The report, published in Science Direct, collated 73 historical reports to reveal a dramatic decrease in insect numbers, with projections of an extinction event of around 40% of the world’s insect species over the coming decades.
The report found not only specialist, niche insects are facing extinction, but also large swathes of common and generalist species.
According to the findings, insect populations are declining more than eight times the rate of mammals, birds and reptiles.
The report concluded that habitat loss due to intensive agriculture development is the leading cause of population loss, while agro-chemical pollutants, invasive species and the broad effects of climate change are also having a substantial impact.
In conclusion, the report urges a broad rethink of agricultural practices, in particular the practice of pesticide usage and its substitution with more sustainable, ecologically-based practices.