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Bugged: Earth's insect population shrinks 27% in 30 years

By SETH BORENSTEIN Science Writer

KENSINGTON, Maryland (AP) — A big picture look at global insect decline shows land bugs are disappearing at a rate of nearly 1% a year.

That means the world has lost more than a quarter of its insects in the last 30 years.

Thursday's study in the journal Science finds the declines are more nuanced, varied and smaller than other studies. But scientists still call the results alarming and jaw dropping.

Insects like bees are needed to pollinate much of our food. Scientists see no single global cause but fault habitat loss and urbanization.

There's hope. Freshwater bugs are increasing, likely due to cleaner rivers and streams.

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