Fighting Insectageddon | earthrise

I was shocked when I learnt about a 2017 study that revealed insect numbers in some parts of Germany had declined by over 75% in the previous 27 years. I really wanted to make a programme that tackled this.  After all, insects make up 80% of all species on earth and are vital for pollinating crops, decomposing waste and supporting food chains.

A bit of delving brought up two great insect conservation stories. In New Zealand, the native wetapunga has been around for 190 million years. But in only a century and a half, human-introduced pests such as stoats and rats almost wiped it out. We visit a breeding programme at the Auckland Zoo which is bringing this huge, dinosaur-era insect back from the brink of extinction.

And in UK, an old oil refinery has been turned into a bug reserve.  Canvey Wick has been described as ‘Britain’s little brownfield rainforest’.  There are over 2,500 different species on this site alone, including some found nowhere else. A team of volunteers carry out surveying work throughout the year. They’ve discovered three species believed to have been extinct.