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Humans should be concerned about the world's declining insect population

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An acclaimed environmental reporter's new book details the slow-motion demise of insect populations around the world, and the potentially devastating effects life without them.

Forty percent of all insects species were declining globally in 2019 and a third were endangered, per research published in the journal Biological Conservation.

Half a million insect species were under threat of extinction as of the publication of a 2019 U.N. assessment. Some could be wiped out in the next few decades.

Insects play critical roles in the food chain that humans and other large animals rely on. Experts say the complete collapse of these populations would result in mass starvation and societal unrest.

What are the biggest threats to insect populations around the world? Which are most at risk?

Which insects are most important to humankind and other wildlife?

What can be done to build up at-risk insect populations, and what does humankind risk by doing nothing?

Guest: Oliver Milman, environmental correspondent at the Guardian US and author of "The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World"

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, March 9.

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