[Tweeters] Insects

Constance Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Mon Aug 20 10:10:06 PDT 2018


Hey tweets, I've passed along your observations and questions about insect populations to Dr. Merrill Peterson, the chari of Western's biology department and an entomologist. I asked him to give me citations in the scientific literature on this topic. I'll let you know what he says.

FYI, Merrill has authored a new field guide to the common insects of the Pacific NW, published by Seattle Audubon (edited and produced by Constancy Press, yours truly). The book launched earlier in August and is now available for sale at the Nature Shop and University Bookstore. I urge you to get a copy so you can ID insects in the field - I think it might be a good idea for us birders to learn more about insects, given how critical they are to birds (not to mention, to us).

As some of you have mentioned, we suspect that insect declines are caused at least in part by human agency, including pesticide use, development, and agricultural monoculture. Climate change will also affect insects in major ways, though those ways may favor some insects and punish others.

Earlier in the year, I had asked Merrill for citations regarding the response of insects to climate change. He sent me PDFs of five pubished papers. I'd be happy to send these to you if you email me privately.

On the topic of climate change, as you may know, National Audubon has set up a new citizen science initiative, asking people across the nation to keep track of selected bird species over the next several years to see whether they respond to climate change as models predict they will. If you're interested, here is the url:

https://www.audubon.org/conservation/climate-watch

BTW, like you, I have noticed a significant decline in swallows at Montlake Fill. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com



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