Science

Spineless: Threats to the World’s Invertebrates

comparative diversity of animal groupsHot off the press, a new report published by the Zoological Society of London, in cooperation with IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and Wildscreen.  You might recognize IUCN as the authors of the Red List, the definitive international list of species that are at risk of extinction.

Why should you care about a bunch of squishy boneless animals?   Because invertebrates make up EIGHTY PERCENT OF ALL THE SPECIES ON EARTH.  They truly are the “little things that run the world.”

A report that suggests that 20% of those species are at risk? That is a very big deal.

The report itself is fairly accessible to the lay reader, and includes lots of data, citations, and lovely photos of what we will be missing if we don’t start paying attention.

Download and read the report here.

 

(dragonfly image courtesy of TonyC )

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bug_girl

Bug_girl has a PhD in Entomology, and is a pointy-headed former academic living in Ohio. She is obsessed with insects, but otherwise perfectly normal. Really! If you want a daily stream of cool info about bugs, follow her Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

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2 Comments

  1. Just because an animal is small doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful or interesting or vitally important to the scheme of things.

    Unless we as a species observe closely and use our intelligence to the utmost, we are likely to wipe out some species essential to our survival.

    Dammit, then we deserve all we get.

  2. Example of a vitally important insect: The Aussie termite.

    In the deserts of Australia, Spinifex grass is just about the only plant that will grow. The only (I mean only) thing that can eat that tough grass is the termite.

    Going up from that level of the food chain, many other creatures (birds, lizards, the whole menagerie) can eat the termites.

    So, the whole ecology of the desert depends totally on the humble termite.

    This is as I understand it, please correct me if I am wrong.

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