About 70 percent of all animal species in Germany are insects, among those bees, beetles, butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, ants and flies. They pollinate flowers, are important opponents to „harmful insects“, decompose organic matter, improve soil as well as purify bodies of water. Around 80 percent of crop plants and more than 90 percent of wild plants either entirely or partially depend on pollination.
Numerous animals live on insects. These include many birds, but also small mammals such as hedgehogs, mice and moles as well as fish, frogs and (other) amphibians. For years frequency and spread of many insect species has been falling strongly and diversity of species is receding too. The reasons for this are numerous as well as complex. Loss or degradation of their habitats, lacking variety of vegetation structure, the decline of many wild plants, the use of pesticides, bringing nutritients and pollutants into soils and waters as well as worsening light pollution all play a role.
For this reason the UN Decade on Biodiversity in 2019 and 2020 puts insects into focus. We seek to disseminate good practical examples as well as bring different actors into contact with each other to initiate new activities and additional engagement.