The world is all abuzz about pollinators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The world is all abuzz about pollinators

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2015  Celebrate Pollinator Week, June 15 – 21! While many pollinators may seem like just annoying insects, they are actually a very important part of the web of life upon which we all depend. Unfortunately, pollinators have shown disturbing signs of decline in recent years.

“Pollinators play a critical role in our everyday lives, and it’s important that we work to protect their habitat,” says NACD President Lee McDaniel. “Pollinators form the underpinning of a healthy and sustainable future for food and the environment.”

When pollinators shrink in number, many plants either produce less seed or no seed at all. The bottom line is, when pollinators start disappearing, plants start disappearing. Most plants depend upon pollinators to reproduce. While animals can travel and move around to find mates and reproduce, plants are rooted to one spot. Therefore, plants depend on pollinators to move pollen from their anthers to their stigma.

On planet Earth there are more than 100,000 species of insects, including bees, flies, moths, butterflies and beetles that work hard as pollinators. There are also over 1,000 species of other animals such as birds, reptiles and mammals, including bats that pollinate plants.

NACD has partnered with the Pollinator Partnership (pollinator.org) and Presidential Pollinator Health Plan – Education and Outreach Task Force – USDA members: Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in the development of education materials, “Local Heroes: Your Hardworking Pollinators.”

“America’s families depend on pollinators, essential in agriculture and critical to the production of more than one-third of our food products. In fact, more than 75 percent of flowering plants rely on pollinators,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden. “National Pollinator Week is a once-a-year observance that helps to educate the American public about the importance of pollinators to our food supply, information that we should remember year-round.”

“Anyone who plants for pollinators can inspire others by registering their site on a national map,” says Laurie Davies Adams, Executive Director of the Pollinator Partnership (P2). “Everyone can make a difference through their actions.”

There are many resources available to assist the public in maintaining or developing habitat for pollinators. For contact information for your local conservation district visit the NACD conservation district directory. Additional Pollinator resources, education materials are located on the “NACD Local Heroes – Your Hardworking Pollinators” education page.

USDA has been working on various projects to educate citizens on the importance of pollinators. For more information, visit: NRCS’s pollinator website or Fish and Wildlife Service’s website.

The Pollinator Partnership (P2) is a nonprofit organization headquartered in San Francisco, California. P2’s mission is to catalyze stewardship of biodiversity. P2 places a high priority on efforts to protect and enhance animal pollinators (invertebrates, birds and mammals) and their habitats in both working and wild lands. More information about P2, along with resources for anyone wishing to take action, may be accessed at www.pollinator.org. For more information contact Tom Van Arsdall, Director of Public Affairs, at TVA@pollinator.org.

The White House released on May 19, 2015 the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. Developed through a collaborative effort across the Executive Branch, this Strategy outlines a comprehensive approach to tackling and reducing the impact of multiple stressors on pollinator health, including pests and pathogens, reduced habitat, lack of nutritional resources, and exposure to pesticides. Click here to view a comprehensive plan for pollinators.

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The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit: www.nacdnet.org.

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