Potential catastrophic loss of biodiversity …

There are many reports and much talk about the decline in our UK moth populations.

Rothamsted Research scientists, have been working closely with colleagues at the Butterfly Conservation, and using data from Rothamsted’s BBSRC-funded national Insect Survey, have revealed something quite alarming.  The study has highlighted that two-thirds of common moth species have declined in the last 40 years. That is a huge proportion, in such a relatively short space of time. The research also indicated that these losses were much greater in the southern half of Britain than in the north.

Some once common garden species such as the V-moth, Garden Tiger and the Spinach have decreased by more than 90% from 1968-2007 and now face the real threat of extinction in the future. (Taken from: butterfly-conservation.org)

It would seem that the major factors causing these declines are as one would expect. Due to habitat loss and the deteriorating condition of the countryside, is it any wonder why we are loosing biodiversity through the loss of so many species.

Moths are key indicator species for assessing the health of the environment. These findings point strongly to a wider insect biodiversity crisis and mirror declines of butterflies and bees and carabid beetles. The declines could have a knock-on effect for plant pollination and animals reliant on moths for food, such as garden and woodland birds, bats and small mammals. (Taken from: rothamsted.ac.uk)

A very important comment has been made by Richard Fox who is the Butterfly Conservation Surveys Manager. He has explained that whilst there is much awareness of the decline in honeybees and butterflies, the decline in our moth populations has gone largely un-noticed. Moths represent a huge proportion of the insect diversity within the UK (and the world), in fact insects form the vast majority of animal life in Britain.