If you love bugs, there’s a lot to love: Insects and other small terrestrial arthropods (aka, bugs) are the most numerous and diverse organisms on Earth. Just one group– beetles– consists of over 350,000 known species, four times more than species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish combined. So it seems strange that scientists are worried about bugs disappearing.
But human activities, including habitat destruction, climate change, pesticide use, introduction of invasive species and several other factors are driving many species to extinction, and reducing the populations of many others. The ramifications are dire, including loss of pollination services for critical food crops, loss of plant diversity (resulting from the loss of their primary pollinators), and the collapse of songbird, fish and other wildlife populations.
If you’re not sure if you care enough about bugs to want to protect them, take the hand bug quiz below. If you discover you’re a bug lover, come back and check out Eight Steps to Save Bugs and the other bug-related stories, videos and other resources here.
Otherwise, see you next Spotlight!