Biodiversity loss currently receives much attention in media. One trigger for this is the recently published WWF Living Planet Report 2018, which shows a persistent massive population decline in vertebrates. The Living Planet Index (LPI) has been compiled every two years since 1998, and makes statements about the evolution of thousands of vertebrate species. The dramatic result shows a decline in natural populations with a decrease of individual numbers of 60% on average since 1970.
For the first time the LPI was compiled for Austria, in a cooperation of WWF and BOKU. The study examined the period between 1986 and 2015. The result is worrying: the mentioned 70% decline in vertebrates even exceeds the global value.
In invertebrates, an equally dramatic decline was reported by Hallmann et. al 2017. According tot he study the insect biomass faced a decline of more than 75% in the last 27 years in Germany.
Lecturers of the nternational Symposium on Insect Conservation at the Natural History Museum Stuttgart suggested a nine-point-action against insect decline, where they suggest solutions to political stakeholders.
A key point is the demand for a research and education offensive to close the huge gaps in our knowledge on biodiversity. Only then can the dramatic loss of insect biomass be underpinned with information on species. Biodiversity initiatives such as ABOL can significantly contribute to this task.