In fewer than three decades, insect populations have probably fallen by some 75% in Europe. Recently, a synthesis of 73 studies around the world illustrates the worrying decline in diversity of the insect fauna: in fact, 50% of species are considered to be in decline and a third in danger of extinction.
However, although certain emblematic species have been studied, no general study has been conducted on the possible decline of insect populations in Quebec. With financial support from the Ministry of International Relations and Francophony, we have initiated a pilot project to study the diversity and abundance of insects over time.
This project is a collaboration between a Montreal team, made up of the University of Montreal Ouellet-Robert Entomological Collection and the Montreal Insectarium, and a Walloon team, composed of the University of Liège Jean Leclercq Conservatory and the Hexapoda Insectarium.
Two pairs of identical traps, a Malaise trap and a suction trap, are placed in the Montreal Botanical Garden and the Hexapoda Insectarium. Samples are collected every week, specimens sorted, prepared, and identified, and their data recorded. With these data, we seek to monitor the ebb and flow of insect populations over time, that is to say across the seasons and years, and this by comparing trends on two continents.
Updates will be posted here and on the FaceBook page of the Ouellet-Robert Collection.
Please contact us if you would like to participate in this interesting and important project!
In Montreal: Colin.Favret@umontreal.ca
In Waremme: [email address]