Photo by bmswanson/iStock Recent studies have shown that insect numbers across the globe are plummeting . All sorts of pollinators, including bumblebees, hoverflies, beetles, butterflies, and moths are also in decline. There are many steps that need to be taken to save beneficial bugs, but one of the easiest is taking care of the millions of acres of right-of-way that line highways and roads. While that might seem like just a drop in the bucket when it comes to land conservation, those roadsides add up to big acreage, especially in a place like the United Kingdom, where urban development and agriculture leaves very little land available for wildlife habitat. In fact, Benjamin Phillips of the University of Exeter, the first author of a new study in the Journal of Applied Ecology , reports that about 1 percent of the land in the U.K. is contained in rights of way, known there as road verges. Phillips says that researchers have believed for a while that these roadsides are good for nature, but he wanted to find out just how good the roadside was for pollinators. “People have known these areas are important,” he says. “There are already lots of flowers […]


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