Some of Australia’s smallest species could be lost to wildfires

Image of burned trees.

(New York Times) One-third of Kangaroo Island, a government-declared bee sanctuary off South Australia, has been burned so far this fire season, threatening the “last remaining pure stock” of Ligurian honeybees in the world. Foreign honeybees have an advantage, because they can abscond with their queen in the face of threats. Native stingless bees can’t — their queens can’t fly.

South Australia’s iconic Kangaroo Island could see rare species wiped out after devastating bushfires

Image of burned sign.

(ABC) The Ligurian honey bees on Kangaroo Island are believed to be the last remaining pure stock of this insect found anywhere in the world. It’s possible that up to 500 hives could have succumbed to the flames. “That part of the island that was burnt was the main drawcard for keepers to put their hives.”

Urgent new ‘roadmap to recovery’ could reverse insect apocalypse

Image of moth on thistle.

(The Guardian) The call to action by more than 70 scientists from across the planet advocates immediate “no-regret” actions on human stress factors to insects which include habitat loss and fragmentation, the climate crisis, pollution, over-harvesting and invasive species. The paper comes amid repeated warnings about the threat of human-driven insect extinction causing a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, with more than 40 percent of insect species declining and a third endangered.

Seeking the building blocks of pollinator conservation

Image of bumble bee visiting milkweed.

(Great Lakes Echo) Great Lakes researchers are seeking fundamental knowledge about pollinators like bumble bees and butterflies, hoping to reverse their decline. “Part of this project is to create a baseline for future comparison. We’ve been resampling places where pollinators were sampled 50 years or 100 years ago and trying to see how the populations have changed.”

Light pollution is key “bringer of insect apocalypse”

Image of insects swarming around light at night.

(The Guardian) “We strongly believe artificial light at night – in combination with habitat loss, chemical pollution, invasive species, and climate change – is driving insect declines,” the scientists concluded after assessing more than 150 studies. However, unlike other drivers of decline, light pollution is relatively easy to prevent by switching off unnecessary lights and using proper shades.