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SAN DIEGO NWR: Pollinator Week Celebrated at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge
California-Nevada Offices , June 25, 2011
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Wildlife Biologist Eric Porter from the Carlsbad Ecological Services Office talks about the endangered Quino checkerspot butterfly and recently listed Hermes copper butterfly (Photo by Earl S. Cryer).
Wildlife Biologist Eric Porter from the Carlsbad Ecological Services Office talks about the endangered Quino checkerspot butterfly and recently listed Hermes copper butterfly (Photo by Earl S. Cryer). - Photo Credit: n/a
Hikers start out the morning along the Sweetwater River riparian area, Mother Miguel Mountain in the background (Photo by Earl S. Cryer).
Hikers start out the morning along the Sweetwater River riparian area, Mother Miguel Mountain in the background (Photo by Earl S. Cryer). - Photo Credit: n/a
Interpretive Ranger Lisa Cox from the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex talks about the classic sweet-smelling California coastal sage scrub plant and its relationship with the California coastal gnatcatcher (Photo by Earl S. Cryer).
Interpretive Ranger Lisa Cox from the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex talks about the classic sweet-smelling California coastal sage scrub plant and its relationship with the California coastal gnatcatcher (Photo by Earl S. Cryer). - Photo Credit: n/a

Where bees buzz about, and butterflies float through the warm air, the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is a perfect place for pollinators.  The fifth annual Pollinator Week was a great opportunity to get the word out about pollinators to local residents of the Refuge.

The monthly hike series “Hike with a Ranger,” led by Interpretive Ranger Lisa Cox, provided a great forum for the theme of pollinators on the Refuge, and what relationships they have with the plant communities.  Lisa featured a special guest, Eric Porter, PhD, Wildlife Biologist (and Entomologist!) of the Carlsbad Ecological Services Office, to provide some expert facts and pollinator-hunting skills during the hike.  Refuge Manager Jill Terp also came on the hike to share other wildlife and habitat restoration information.

All the hikers carefully searched the host-plant spiny redberry for Hermes copper (candidate for listing) butterflies but none were found.  However, five other species of butterflies were seen: queen, Western pygmy blue, orange-tip, common whites, and western tiger swallowtails.  Honeybees, spiders, cicadas, and grasshoppers were fun to spot (and even catch!).  And while not known as pollinators, there were many birds to view and hear: least Bell’s vireos (endangered) called from the riparian corridor, a pair of white-tailed kites stayed in the area for a long viewing, and later, red-shouldered hawks perched on power lines and gave the hikers a good look.

It warmed up rather quickly so by 10am all 18 hikers, including three children, retreated for shade and water.  Each visitor received a goodie bag filled with items such as pollinator facts and what people can do to help, posters, bookmarks, and a custom-made “Top Native Plants for Pollinators” list created by FWS staff with help from the Pollinator Partnership website.  There is much to learn and see on the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, and the visitors look forward to future hikes.

 

More photos and pollintator close-ups by Earl S. Cryer can be viewed at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58733621@N07/sets/72157626497569238/



http://www.flickr.com/photos/58733621@N07/sets/72157626497569238/
Contact Info: Lisa Cox, 619.476.9150 ext. 106, lisa_cox@fws.gov



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