EntoGEM is a community-driven project that aims to compile evidence about global insect population and biodiversity status and trends. Our goal is to assess the current state of evidence in the scientific literature regarding insect declines, increases, or lack of changes over time.
Our hope is that this collection of literature, published and unpublished, will be used to inform stakeholders, such as entomologists, conservation biologists, insect enthusiasts, policy makers, or systemic review experts, and anyone who may want to learn more through a database of studies on global insect population and biodiversity trends. To do this, we will use a community-driven systematic mapping approach to determine what clusters of knowledge and gaps exist in the literature.
Recent studies documenting declines in insect abundance and biodiversity have raised concerns about a global insect conservation crisis with potentially dire consequences. There are over five and a half million insect species globally that are critical to maintaining ecosystem integrity; they fill roles as pollinators, herbivores, decomposers, and prey for other organisms.
Media coverage of the potential consequences of losing insect species has raised public interest in the topic of insect conservation. News stories like the "The Insect Apocalypse is Here" in the New York Times pointed to the "windshield phenomenon" noticed by entomologists and evidence of this trend from studies like the Krefeld study.
The growing concern about global insect declines both in academic and public spheres has led some researchers to call for more primary studies. To effectively plan primary studies, however, as a community we need to identify gaps in our knowledge and prioritize areas of research that have the most critical needs for conservation and policy-making. To do this, we need to undertake a systematic map to synthesize the available evidence and get a clear picture of the current state of the literature. Preliminary results from the EntoGEM project suggest that hundreds of long-term studies have not been included in the current conversation surrounding insect decline because they are found in grey literature like theses and dissertations, are published in languages other than English, or are in difficult-to-retrieve sources.
Because it is a community-driven project, EntoGEM is open to anyone who is concerned with biodiversity, the status of insect populations globally, or evidence synthesis methods and conservation. Currently, the project is primarily academics interested in insect conservation and evidence synthesis, but it is open to everyone and we want it to become a large, collaborative network working to understand the insect decline phenomenon and how to move forward with conservation measures. Take a look at the interactive map below to learn a bit more about who is involved.
The project is primarily coordinated by Eliza Grames, a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut, with support from Graham Montgomery, Neal Haddaway, Chris Elphick, Dave Wagner, and dozens of other people who have been instrumental in planning the project (e.g. designing and refining the protocol) and making it happen by screening articles and suggesting new data sources.