Threatened biodiversity – what can we do concerning the decline of bugs? – The Manomet Present

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Moderation: Gisela Steinhauer

The butterfly gets lonely. (IMAGO / Gottfried Czepluch)

There are 33,500 insect species in Germany. Many species are threatened, including butterfly butterflies and wild bees, which are important for pollination. What can we do about insect death? Chat with us!

With their biodiversity, insects put all other living things in the shade: an estimated one million six-legged species hum and crawl on our planet. About 33,500 species are known in Germany. But diversity is threatened. According to the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU), more than 41 percent of butterflies in this country are already extinct or endangered. More than half of the 561 species of wild bees are threatened. Various types of flies, grasshoppers and water beetles are also on the “red list”. The NABU insect summer campaign draws attention to this.

“The greatest quiz in the world”

“You can discover so much with insects. This is the biggest quiz in the world! ”Says Daniela Franzisi, project manager of“ Summer of Insects ”. If you like, you can count the bugs for an hour from August 6th to 15th and report them to NABU. Whether aphids, flies or butterflies, whether on the balcony at home, in the forest or at the holiday destination. The results of the census are incorporated into a long-term observation of insect populations in Germany.

“Counting insects is a particularly intense way of exploring nature – a great holiday activity for children too. Even beginners can achieve success quickly, ”says Daniela Franzisi. “Even as a child I dug and looked: What is crawling over there? Every child has such a crawling phase and it never stopped with me. “

“Insects are our livelihood”

“I have the sunburn on my neck that is typical for entomologists,” says biologist and entomologist Thomas Hörren. “In my free time I hunt and try to find new species. Hörren is a member of the Krefeld Entomological Society, whose study received worldwide attention in 2017. Entomologists have shown that the number of flying insects in the nature reserves studied decreased by about 80% between 1986 and 2016.

This long-term observation made it clear “what a terrible condition the insects are in here,” said Hörren. The consequences can be clearly felt: “Some plants are declining, insect-eating birds are declining. They all need the bugs. Many see it only as beneficials and parasites, “but insects are our livelihood. And we are dependent on nature. “

His experience: “People only protect what they know, learn to appreciate and respect. For many people, nature is too natural – including the diversity of insects. His claim: more protection of biodiversity. “Protecting biodiversity also means protecting living space.”

Endangered biodiversity: what can be done about the decline in insects?
Gisela Steinhauer will discuss this with Daniela Franzisi from NABU and the entomologist Thomas Hörren on August 7th from 9:05 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Listeners can participate by calling 0800 2254 2254 and by emailing gepraech@deutschlandfunkkultur.de.
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