Scientists Say Many 'Good' Insects Are Disappearing

2018-10-08

00:00 / 00:00
复读宝 RABC v8.0beta 复读机按钮使用说明
播放/暂停
停止
播放时:倒退3秒/复读时:回退AB段
播放时:快进3秒/复读时:前进AB段
拖动:改变速度/点击:恢复正常速度1.0
拖动改变复读暂停时间
点击:复读最近5秒/拖动:改变复读次数
设置A点
设置B点
取消复读并清除AB点
播放一行
停止播放
后退一行
前进一行
复读一行
复读多行
变速复读一行
变速复读多行
LRC
TXT
大字
小字
滚动
全页
1
  • It is common to see many different kinds of insects while spending time outside in the summer.
  • 2
  • Some of these tiny creatures do not bother people and can even add beauty to the natural environment.
  • 3
  • Examples of these are insects like ladybugs, butterflies and fireflies.
  • 4
  • Other insects can harm the environment or humans.
  • 5
  • Many are known to bite or sting.
  • 6
  • Some carry dangerous diseases.
  • 7
  • This group includes insects like mosquitoes, ticks and cockroaches.
  • 8
  • The population of these insects seems to stay large and healthy.
  • 9
  • But scientists say this does not appear to be true for some flying insects that serve an important purpose.
  • 10
  • There is growing evidence that these insects are decreasing across the world.
  • 11
  • Many of these insects are very important to plant growth and development.
  • 12
  • They also serve as a necessary link in the food chain and can help break down life when animals die.
  • 13
  • One researcher looking into the current insect population is Doug Tallamy, a professor at the University of Delaware.
  • 14
  • He worries that a continual drop in the number of helpful insects could lead to disastrous results.
  • 15
  • If the insects disappeared, Earth's important life forms would begin to go away too, Tallamy told the Associated Press.
  • 16
  • This could result in a total breakdown of the ecosystem.
  • 17
  • "How much worse can it get than that?" he asked.
  • 18
  • Tallamy noted a statement by one of America's best-known biologists, E.O. Wilson of Harvard University.
  • 19
  • Wilson once called insects "the little things that run the world."
  • 20
  • Wilson is now 89 years old. He told the AP that he remembers walking through Washington, D.C., in the past when it was "alive with insects, especially butterflies."
  • 21
  • Now, he said, "the flying insects are virtually gone."
  • 22
  • Wilson said this point seemed to be confirmed during a drive he made last year from Boston, Massachusetts, to the neighboring state of Vermont.
  • 23
  • He was surprised that, during his trip, he counted only one insect that had hit the car's front window.
  • 24
  • Several other scientists have carried out similar tests by checking how many insects hit their cars while traveling.
  • 25
  • An insect researcher from the University of Florida, Philip Koehler, reported that far fewer insects hit his vehicle today than in the past.
  • 26
  • While researchers admit this method is not scientific, they say it can still help them understand the changing insect population.
  • 27
  • Scientists say there are likely many reasons for the drop in flying insects.
  • 28
  • Most are related to the destruction of insect habitat caused by things like insecticides, other animals, pollution and climate change.
  • 29
  • There have not been many studies done on the insect populations covering large areas.
  • 30
  • However, some international research suggests a downward turn.
  • 31
  • In 2006, a group of studies estimated there had been a 14-percent drop in ladybugs in the United States and Canada from 1987 to 2006.
  • 32
  • In Costa Rica, researchers have been studying the flying insect population at the La Selva Biological Station since 1991.
  • 33
  • One of the researchers is Lee Dyer from the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • 34
  • He told the AP his team has repeatedly examined a big trap that would have been covered with insects decades ago.
  • 35
  • Now, they find no insects in the trap.
  • 36
  • In Germany, a 2017 study found an 82-percent drop in the number of flying insects captured in 63 traps across the country, compared to levels recorded in 1990.
  • 37
  • This is the main insect population study carried out so far.
  • 38
  • Researchers say it is difficult making similar comparisons in other areas.
  • 39
  • That is because similar insect counts were not done decades ago.
  • 40
  • After the German study, other countries also started looking into the problem.
  • 41
  • Toke Thomas Hoye of Aarhus University in Denmark studied flies in a few areas of rural Greenland.
  • 42
  • He said he discovered an 80-percent drop in the insects since 1996.
  • 43
  • David Wagner of the University of Connecticut says other evidence leads him to believe the findings of the 2017 study are "clearly not a German thing."
  • 44
  • Wagner has measured drops in moth populations in the northeastern United States.
  • 45
  • "We just have to find out how widespread the phenomenon is," he said.
  • 46
  • I'm Bryan Lynn.
  • 1
  • It is common to see many different kinds of insects while spending time outside in the summer. Some of these tiny creatures do not bother people and can even add beauty to the natural environment. Examples of these are insects like ladybugs, butterflies and fireflies.
  • 2
  • Other insects can harm the environment or humans. Many are known to bite or sting. Some carry dangerous diseases. This group includes insects like mosquitoes, ticks and cockroaches. The population of these insects seems to stay large and healthy.
  • 3
  • But scientists say this does not appear to be true for some flying insects that serve an important purpose. There is growing evidence that these insects are decreasing across the world.
  • 4
  • Many of these insects are very important to plant growth and development. They also serve as a necessary link in the food chain and can help break down life when animals die.
  • 5
  • One researcher looking into the current insect population is Doug Tallamy, a professor at the University of Delaware. He worries that a continual drop in the number of helpful insects could lead to disastrous results.
  • 6
  • If the insects disappeared, Earth's important life forms would begin to go away too, Tallamy told the Associated Press. This could result in a total breakdown of the ecosystem.
  • 7
  • "How much worse can it get than that?" he asked.
  • 8
  • Tallamy noted a statement by one of America's best-known biologists, E.O. Wilson of Harvard University. Wilson once called insects "the little things that run the world."
  • 9
  • Wilson is now 89 years old. He told the AP that he remembers walking through Washington, D.C., in the past when it was "alive with insects, especially butterflies."
  • 10
  • Now, he said, "the flying insects are virtually gone."
  • 11
  • Wilson said this point seemed to be confirmed during a drive he made last year from Boston, Massachusetts, to the neighboring state of Vermont. He was surprised that, during his trip, he counted only one insect that had hit the car's front window.
  • 12
  • Several other scientists have carried out similar tests by checking how many insects hit their cars while traveling. An insect researcher from the University of Florida, Philip Koehler, reported that far fewer insects hit his vehicle today than in the past.
  • 13
  • While researchers admit this method is not scientific, they say it can still help them understand the changing insect population.
  • 14
  • Scientists say there are likely many reasons for the drop in flying insects. Most are related to the destruction of insect habitat caused by things like insecticides, other animals, pollution and climate change.
  • 15
  • There have not been many studies done on the insect populations covering large areas. However, some international research suggests a downward turn.
  • 16
  • In 2006, a group of studies estimated there had been a 14-percent drop in ladybugs in the United States and Canada from 1987 to 2006.
  • 17
  • In Costa Rica, researchers have been studying the flying insect population at the La Selva Biological Station since 1991. One of the researchers is Lee Dyer from the University of Nevada, Reno. He told the AP his team has repeatedly examined a big trap that would have been covered with insects decades ago. Now, they find no insects in the trap.
  • 18
  • In Germany, a 2017 study found an 82-percent drop in the number of flying insects captured in 63 traps across the country, compared to levels recorded in 1990. This is the main insect population study carried out so far.
  • 19
  • Researchers say it is difficult making similar comparisons in other areas. That is because similar insect counts were not done decades ago.
  • 20
  • After the German study, other countries also started looking into the problem. Toke Thomas Hoye of Aarhus University in Denmark studied flies in a few areas of rural Greenland. He said he discovered an 80-percent drop in the insects since 1996.
  • 21
  • David Wagner of the University of Connecticut says other evidence leads him to believe the findings of the 2017 study are "clearly not a German thing." Wagner has measured drops in moth populations in the northeastern United States.
  • 22
  • "We just have to find out how widespread the phenomenon is," he said.
  • 23
  • I'm Bryan Lynn.
  • 24
  • Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English. His story was based on reports by the Associated Press and online sources. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
  • 25
  • We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.
  • 26
  • _________________________________________________________________
  • 27
  • Words in This Story
  • 28
  • bother - v. annoy, worry or cause problems for someone
  • 29
  • sting - v. produce a small but painful injury by making a small hole in the skin
  • 30
  • ecosystem - n. all the plants, animals and people living in an area considered their environment
  • 31
  • virtually - adv. almost
  • 32
  • habitat - n. the natural surroundings in which a plant or animal usually lives
  • 33
  • insecticide - n. chemical substance used to kill insects
  • 34
  • phenomenon - n. someone or something considered special because it is completely different or extremely unusual