Pollinators — including the beloved monarch butterfly — are in peril. Their numbers are plummeting due to a range of factors, and without healthy pollinator populations our plants, ecosystems, and food sources are threatened.
Pollinators are animals that move from plant to plant while searching for protein-rich pollen or high-energy nectar to eat. As they go, they are dusted by pollen and move it to the next flower, fertilizing the plant and allowing it to reproduce and form seeds, berries, fruits and other plant foods that form the foundation of the food chain for other species—including humans. Pollinators are themselves important food sources for other wildlife. Countless birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians eat the protein and fat-rich eggs, larvae, or adult forms of pollinators, or feed them to their young. Pollinators play a critical role in the food supply for wildlife and people!
Pollinators worldwide are in decline. Habitat loss, invasive species, parasites, and pesticides are largely to blame. But you can help!
To read more go to National Wildlife Federation: Pollinators
- Why is pollination important? – USDA Forest Service
- Insect pollinators contribute $29 billion to U.S. farm income – Cornell
- Economic Value Of Insect Pollination Worldwide Estimated At U.S. $217 Billion – Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
- “There’s a widely stated phrase in agriculture that you can thank a pollinator for one out of three bites of food you eat”…What the researchers found fell in line with the dictum… Out of the 115 crops studied, 87 depend to some degree upon animal pollination, accounting for one-third of crop production globally. – Berkeley
- Why are bees important? – Michigan State University
- Decline of bees and other pollinators could worsen global malnutrition – American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Bee Decline Threatens Entire Ecosystems – Discovery News
- List of Foods We Will Lose if We Don’t Save the Bees – Urban Beekeepers
- A U.N.-sponsored report drawing on about 3,000 scientific papers concludes that about 40 percent of invertebrate pollinator species (such as bees and butterflies) are facing extinction… – NPR
- Pollinators in decline around the world – BBC
- Globally, pollinators are in decline – Penn State University
- Pollinators: Decline in Numbers – Royal Horticultural Society
- This decline in bees and overall pollinator health is likely due to a number of complex factors that fall under four areas: Pollinator Habitat & Nutrition, Pesticide Exposure, Disease, Pests, & Genetics, and Climate Change & Weather – Government of Ontario
- Possible causes of pollinator declines – University of Leeds
- Domesticated honey bees decline – US Fish and Wildlife Service
- NY Bee Sanctuary
- A recent study that found unprecedented levels of agricultural pesticides — some at toxic levels — in honeybee colonies is prompting entomologists to look more closely at the role of neonicotinoids in current bee declines. – Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
- Decline of Pollinators Poses Threat to World Food Supply – NY Times
- The Economic Challenge Posed by Declining Pollinator Populations – White House Office of the Press Secretary
- Disappearing Pollinators Hurts Ecosystem Biodiversity & Threatens Food Security – Pachamama Alliance