Bugs are disappearing in Great Britain. The number of flying insects has dropped by 59% since 2004, 65% more in England alone. Think about it. It’s just stunned. And remember, that’s just in the last 18 years.
This information was gathered from the Bugs Matter survey, which effectively counted the number of dead insects on the license plate (UK “number plate”). In 2019 and 2021, members of the public were asked to record the number of squashed flying insects on their number plates. A “splatometer grid” was provided to keep them on the plate, to clean it before the long journey, to count the massacre upon arrival, and to log it into the Bugs Matter app. That data was then compared to 2004 survey data that used the same method. You can find the full report here.
Great, some might say. Bugs are gross and terrible to clean from the front of your car. True, but they are also essential for a healthy ecosystem, and perhaps more convincingly, flying insects pollinate the food they eat or feed the animals they eat. Many flying insects also kill insects. Basically, the bug disappears too bad.
“We should all be shocked and concerned by the results of the Bugs Matter study,” said Paul Hadway of the Kent Wildlife Trust, which co-sponsored the study with an organization called Bugs Life. “We are seeing a decline in pests that reflect huge threats and more widespread wildlife damage across the country. These declines are occurring at an alarming rate and we face a bright future without concerted action to address them. We now need to take action for all wildlife by creating larger areas, providing corridors for wildlife through landscapes and allowing nature to be restored. “
Residents of Great Britain can participate in the 2022 Bugs Matter survey by downloading the app of the same name. People can start the survey during any trip between June 1 and August 31.