This is not a question without dramatic consequences for us. For the past 25 years there has been a dramatic decline in flying insects according to a new study. At least in Germany. The drama in this is that no one knows if this applies to the rest of the world. I for one, as an amateur photographer can vouch that insects of all kinds this year were not plentiful and that birds were also in decline, at least in my neck of the woods.
Insects are important, both as pollinators and as prey for other wildlife. Our human societies could be seriously impacted by this. We depend on flying insects for pollination.
Even if this new data was done in reserves in Germany it has implications for all landscapes that are dominated by agriculture. The reason is simple; it is more than probable that pesticides play a role in the decline as well as the destruction of wild areas. At least it seems that climate change is not a reason for the decline.
What is even more worrying is that this study was done in protected areas in Germany, where one would think that things would be better than in areas not under protection. It is probable that when the insects leave the reserves they die due to lack of food and maybe the pesticides that are used in the surrounding areas. Studies will now be done elsewhere to see if this is really a worldwide phenomena or something that is localized and unique to Germany.