The Importance of Insects to General Biodiversity: Why Vote for Buglife this February?

Posted on 06 Feb 2023 by Emily Atkinson-Dalton
This February, Buglife UK are one of the fantastic charities taking part in the Discount Promo Codes February charity poll! This month, you can help preserve the little lives that we depend on every day without knowing it, as Buglife champion the conservation of our incredible invertebrates. From the buff-tailed bumblebee to the European rose chafer, Buglife help to save these tiny beings and ensure that we recognise just how valuable they are both as an animal and in relation to our entire ecosystem. Find out more about Buglife below and see why they need your votes this month. 

buglife logo

Insects make up over half the species on Earth, our planet’s health depends on them

“The rate of loss of insect life is much faster than that of higher profile wildlife like birds and mammals – the local extinction rate for insects is eight times higher!” 

These rather dramatic sounding statements are just two of many similar phrases used throughout the Buglife website; from our home page through to our No Insectinction campaign page and beyond.  

Readers probably wouldn’t expect anything less from a conservation charity which champions the “small things that run the planet”.  It’s what we were born to do.

Free Close Up Photo of Ladybug on Leaf during Daytime Stock Photo

Buglife is born (or should that be hatched?)

Buglife came into being following the realisation, in the 1990s, that there was no organisation flying the flag for all invertebrates.  No-one making sure that the conservation needs of invertebrates were being looked after or championed.  This was brought even further into focus by the publication of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan in 1994.  

A Feasibility Committee was established shortly after to look at setting up an invertebrate conservation body, with a “Statement of Need for a New Organisation” being produced.  Twenty of the leading conservation organisations at the time (including the RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts) acknowledged that the conservation movement lacked a major spokesperson for invertebrate conservation; welcoming the establishment of one.

In December 2002, “The Invertebrate Conservation Trust” registered as a company; the first organisation to bring together and represent everything concerning invertebrates.  Two years later the first member of staff was employed, our now CEO Matt Shardlow, and the organisation’s name metamorphosed into “Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust”.  

Since this time Buglife has championed invertebrates; making sure that they, and the habitats they rely on, are not forgotten.  Raising awareness, campaigning, carrying out project work, promoting citizen science, producing and contributing to reports and policy…the list goes on.  

A now constant reminder that bugs, critters, insects, whatever you choose to call them shouldn’t be overlooked.

For the past 22 years Buglife has advocated for the often indiscernible, sometimes “invisible”, occasionally maligned, but always important and necessary, invertebrates and the places they call home.

Free stock photo of bright, butterfly, butterfly on a flower Stock Photo

An ever-growing supporter base for bugs

Situated in the UK, Buglife is represented by a dedicated staff and volunteer base across the length and breadth of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; from Scilly to Shetland and all the places in between.  

But Buglife isn’t limited to working within the UK. 

With a global social media following; a loyal and ever-growing individual, family and life membership base and having previously worked overseas in South Georgia, Sri Lanka, St Helena and Tanzania, Buglife acts overseas where there is a need for our help.  Particularly to prevent the extinction of a species or to help research how to create the conditions for sustainable populations.  

We have an unusual structure, representing our origins.  Buglife members (who attend the AGM and vote on motions) are the Trustees and 37 member organisations (including the Coleopterists Society of Britain & Ireland, British Arachnological Society and The Wildlife Trusts); in recent years member organisations have also joined from overseas.

In turn Buglife is also a member of a collection of other organisations; including the National Biodiversity Network Trust, European Habitats Forum and Wildlife and Countryside Link to name but a few.  All of which help increase the reach and impact of our work; ensuring that bugs have a champion, a platform, a voice, whenever our natural world is being discussed.  But why?

Free Bee Stock Photo

Why is it so important and what is the point of insects?

It is generally accepted that all life on earth has a purpose but, for some reason, many people still really struggle with that in practice; particularly when it comes to bugs.  Often finding them scary, or annoying, viewing them as pests and proclaiming their pointlessness; even the ones that have “media friendly” personas such as the Honey Bee or butterflies.  Throw wasps, spiders or mosquitos into the mix and the exclamation “what purpose do they have?!” is often heard.

Science has shown time and again that insects, individually and as a collective, have many purposes and are far from pointless; delivering many “essential services” that we, and many other species, couldn’t live without.  They pollinate plants, disperse seeds, cycle and recycle nutrients, speeding up decomposition; they create and maintain soil health structure and fertility, control populations of, and are a major food source for, other species.  They have been front and centre in many scientific advances and, even now, are essential in a variety of medical treatments, from helping scientists determine antibiotic resistance to detecting tumours.  

Insects form and create the biological foundations for pretty much all terrestrial ecosystems.

In short, as Sir David Attenborough succinctly said, ‘If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.’ 

And who’s going to argue with him?

If you want to learn more about what Buglife do and how you can support the conservation of insects in other ways, then you can head over to their website today and help save the smallest lives that have a biggest impact. 

If you have decided that Buglife have your vote, then head on over the the Discount Promo Codes homepage to help them win this months donation. Don't forget the share the poll with friends and family, to make sure the charity you want to support gets as many votes as possible!

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