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Harper Adams entomologist co-authors ‘roadmap’ for insect conservation

Posted 14 January

“We’re hoping that people who have money and/or political clout can see that insect conservation and recovery is something that’s achievable."

Scientists hope that the actions outlined in the roadmap can be followed by big business and individuals around the world

Harper Adams entomologist Professor Simon Leather has co-authored a ‘roadmap’ aimed at conserving and replenishing insect life. Professor Leather worked with Professor Jeff Harvey of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, along with a team of over 70 scientists around the globe, and have published the roadmap in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

The extensive group of scientific experts involved in the road map stresses that insect declines are a serious threat but offer solutions ranging from urgent ‘no-regret’ measures to long-term global comparisons that can halt and reverse the decline. The scientists hope that the actions outlined in the roadmap can be followed by big business and individuals around the world who want to contribute to the cause.

“There are a lot of common sense ideas in the roadmap, things like cutting back pesticide use and reducing light, noise and water pollution,” said Professor Leather, “We’re hoping that people who have money and/or political clout can see that insect conservation and recovery is something that’s achievable and that we’ve provided methods of how to do it.”

Evidence is growing that all over the world, insect species are suffering from multiple human-induced stress factors: habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, invasive species, climate change and overharvesting.

“It’s not something that can be done by individuals but it can be done. It was nice to see the German and Danish governments put some money aside to address this issue,” continued Professor Leather, “Ecological issues have gained a lot of traction recently with the general public becoming much more aware of it so there is a ground swell of opinion from the electorate which we hope will help influence government.”

The roadmap is available to read online.

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