Teenage Action For Conservation youth ambassador Lily Macfarlane created this video to highlight extinction and loss of biodiversity in our local ecosystems: Nature’s Vanishing Trick. British writer Robert Macfarlane, Lily’s father and author of Lost Words, helped the video go viral when he shared it online. Watch as her color pencil drawing of a tansy beetle disappears and is drawn again, echoing her narration:
We mostly think about habitat and species loss as something that only occurs abroad, the destruction of the rainforest or Africa’s disappearing lions, but it’s happening here and now… I realized in my day to day urban life, or because of shifting baseline syndrome, I just don’t see that these creatures are going…
Tiny creatures like the tansy beetle might seem unimportant, but insects save our lives every single day. You can help in the fight against the disappearance of the living world… take action, lobby, complain, campaign. Turn the vanishing trick around and bring nature back.
Why are insects important? This summary from The Guardian explains:
“There is now a lot of correlational evidence to show that when certain insects do badly, very often the birds that feed on them get into trouble as well,” said David Gibbon, of the [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds].
However, insects also play invaluable roles in other parts of the environment – for example as pollinators of our orchards and fruit fields… “People think that it is just bees that pollinate orchards, but there are huge numbers of flies that also pollinate – and they are all also threatened,” said [entomologist Simon] Leather.
In addition, flies, beetles and wasps are predators and decomposers who control pests and who generally clean up the countryside. “Just think of the work of the dung beetle,” added Leather. “If they go, the land would be covered with the excrement of cows, sheep and other animals.
This video makes a great follow-up: Studying the oak, caterpillar, great tit food chain. Also: Home Sweet Habitat & Food Webs.