THE DORSET Wildlife Trust is calling on people to take action to address the alarming rates of decline in insect populations.

Last month, the Echo reported that a new Wildlife Trusts study said that the dropping numbers of insects would have devastating effects for our ecosystems, with many birds, bats and fish that depend on them to eat losing their food.

The report showed that the insect population decline is happening up to eight times faster than those of larger animals.

Now, people are invited to take a pledge to support action for insects.

A spokesman for the Trust said: “Insects are dying out up to eight times faster than larger animals and 41 per cent of insect species face extinction.

“This is a grave cause for concern - it impacts us all as well as all wildlife.

“Insects pollinate a third of our food crops, as well as being the main food source of many birds, small mammals and fish.

“Loss of their habitat and overuse of pesticides are two of the major causes of this looming catastrophe. However, the good news is that it’s not too late to act.

“Insect populations can recover, and we know what needs to be done to save them.

“By working together we can change the future of insects, starting right now, you can help by taking our pledge to take two simple actions in your home or outside space that will make a difference.”

At the time of writing, more than 3,000 people had taken the pledge. The Wildlife Trusts are aiming for a milestone of 10,000 people pledging to support our insect populations.

People are asked to not use insect-killing pesticides in homes, workplaces and farmlands to help stop the decline as well as working to create more insect friendly habitats.

The spokesman said: “87 per cent of all plant species require animal pollination, most of it delivered by insects - that is pretty much all of them except grasses and conifers.

“In addition, three out of four of all crops that we grow require pollination by insects.”

“Only by working together can we address the causes of insect loss, halt and reverse them, and secure a sustainable future for insect life and for ourselves.

“Together, we can stop this looming catastrophe and create an environment that is rich in nature for the benefit of wildlife and people.”