Invertebrates are vitally important to healthy ecosystems and the planet, humans and other life forms could not survive without them. From the food we eat, the birds we see, the flowers we smell, life would simply not exist without them, they are the engine room of all life. Invertebrates pollinate, decompose and recycle the energy, nutrients and diversity that underpins all life on earth, without them the world’s ecosystems would collapse. Forming the base of the pyramid of life, they account for 97 percent of all animal species on Earth.
To quote Sir David Attenborough ‘If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.’
There are more than 40,000 invertebrate species in the UK, and many of these are under threat as never before (Buglife 2016). These include over 2,500 species of moth but fewer than 60 species of butterfly, over 4000 species of beetle, over 7000 species of bees, wasps, ants and sawflies and around 150 species of land snails and slugs.