Plight of Indian Insects

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed - Mahatma Gandhi

We constantly invest in ways to make more, instead of finding ways to consume less. Our greed has taken us on a journey that is severely impacting nature.

Remember that, even though science has made enough advancement for man to dream of life on Mars, but no scientific advancement can bring back a species that has gone extinct.

Blister Beetle
Blister Beetle

Cause of Concern

Extensive and injudicious use of Insecticides

Majority of Indian farmers are unaware of the technical handling, proper use and safety of pesticides and herbicides. As a result, heavy doses are frequently used. Only 2 % of total application of pesticides reaches the targeted pest while the rest affects other organism or pollutes the soil and water bodies.

New insecticides are environmentally safer but more costly. Hence, farmers are using old generation pesticides which are extremely toxic and lethal to insects.

While Government institutes are beginning to research IPM, dominance of private sector pesticide companies at field level is delaying adoption of good IPM modules. 

Separately, adoption of IPM is highly successful in big orchards.  Majority of farmers have small land holdings. This contributes to farmers using more insecticides.

Industrialization and Deforestation

Land, especially arable land, is a limited resource.

As India's population continues to grow, people are cutting forests to increase cultivation, establish more industries and build more homes.

The India State of Forest Report 2019 depicts that forests covers about 25% of the total geographic area of the country (3% increase over a decade).  About 40% per cent of the country’s forest cover is present in 9 large contiguous patches of the size of 10, 000, or more.

Yet, much of the forest cover is fragmented with no corridors connecting them. Forest cover is reducing due to shifting cultivation practices, rotational tree felling, diversion of forest lands for developmental activities and agricultural expansion.

If we eat away at these forests little by little, there will be nothing left.

Uneducated farmer community / Unawareness towards ecosystem

Due to lack of basic environmental science knowledge, farmers are unaware of the role insects play in the food chain. Farmers treat all insects, good or bad, as pests and think they are harmful to crops.

There is a dire need to organize awareness programs and including insects as a part of education from elementary school. Only then can we save these beautiful creatures.

Climate Change and Pollution

Climate change plays an important role in declining insect population. Insects need a specific temperature range to survive. Sharp increase in temperature and deteriorating climatic conditions results in rapid evolution or mass migration. Species which are unable to adapt, will die.

Pollution is also a major factor affecting all types of fauna including insects. Contamination in water bodies and the environment is making life difficult for insects and other organisms.