The Independent reports that some species of insects and invertebrates have declined by more than 80% in recent decades.
Of the twenty-five species of bumblebee that are traditionally native to Britain, three have gone extinct. The yellow and black caterpillars of the cinnabar moth used to be a familiar sight feeding on ragwort. But numbers have tumbled in the past thirty years, by eighty-three per cent. Seventy species of moth have declined by more than fifty per cent in the last forty years. Some beetles, ladybirds and butterflies are in trouble. Not to mention bees.
A generation ago the small tortoiseshell was the most familiar ‘pretty’ butterfly. But ‘hit hard by a parasitic fly which has come in from southern Europe, its population across Britain has dropped by 52 per cent since 1990, but in the South-east it has gone down by no less than 82 per cent over the period.’