Some say that ‘the cockroach’ will be the last species on Earth to survive. Then it has been calculated that one gravid aphid, left to reproduce with zero mortality, will, after one year, cover the globe with an aphid layer over 140 km thick. Not forgetting too, that flies and fleas vector disease. So, why should we even consider conserving insects? Quite simply, without insects, the likelihood is that the world as we know it would be radically changed in a matter of days. Besides, it is only a tiny minority of insects that harm our lives. These two faces of insects, friend and foe, are just one of the several paradoxes that characterize insect conservation from other facets of taxon-based conservation biology. Our impacting on landscapes can turn a benign insect species into a pest, while, on the other hand, it may cause an extinction of another species. Focusing on the land mosaic, its composition, structure and function, is thus central to insect conservation.
We have no idea of the outcomes from our modification of the biosphere. Blindfolded, we are turning the many faces of the Rubik Cube of biological diversity conservation in the hope that all the faces will match. It is not that we are incapable, it is just that the world is so complex. A thousand species, for example, in the same community (not an unreasonable figure) potentially produces 0.5 million interactions. In addition, strengths of those interactions, and hence outcomes, also vary.