat or at least reducing it would send a clear signal to retailers and producers and would prevent or at least slow down the progression of the human “gluttony”. Reduced demand for beef from South American countries can significantly hinder the ongoing clearing of the Amazon rainforest. Furthermore, the motto is to buy regionally, seasonally and according to organic criteria. The higher price for such products results from fairer and more environmentally friendly cultivation. A trend has already developed in this direction. A trend that also points the way for large corporations. After all, we are the ones who decide what ends up on our plates.

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