In order to stop the species extinction, one should be able to recognize the different species. But specialists with this specialty are considered as nerds – wrongly!
After more than 1.5 million people have signed the referendum "Save the bees" in Bavaria, the policy is accused of having overslept the topic of species extinction. That's true.
But it is also true that science does not look much better. Specialists who are capable of distinguishing between different types of flies are regarded as nerds within the scientific community, as anachronistic nerds who have somehow missed the hook. That's one of the reasons why such taxonomists are now something of a dying breed.
A budget like that of European space travel would be appropriate
There are only a few thousand scientists worldwide who can determine animal and plant species by their appearance. This is a problem in times of species extinction. Because exactly such experts would be needed now to get to the bottom of the loss.
It is also embarrassing for science that it was not one of the big research organizations that proved that there is an insect killing in Germany. The proof led a small entomological association in Krefeld with mostly honorary members.
Of course, this deficit is related to the fact that this type of research is hardly funded financially. That is also the reason why in Germany there is still no functioning monitoring for insects. Even for the count of birds, which is much simpler and works well compared to insects, the federal and state governments spend only a ridiculous € 300,000 a year.
This is in stark disproportion to the importance of such monitoring programs, which determine how many individuals of a species still exist. This knowledge is important to find out if and how species extinction can be stopped. It is clear that many things are related in nature. For example, as a result of insect killing, there are fewer insectivorous birds. But how does the wastage of the insects affect food fish, many of which also feed on insects, more specifically on their waterborne larvae?
What happens to the wild plants, of which 90 percent are pollinated by insects? And what happens if all these already under pressure organisms have to cope with an increase in the temperature due to climate change? In order to explore such connections, it is urgently necessary that different scientific disciplines work closely together. And that this research is financially endowed according to its importance. A budget like that of European space travel would be appropriate.