Monday, November 25, 2013

NY Times Article on The Decline of Insect Populations...

Scientists are raising an alarm about the decline of the Monarch Butterflies during migration. It is believed the decline, is tied to the loss of habitat and insects which are being devastated by the loss of native vegetation and the use of chemicals.

"The loss of bugs is no small matter. Insects help stitch together the web of life with essential services, breaking plants down into organic matter, for example, and dispersing seeds. They are a prime source of food for birds. Critically, some 80 percent of our food crops are pollinated by insects, primarily the 4,000 or so species of the flying dust mops called bees. “All of them are in trouble,” said Marla Spivak, a professor of apiculture at the University of Minnesota. Farm fields are not the only problem. Around the world people have replaced diverse natural habitat with the biological deserts that are roads, parking lots and bluegrass lawns. Meanwhile, the plants people choose for their yards are appealing for showy colors or shapes, not for their ecological role."
Given the continued loss of habitat in parks across the US, this is worth a read.  The full article can be accessed here.

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