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Insect Food Roundup

April 24, 2009

Climate change has a ripple effect on the organisms that depend on each other for food.


Saving insects. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Craneflies look like giant mosquitoes, but they’re harmless vegetarians, and an important food source for birds. Recently, scientists in Scotland reported that warmer summers there are causing peat bogs to dry up, wiping out up to 95% of the crane flies that breed there. And that’s having a devastating effect on bird populations—especially the endangered golden plover. The scientists say the only way to save the birds from extinction is to come up with ways to save the bogs and the bugs.

In related news, scientists working in Northern California have found that stocking lakes with non-native trout eliminates the larvae of insects that breed there. And that’s depriving native fish, frogs and birds of the food they need to survive. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.