24 May 2012
A comprehensive review of the scientific evidence for the causes of moth declines has been published.
The review, published online in the international journal Insect Conservation and Diversity, draws together information about moth declines in Britain and other countries and presents the scientific evidence relating to the likely causes of these trends.
Direct evidence is extremely limited, but correlative studies and extrapolation from closely-related insects suggest that habitat degradation (particularly because of agricultural intensification) and climate change are likely to be the major drivers of change. There is currently little evidence of negative population-level effects on moths caused by chemical or light pollution, non-native species or direct exploitation, although some of these may yet prove to be important.
More research is urgently needed to improve understanding of the causes of change and to assist in the development of effective measures to reverse recent trends.
A pdf version of the full review can be accessed here.