NATChat introduces Cynthia Bandurek, a naturalist and an ecologist who works closely with Paws Trails as a Contributing Editor – South America. Cynthia talks about her views on the important role of arthropods in our ecosystem. 40% of the insect species are in threat and the reason is again we humans and our greed. The deforestation and habitat loss are the main reason for the declining of these species. NATChat shall continue to bring you informative stories from around the world regularly.
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Arthropods include mainly insects, spiders, scorpions, mites, crustaceans, among others
Arthropods comprise the most diverse group of animals on Earth.
Of all species Known three quarters are arthropods. They have spent more than 350 million years on Earth, and they were the first organisms to develop the flight before reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Insects can be found in almost every environment on Earth
Have you ever wondered what would be of our planet without these animals?
Insects are the food source for many amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and fish making their roles in food chains and food webs extremely important.
Insects pollinate a vast majority of plants that produce seeds, and that includes our crops and the food we eat.
They enrich the soil by recycling nutrients and disposing of dead organisms and waste.
Think about that. Without insects like dung beetles and decomposers breaking down and removing animal and plant waste, “the results would be certainly unpleasant,”
Small in size, but with a number of individuals estimated at several millions of millions on the planet surface at the same time, they generate an extraordinary impact, contributing to the functioning of ecosystems in a colossal way.
They are an amazing group of animals with an extraordinary set of strategies to survive, some of them are so strange that seems out of fiction.
But we have some bad news.
There is evidence of substantial declines in arthropod abundance and biodiversity, a massive decline in its biomass worldwide. Over 40% of insect species are at risk.
There are several reasons why these animals are in trouble. And is always the same story…
Habitat loss and conversion to intensive agriculture and urbanization
And Along with agriculture comes the use of chemicals like herbicides and pesticides. So, pollution is affecting them too.
Climate change plays a big role as well, especially when we experience the extremes of weather such as droughts or floods, which are likely to increase in intensity, duration, and frequency in the future.
Other factors include invasive species, parasites, and diseases.
It is like a Domino effect, when you remove or affect one or a group of living beings, this triggers a cascading effect that affects other life groups. And at the end this affects the functioning of the entire ecosystem.
So, as you can see not only the big species and more charismatic ones are in trouble also the smallest and unnoticed ones, But as I mentioned before they play a major role in the ecosystem.
It is time to rethink our relationship with nature. If we don’t do it, and we continue with our lifestyle, and if we think that the responsibility is always someone else’s, and we don’t recognize that all our actions have an impact on the planet, the entire ecosystems will begin to collapse, and with the them, our life.