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‘곤충 종말’ 막기 위한 8가지 실천

zoozoo
2021.01.18 17:38 2,436 2
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본문

곤충학자들 “정원 10%에 잔디를 심지 말자” “등을 어둡게” 등 제안



“꿀벌이 지상에서 사라지면 인류는 4년 안에 멸망할 것이다.” 흔히 알베르트 아인슈타인이 한 말로 알려지지만 그런 말을 했다는 증거는 없다. 꿀벌 군집붕괴 현상(CCD)을 그럴듯하게 경고하느라 누군가 꾸민 말일 것이다.


그러나 요즘 ‘곤충 종말’을 경고하는 목소리가 과학계에서 나온다. 곤충의 종 다양성은 물론 집단과 양 자체가 

급격하게 줄고 있어 인류의 생존 기반이 위험하다는 것이다(▶“30년 동안 육상 곤충 4분의 1이 사라졌다”).


곤충은 새, 박쥐, 물고기의 빼놓을 수 없는 먹이일 뿐 아니라 꽃 피는 식물의 번식 파트너이고 폐기물의 분해자이다. 

농업과 의약품 재료 등 곤충이 사람에게 제공하는 생태계 서비스는 미국에서만 연간 700억 달러에 이른다.


미 국립학술원회보(PNAS) 12일 치는 ‘인류세와 지구 차원의 곤충 감소’를 특집 주제로 12편의 논문을 실었다. 

데이비드 와그너 미국 코네티컷대 곤충학자 등은 인류세의 곤충 감소를 ‘능지처참’이라고 표현한 논문에서 

“많은 곤충 집단이 기후변화, 농약 살포, 빛 공해, 외래종 유입, 서식지 파괴 등으로 해마다 

1∼2%씩 줄어들고 있다”며 “이런 감소가 누적돼 어떤 사태가 빚어질지 아무도 모른다”고 지적했다.


곤충 없이 살 수 없는데 곤충 감소가 심각하다면 이를 막기 위해 우리는 무슨 일을 할 수 있을까. 

아키토 가와하라 미국 플로리다 자연사박물관 학예사 등 곤충학자들은 이 학술지에 기고한 의견 논문을 통해 

곤충이 살기 좋은 서식지를 조성하기 위한 방안 5개와 곤충에 대한 태도를 바꿀 방안 3가지 등 

8가지 실천방안을 제시했다. 주요 내용을 소개한다.


_______


1. 정원의 10%를 곤충 몫으로 돌리자


도시의 잔디밭은 생물에게 사막과 같다. 잔디밭의 일부 만이라도 잔디 대신 자생식물을 심고 농약과 비료를 주지 말고

 자연스러운 땅으로 만들면 곤충에게는 소규모 보호구역 구실을 한다. 나라 전체로는 엄청난 면적의 곤충 서식지가 

생기는 셈이다. 이런 작은 공간은 곤충이 이동하는 징검다리 노릇도 한다. 마당이 없어도 창문이나 발코니 등에 

화분을 이용해 자연 서식지를 조성할 수 있다.



_______


2. 원예종 대신 자생식물을 심자


그 지역의 자생식물과 곤충은 수백만 년 동안 긴밀한 생태적 관계를 맺고 있다. 많은 종류의 곤충이 자생식물을 

먹이와 서식지, 번식지로 이용한다. 다른 환경에서 자란 원예종과 비교할 바 아니다. 원예종을 심더라도 

여러 종을 다양하게 심는 게 좋다. 자생식물을 심어 곤충이 자라 애벌레가 생기면 아름다운 노래를 부르는 새들도 

찾아온다.


_______


3. 농약과 제조체 사용을 줄이자


농약은 종종 표적이 아닌 곤충을 해친다. 또 농약 사용을 줄이면 유익한 절지동물이 늘어난다. 농약은 도시에서 

잔디밭, 정원, 공원의 녹지가 보기 좋으라고 쓰는 경우가 많다. 꼭 필요한 용도가 아니란 얘기다. 

해충을 막을 때도 살충제를 쓰는 대신 긴소매 옷을 입고 방충망을 제대로 설치하며 

고인물을 없애는 것이 효과적이기도 하다.


_______


4. 등불을 어둡게 하자


1990년대 이후 많은 대도시에서 빛 공해가 심각해졌다. 대부분의 야행성 곤충이 야외의 불빛에 이끌려 죽임을 당한다.

불빛 근처에서 기다리는 포식자에게 더 많이 잡아먹히고 반딧불이는 번식 성공률이 떨어진다. 

자외선 등으로 벌레를 유인해 죽이는 장치에 이끌려 죽는 곤충은 대부분 무해한 종류이다. 

외부의 불을 끄거나 어둡게 하면 곤충에 좋고 에너지 사용량도 줄인다. 

곤충이 덜 이끌리는 호박색이나 붉은색 등으로 바꾸는 것도 방법이다.


_______


5. 세차 세제와 염화칼슘 사용을 줄이자


자동차나 자전거, 건물 벽을 세척할 때 쓰는 세제에는 암모니아, 중금속 등 여러 오염물질이 들어있어 

하천에 흘러들어 물에 사는 곤충을 해친다. 빙판을 막으려고 치는 화학물질도 가축의 발바닥에 상처를 내고 

식물 성장과 곤충의 발달에 피해를 끼친다. 눈을 불어내거나 모래를 뿌리고 염분이 없는 대체 물질을 쓸 수 있다.


_______


6. 곤충에 대한 편견을 버리자



많은 나라에서 대중은 곤충이 제공하는 혜택이나 생태계 서비스를 잘 알지 못하는 대신 병을 옮기고 

귀찮고 더럽다는 편견을 주입받는다. 실제로 전 세계 모기 3000여 종 가운데 사람에게 해를 끼치는 종은 

손에 꼽을 정도다. 언론에서 ‘살인 개미’ ‘살인 말벌’ 등 과장해서 공포를 일으키기도 한다.


_______


7. 곤충 보전을 위한 대변자가 되자


아이가 태어나 처음 만나는 야생동물은 집 근처의 곤충일 가능성이 크다. 동물에 대한 관심과 애정이 가장 높은 

6∼12살 때 자연사 교육을 하는 것이 좋다.


_______


8. 올바른 투표를 하자


도시 경관을 설계하고 계획할 때 참여한다. 또 지역의 각종 개발사업과 중앙 정부의 정책을 눈여겨 보고 

올바른 투표를 한다.



출처-한겨레/조홍섭기자

링크-http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/animalpeople/human_animal/978629.html


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