Protect Guardians of Food Supply

Target: Mark Spencer, U.K. Minister of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries

Goal: Preserve earthworm populations instrumental in ecological and agricultural vitality.

Plentiful attention has been given to the plight of many endangered species and declining wildlife populations. Precious little notice is paid to the organisms known as the guardians of the soil and the world’s food supply, however. A recent study revealed a concerning long-term decrease in the United Kingdom’s (UK) earthworm population. The organisms have steadily declined as much as two percent a year. If such studies were conducted in other countries, findings would likely be similar.

On a readily observable level, these populations decreases are reflected in the parallel declines of woodland birds that feast on earthworms. Some woodlands avian species have dropped as much as one-third. On a deeper level, the loss of earthworms presents a threat to the stability of ecosystems and to the planetary food supply. Earthworms help break down organic matter so that it is usable by other life forms. They also help water, food, and nutrients circulate through topsoil, enriching the layer of earth responsible for up to 90 percent of plant and crop growth.

Ironically, agricultural runoff is believed to be one of the main culprits in dwindling earthworm populations, along with the drying out of soil fueled by climate change. Sign the petition below to call for more investment and resources in preserving organisms crucial to ecological protection.


Dear Minister Spencer,

The earthworm was recently voted Invertebrate of the Year in the UK. This small but powerful organism has more than earned the distinction. Earthworms are keystone living beings that serve as critical cogs in ecosystems. Even more vitally, they nourish and enrich topsoil around the world so that food can grow and societies can thrive. One estimate has placed earthworms as the world’s fourth largest food producer. Their loss would compound food insecurity and set off a global ecological crisis.

Earthworm populations are reportedly dropping at a steady pace in the UK, and likely worldwide. We must better understand the reasons for this decline and implement strong plans of action to curb it. Please invest in studying and resolving this troubling phenomenon.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sarefo

One Comment

  1. YES .. protect them at all costs as they really are the protectors and guardians of our food supply. These little guys are amazing heroes! They work with the wolves in making, maintaining, and saving our top soil. Too many grazers and the top soil runs off into rivers and streams. We need that top soil!!!
    Let’s always realize the worth of these little guys and thank them by allowing them to live their lives and save our soil!!!

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