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This education and awareness campaign runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1, 2020. Our goal is for 1,000 Floridians to learn more about the importance of insects and take our pledge to help curb their decline. Learn more below!insect effect campaign logo

With an estimated 5.5 million species, insects are the most diverse group of animals on the planet.  More than one million have been named by scientists — and many more have yet to be discovered. In fact, insects account for 80% of animal life on Earth.

But, both the number and diversity of insects are declining around the globe due to habitat loss, pollution and climate change. Without widespread action, many of these important creatures face extinction within the next few decades. 

By making a few small changes in your life, you can help curb this worldwide problem. Watch the video and visit the links below to learn more about why insects are crucial to life on Earth and what you can do to help save these amazing creatures 

What can I do to help?

Local, national and international efforts can help solve this crisis. Individuals can help through low-effort, impactful changes: Cultivating insect-friendly outdoor spaces, taking our pledge and spreading the word! Click the boxes below to learn more about how you can protect the insects. 
 

Why should I protect insects? 

While many insects can seem like pests, they provide a wide range of services to other plants and animals in our environment. In fact, a diverse range of insect species is critical to the survival of most life on Earth, including bats, birds, freshwater fishes and even humans! Along with plants, insects are at the foundation of the food web, and most of the plants and animals we eat rely on insects for pollination or food.  For example, 96% of songbirds feed insects to their young.

If a dollar value was put on the services insects provide, this would equal roughly $70 billion in the U.S. alone. These services include:  

We also depend on insects for silk, dyes, honey and medical and genetic research. But, aside from the services insects provide, they are simply fascinating animals that spark curiosity in humans, especially children. These incredible creatures exhibit many extraordinary behaviors that are unthinkable in other forms of life and have inspired technology that we use today, like drones! Take some time to really observe the insects in your backyard, what behaviors do you see that captivate you?

Since many insects have yet to even be discovered, there may be benefits we don’t even know about yet! 

Join our Insect Effect Bioblitz!

children searching for bugsShare the insect discoveries in your Florida yard using iNaturalist by visiting the following link: The Insect Effect Bioblitz. New to iNaturalist? Visit our Facebook Insect Effect Bioblitz event page to learn more about how to participate.

We can’t wait to see what you find!

Featured scientists

Have additional questions about this campaign or insects in general? Reach out to one of our featured scientists who are ready to answer your questions.

Meet Florida’s Insect Influencers

Although many Floridians may associate the word insect with those pesky mosquitoes, our state is home to so many beneficial bugs! Watch the videos below and download our Instagram slider series to meet some of Florida’s Insect Influencers and find out why they’re so important. New influencers will be added to this list each week, so be sure to check back!

When sharing on social media, be sure to use the campaign hashtag: #ProtectTheInsects, and tag us: @UFEarthSystems on Facebook and Twitter and @KnowYourFlorida on Instagram.

Videos

Watch and share these Insect Influencers videos featuring some of Florida’s beneficial bugs. See the example below. To view all of our Insect Influencer videos, visit the following link: Insect Influencer Playlist.

Instagram Sliders

Click on the images to download an Instagram slider series for each of our Insect Influencers! Only the three most recent sliders are visible here. To view and download all of our sliders, visit our Insect Influencers Instagram Sliders page.

common eastern bumblebee slider Miami Blue butterfly cicada insect influencer

Learn more at these insect-themed events!

We will be adding new events throughout the duration of this campaign. Check this page periodically for new options to learn about insects from the experts!

Sources


About this campaign

leef acknowledgementThis campaign is brought to you by the UF Thompson Earth Systems Institute and the Florida Museum of Natural History, with funding support from the League of Environmental Educators in Florida. Participating partners also include the Florida Native Plant Society and the Florida Association of Native Nurseries.

 


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Partners

florida native plant society logo florida association of native nurseries logo