Mongabay investigative series helps confirm global insect decline

first_imgIn a newly published four-part series, Mongabay takes a deep dive into the science behind the so-called “Insect Apocalypse,” recently reported in the mainstream media.To create the series, Mongabay interviewed 24 entomologists and other scientists on six continents and working in 12 nations, producing what is possibly the most in-depth reporting published to date by any news media outlet on the looming insect abundance crisis.While major peer-reviewed studies are few (with evidence resting primarily so far on findings in Germany and Puerto Rico), there is near consensus among the two dozen researchers surveyed: Insects are likely in serious global decline.The series is in four parts: an introduction and critical review of existing peer-reviewed data; a look at temperate insect declines; a survey of tropical declines; and solutions to the problem. Researchers agree: Conserving insects — imperative to preserving the world’s ecosystem services — is vital to humanity. Read the entire series by Mongabay senior contributor Jeremy Hance hereAs night falls, numerous insects still fly to the artificial lights of homes in the Kenyan bush. But entomologist Dino Joseph Martins vividly recalls a time when the numbers swarming nightly above his outdoor table were staggering.“You would struggle … to eat your supper because you would have endless beetles and [flying] things falling in your … soup,” he recalls. Today, “that happens far less,” making outdoor dining more pleasant, but far more disquieting.Now Mongabay, in an exclusive four-part series, “The Great Insect Dying,” takes a deep dive into the so-called “Insect Apocalypse.” Interviews with 24 researchers on six continents, and working in 12 nations, are at the heart of the report — likely the most in-depth published on the looming insect abundance crisis by any news media outlet to date.Answers, so far, rest on the hard evidence found in a mere handful of studies, and on the anecdotal, though expert, observations by scientists. Despite limited peer-reviewed research, the scientists interviewed are in near consensus, agreeing that insects are very likely in significant decline globally.Part One of the series, an introduction to the issue, looks at the hard evidence. First news of a possible “Insect Apocalypse” broke in 2017 with groundbreaking research in temperate Europe, where researchers were stunned to learn that flying insect abundance fell by 75 percent in just 27 years in Germany’s nature reserves.Then, in 2018, tropical researchers reported that total arthropod biomass had plunged by 10 to 60 times in just 40 years in a Puerto Rican rainforest (arthropods include insects, arachnids and similar invertebrates).The rush to find evidence was on: A recent, but controversial, meta-study points to a serious decline, with insect abundance possibly falling at a rate of 2.5 percent annually. While most entomologists debate this finding, the majority interviewed believe a large-scale decline is underway.The big question: how bad is it?Ant drama unfolding on the ground beneath one of the caterpillar rearing barns run by Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs’ team of parataxonomists in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. Shortly after this photo was taken, the small ants brought the larger one down into their colony. Image by Timothy Treuer.Part Two of the series looks at declines in the temperate zones of Europe and North America, regions where we know the most about insects, but have little data on abundance trends.However, as each new data point is added to the picture, the news isn’t good: In a Scottish study, moth abundance dropped by 46 percent in just 25 years; in the Netherlands, an 84 percent decline in butterflies was detected between 1890 and 2017. Still-unpublished U.S. research in Ohio may tell a similar story, with butterflies there declining by about 2 percent per year.Part Three offers a survey of the tropics, where insects have the greatest diversity of any animal group on Earth. But studies are scant there, with the Puerto Rico research and a Mexico study providing the only major data points on abundance.Tropical researchers have, however, anecdotally observed big declines, and say they expect large-scale population decreases driven by climate change, wholesale habitat loss and deforestation (especially due to the meteoric growth of industrial agribusiness in the tropics), along with excessive pesticide use.This doesn’t mean all insect groups in every region are, or will be, in free fall. Declines will likely be uneven and family-specific. Some insects may even benefit, especially those able to live in highly degraded habitats — but most won’t, say the experts. Survey projects like the Arthropod Initiative and the Global Malaise Trap Program could soon begin offering much-needed data on tropical insect trends.In Part Four, the researchers offer solutions. Despite the lack of data, they say, we know enough already to start taking aggressive global action to save insects — and ourselves — now.last_img read more

Photo of the Week: Women’s March Ann Arbor

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedMarch 2018 User Experience and Web Professional EventsWhether you’re a user experience or web professional, you know it can be a challenge to keep your skills up-to-date, learn about new methods, and network with fellow web workers. And it takes time to find interesting local events. That’s why I publish a monthly calendar of user experience and…In “Calendar”March 2017 User Experience and Web Professional EventsWhether you’re a user experience or web professional, you know it can be a challenge to keep your skills up-to-date, learn about new methods, and network with fellow web workers. And it takes time to find interesting local events. That’s why I publish a monthly calendar of user experience and…In “Calendar”World Information Architecture Day Ann Arbor Returns on February 23Back for its eighth year, World Information Architecture (IA) Day Ann Arbor is the annual one-day conference created by the Information Architecture Institute and produced by local volunteers. Organized by School of Information students at the University of Michigan, this year’s event with the theme “Design for Difference” will be…In “Conference” Women’s March Ann Arbor marchers gather at the University of Michigan DiagAlong with thousands of other men, women, and children (MLive reported 11,000 people attended), I joined the Women’s March in Ann Arbor yesterday to march in support of women’s rights, affordable health care, and civil rights.I was proud to be part of a march that joined hundreds of Women’s Marches around the world, on every continent including Antarctica. Unexpectedly warm weather in the 50’s greeted marchers as they gathered in Ann Arbor, Michigan near the Federal Building before the start of the march.At the march and rally, I met young and old: college students, parents, grandparents, and children from Ann Arbor, St. Clair Shores, Dearborn, Ypsilanti, and Chelsea.We chatted about our reasons for being at the march: to join in solidarity to show the world, no matter our race, gender, religion, or sexuality, we will fight for women’s rights and civil rights.Despite thousands of people gathered at the corner of 5th and Liberty before the march, I was absolutely surprised to run into my friend Deb Nystrom near the Federal Building who used her artistic talents to create a sign to carry during the march.The handmade signs, uplifting conversations with fellow marchers as we walked to the University of Michigan Diag, and the speeches at the rally encouraging everyone to get involved left me with a positive, hopeful feeling as I left the march.It was wonderful to see the photos from my friends posted on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as they joined marches around the world. Check them out online by searching for the womensmarch hashtag.Here are a few more of my photos from the march.last_img read more

Sachin Tendulkar announced as ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 ambassador

first_imgThe International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday announced Sachin Tendulkar as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Ambassador. It will be the second time he will be the Ambassador of ICC’s pinnacle tournament. He fulfilled the role in the previous event, which was co-hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka in 2011.In his role as ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Ambassador, Tendulkar will promote and support a variety of ICC initiatives to enhance the profile of the tournament, which is the third biggest sporting event in the world and will take place in Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March, PTI reported. Tendulkar retired from international cricket last year after representing his country in 200 Tests, 463 One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 International. In a career spanning 24 years, the 41-year-old scored a total of 34,357 international runs and 100 centuries. Tendulkar added the missing World Cup title to his long list of achievements in his sixth attempt in 2011. He is the all-time leading run-getter in World Cup history with 2,278 runs in 45 matches at an average of 56.95. For his 673 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, he was awarded player of the tournament as India finished runner-up to Australia. Commenting on his appointment, Tendulkar said: “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed ICC Cricket World Cup Ambassador for the second successive time.” “After playing in the last six editions, the upcoming World Cup will be a different experience as I will follow it from the sidelines. It could probably be comparable to the ICC Cricket World Cup 1987 where I was a ball boy, enthusiastically cheering every ball. “The excitement of the World Cup grows with every new edition and this year’s host nations, Australia and New Zealand, are known for their sporting culture, great cricket facilities and knowledgeable crowds. Lifting the World Cup is every international cricketer’s quest and the tournament brings out the best of individuals and competing teams. “The image of the champion team lifting the World Cup inspires many youngsters around the world and gives them a dream to chase – a dream which I fulfilled after 22 years of relentless pursuit by being part of the victorious Indian team in 2011.” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “The ICC is delighted to once again have Sachin as an Ambassador for its biggest and most prestigious tournament. Sachin is not only an inspiration to cricketers but to all sportspeople for his endurance, perseverance, talent, personality and commitment to the game.” The 11th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup kicks off in Christchurch on 14 February when co-host New Zealand take on former champion Sri Lanka. On the same day at the picturesque Melbourne Cricket Ground, four-time world champion Australia will square-off against England, which reached the final the last time the event was staged in Australia/New Zealand in 1992. A total of 49 matches will be played across 14 venues, seven in New Zealand (Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson and Wellington) and seven in Australia (Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney). The format of the tournament is the same as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, i.e. two groups of seven sides each, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. All the knock-out stage matches will have reserve days. Apart from the 10 Full Members, four qualifiers – Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates – will take part in the tournament.advertisementlast_img read more

New online tool allows voters to request info political parties have on

first_imgVANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Not only do Canadian voters have no clue what political parties know about us, we don’t know how they are using the information.That’s a warning from the executive director of Open Media, Laura Tribe, as the advocacy group launches a new privacy tool to help shed light on the problem.My Political Data, an online tool, helps voters request all the personal information political parties have gathered on them using the parties’ own policies.RELATED: Citizenship, abortion, unions, trees: Friday on the campaign trail“So if you’ve ever interacted with a party, someone came to your door asking you to vote Conservative and you said you would never vote Conservative, then they would probably mark somewhere on your supporter record that they think that you are very unlikely to vote for them, very left wing,” Tribe says.That data can be kept, sold and used to target you in the future, she adds.“And there’s a lot of assumptions that they’re making about us, they’re buying information from lists, potentially selling or sharing information we don’t know. We don’t know what analysis they’re running on it, but we know that there’s a lot of work being done on our data to, manipulate that data.”Using the tool, voters can ask each party to disclose exactly what has been collected on them. Tribe is hoping that even if none of the requests are answered, it will send a message that political groups are not exempt from the law.last_img read more