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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Sunday, February 17, 2019

We Are NOT Headed For World Without Insects - Insect Decline Survey Hitting Headlines Non Systematic, Patchy & With Limited Data

By Robert Walker | February 11th 2019 | Print | E-mail
Please don’t be scared by this, it is just the journalists hyping things up again. It does not mean what it seems to mean from the headlines. Insects can’t vanish and we will continue to be able to grow our crops and do agriculture. The study itself involves a lot of extrapolation on inadequate data, not their fault, it is just that there hasn’t been that much research done on insect populations for them to draw on.

The number of studies they found, 73, is not a lot for the whole world and the studies are limited. The authors are also getting criticism on twitter by experts for the way they conducted the survey, for instance they found it with a literature search in "Web of Science" for “[insect*] AND [declin*] AND [survey]” which seems likely to bias in favour of groups that are declining as well as miss out many surveys that don’t happen to use the term “survey”.

They should have stated the limitations of the survey and they do not seem to have taken the extra care needed for a survey likely to influence public opinion and decision making. This was a traditional review, and not the carefully conducted systematic review that you get in medicine and that first began to be used in conservation in 2006.........To Read More......

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