Here, I relate what the journalist said in his article “En trente ans, près de 80 % des insectes auraient disparu en Europe”. All quotes, originally in French, were translated by me.
“Our results document a dramatic decline in flying insects, from 76% on average and up to 82% in mid-summer, in German protected areas, in just twenty-seven years,” writes Caspar Hallmann (Radboud University, The Netherlands) and its co-authors. This considerably exceeds the quantitative decline, estimated at 58%, of wild vertebrates since 1970.
The major factor explaining such a rapid collapse, the authors argue, is the intensification of agricultural practices (increased use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, etc.). “
The authors did a “big statistical job” to isolate the possible causes of this decline. They concluded that, with 94% of the measured protected areas being in agricultural areas, agricultural intensification would be the most likely culprit. Treatments, especially those with NNI, also have, as the study on honey that we have already seen (34), the ability to contaminate insects over large areas.
These measures would affect only Germany, but, according to Dave Goulson (himself a co-author of the study) also France and the United Kingdom with similar farming systems. More broadly, it could be “representative of a much larger situation”, in which case we would “be facing an impending ecological disaster. “
In France, “such data have not been recently published”. However, there is regular monitoring in a research area in Deux-Sèvres where comparable facts have been observed. Vincent Bretagnolle, working in this area, observed that the number of Poecilus cupreus, a ground beetle abundant in agricultural environments representing 70% of the individuals (ground beetles?) Captured in the area, would have been reduced by 85% in twenty-three years.