A shock study has reported a 75% decline in Germany’s flying insect numbers over the past 30 years. Flying insects are a fundamental part of the world’s ecosystem and agriculture: butterflies, wasps and bees, among others, pollinate the plants that ultimately keep people fed and alive. But SA’s insect prognosis is not as dire, say local experts — although there are no data to back that up. In a paper published in journal PlosOne, German scientists reported that they set malaise traps, which look like camping tents made of netting, in 96 protected areas and found that insect biomass declined across all ecosystems and habitats. In a journal interview following the publication, lead author Casper Hallmann said: "Our results imply that the entire flying insect community has been devastated, including common species that are usually found in high numbers. Ironically, this decline was seen in protected areas, which are supposed to help preserve biodiversity and ecosystem stability." In th...

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