Pollinators, the little critters that are responsible for providing us with roughly one-third of our food, are in trouble. Their populations have been declining for years, so 11 years ago, the US Senate designated a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” to help raise awareness and address this issue. To find a Pollinator related event near you or to learn more about the designated week, click here!
Many people immediately think of bees and butterflies as pollinators, however there are so many more species that fall under this category! Birds, bats, beetles, moths, and even some flies can be considered pollinators as well. A pollinator is simply an animal that helps plants reproduce by moving pollen grains from the male to female part of the plant.
Unfortunately, these amazing animals are being severely impacted by climate change, chemical pollution, habitat destruction and fragmentation, invasive species increase, and disease. The Mexican Long-nosed Bat is one of these animals. These agave pollinators (anyone like Tequila or using agave as a natural sweetener?) call Mexico their home for the winter and spring and migrate to Texas and New Mexico during the summer to feed on agave. Climate Change is impacting their food source and habitat destruction, specifically from the proposed Border Wall, threatens their migration route. With this large, man-made barrier in the way, these bats will have a hard time migrating north with their babies.
Another “closer-to-home” endangered pollinator is the Rusty Patched Bumblebee. This species was the first wild bee to be added to the list of endangered species. This bee has been impacted severely by disease and habitat destruction (mainly due to urban development and intensive agriculture farming) and their population has decreased by 87% in the last 20 years!
I won’t leave you on a depressing note, though. There is always something that you can do to help the pollinators in your area thrive! Here is my top 10 list of ways to help local pollinator populations (as always, feel free to comment below and let me know your favorite ways of helping!):
A great way to share this love is through art! Home decor/wall art can be a great conversation starter, so click here to go to my Products page or visit my Etsy site, The Art of Ecology, to bring a dose of pollinator love to your home today! Remember – a portion of all proceeds goes back towards wildlife conservation, habitat preservation, and environmental education – another great way to help pollinators in need!
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