Fewer insects in Norway


Published 8 May 2024
- By Editorial Staff
20,000 species were surveyed and researchers found a 14% annual decline.

The number of insects in Norway has declined over the past four years, according to new measurements. However, scientists are unsure whether this is a coincidence or part of a larger trend in the country.

In 2017, Germany published data showing that 75 percent of its insects had disappeared. In response, a similar study was planned in Norway by the Norwegian Institute for Environmental Research, starting in 2020. The institute has set up traps across the country, where more than 20,000 species have been observed, but there is also a clear decline. The insects have decreased by about 14% per year.

– During the four years we have been studying the number of insects, we have seen a decline in all the areas we have analyzed, researcher Jens Åström told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.

However, the researchers say it is too early to say whether this is a profound trend or random fluctuations, as four years is a relatively short time.

– When we talk about changes within a few years, it probably has a lot to do with the weather, says Åström. It’s probably a relatively random trend. But we do not know.

“Of course concerned”

Tomas Holmern, senior advisor at the Norwegian Environment Agency, which commissioned the research on the insects, is concerned about the results because he believes the weather could become more extreme.

– We are of course concerned about the negative consequences this will have, he says.

A recent Dutch study showed that insect-pollinating plants have declined significantly since the 1930s, which is also believed to be due to a reduction in the number of insects.

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