Bug Splat Decline


Have you ever observed or given thought that maybe, just maybe, there are fewer insects about than you remember?

Wasps can be abundant seasonally, but what about other insects?

Hmmm… Butterflies? Moths? What about the bug splats on your car after a drive?

These shifts in populations are difficult to determine without any actual scientific evidence. They are just observations, perhaps vague memories of how things used to be. Changes happen incrementally and are difficult to detect over long periods. We adjust to what we are used to experiencing. After all, insects are often small and insignificant in the scale of the world. Right?

Studies overseas have revealed evidence of some long term declines in insect populations. Yet little work has been conducted here in New Zealand.

Insect abundance (with several exceptions, such as wasps) and diversity are signs of good environmental health. They are also crucial to our economy and wider biodiversity.

The link above to a RNZ interview discusses the "bug splat" indicator and issues around insect diversity and declines in insect abundance.