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Death by a Thousand Cuts: Insect Decline in the Anthropocene

Join us on April 16th for a talk by Dr. Dave Wagner, titled "Death by a Thousand Cuts: Insect Decline in the Anthropocene" over Zoom. Starting at 6:30 we will have a pre-meeting social, followed by a brief business meeting and the talk by Dr. Wagner at 7:30. Please contact for the Zoom meeting info.

Abstract: Insect declines are being reported worldwide for flying, ground, and aquatic lineages. Most reports come from western and northern Europe, where the insect fauna is well-studied for many taxonomically disparate insect lineages. Additional cases of faunal losses are being reported from North America, Neotropics, and elsewhere. Principal factors believed to be responsible for observed collapses include habitat destruction, agricultural intensification (including pesticide use), climate change, and invasive species. His talk will highlight other less commonly considered factors such as nitrification, light pollution, effects of droughts and changing precipitation patterns, and other knock-effects of climate change. He will also touch on the status of vertebrate insectivores, reporting biases/challenges inherent in collecting and interpreting insect demographic data, and cases of increasing insect abundance. Time allowing, he will briefly summarize Connecticut’s rare and endangered species. The talk will conclude with actions that individuals might embrace to slow the rates of local, regional, and global insect declines.

All are urged to visit the link below to download and read Dr. Wagner’s recent review of global insect declines in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences prior to the meeting. The essay is quite accessible and informative (and handsomely illustrated).


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