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General - information about pollinators:
|The pink-spotted hawk moth (Agrius cingulata) visiting a blossom of Datura at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Hawk Moths or Sphinx Moths were featured as the U.S. Forest Service's "Pollinator of the Month." Photograph by Dr. Robert Raguso.
U.S. Forest Service – Celebrating Wildflowers! Pollinator pages
Arizona – Sonora Desert Museum: Migratory Pollinators
North American Pollinator Protection Campaign
The Xerces Society – Pollinator Conservation Program
Status of Pollinators:
National Academy of Science’s Report - Status of Pollinators in North America
The Xerces Society – Pollinator Conservation Program – Biology and Life Cycles of Our Native Bees
U.S. Forest Service and Pollinator Partnership – Bee Basics
U.S. Forest Service - More about Bees
USDA – Forest Service and Pollinator Partnership with Funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation - Bumble bee Guides –
Federal interagency monarch butterfly website
Monarch Butterflies Resources
Monarch Joint Venture
North American Pollinator Protection Campaign – Protecting Monarchs
More Facts About Pollinators:
- More than 100,000 different animal species - and perhaps
as many as 200,000 - play roles in pollinating the 250,000
kinds of flowering plants on this planet. Insects (bees, wasps, moths, butterflies, flies, beetles) are the most common pollinators, but as many as 1,500 species of vertebrates
such as birds and mammals serve as pollinators, including
hummingbirds, perching birds, flying foxes, fruit bats, possums,
lemurs and even a lizard (gecko) (Ingram
et al., 1996).
honey bees, which are commonly used to pollinate crops,
have declined dramatically in recent years. Parasitic mites were responsible for some of the declines, more recent declines are from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
- Bees recover
slowly from insecticide spraying and other
disturbances because of their low fecundity (they are unable
to reproduce rapidly or in great numbers) which also makes
them more susceptible to local extinction (Tepedino,
1979). It may take 3 to 4 years for bumble bee populations
to return to pre-pesticide application levels (Plowright
et al., 1978 In Tepedino,
- Many crops that would benefit in quality and quantity from
more thorough pollination are not sufficiently pollinated
because of heavy pesticide applications
(Ingram et al., 1996). Income
from harvests could increase by an estimated $400 million
per year if pollinators were available in sufficient numbers
(Pimentel et al., 1992 In Ingram
et al., 1996a).
- For migratory pollinators, such as bats, hummingbirds,
and the monarch butterfly, the identification and protection
of nectar corridors is important (Allen-Wardell
et al., 1998). If nectar is unavailable anywhere along
their migratory route at the time of migration, it could
result in the death of part of the population (Buchmann
and Nabhan, 1996). Nectar sources near areas where pesticides are
sprayed may be tainted or, where herbicides are
- At least 3 bat, 5 birds, and 24 butterfly, skipper and moth, one beetle and one fly species in the United States
that are federally listed as endangered under the Endangered
Species Act of 1973, as amended, are pollinators. It is unknown
how many of the listed plants require pollinators. More on endangered pollinators.
G., P. Bernhardt, R. Bitner, A. Burquez, S. Buchmann, J. Cane,
P.A. Cox, V. Dalton, P. Feinsinger, M. Ingram, D. Inouye,
C.E Jones, K. Kennedy, P. Kevan, H. Koopowitz, R. Medellin,
S. Medellin-Morales, and G. P. Nabhan. 1998. The potential
consequences of pollinator declines on the conservation of
biodiversity and stability of food crop yields. Conserv. Biol.
12 (1): 8-17.
S.L. and G.P. Nabhan. 1996. The Forgotten Pollinators. Island
Press, Washington, DC.
Committee on the Status of Pollinators in North America, National Research Council. 2007. Status of Pollinators in North America, National Academies Press, Washington, DC
Moral, R. and L. A. Standley. 1979. Pollination of angiosperms
in contrasting coniferous forests. Amer. J. Bot. 66: 26-35.
E.R. 1974. The role of plant-pollinator interactions in determining
community structure. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 61:675-691.
M., G.P. Nabhan, and S.L Buchmann. Our Forgotten Pollinators:
Protecting the Birds and Bees. Global Pesticide Campaigner,
Volume 6, Number 4, December 1996, PANNA, San Francisco, CA, http://www.pmac.net/birdbee.htm.
M., G.P. Nabhan, and S.L. Buchmann (with assistance from the
Board of Advisors of the Forgotten Pollinators). 1996a. Ten
essential reasons to protect the birds and the bees. Arizona-Sonora
Desert Museum, Tuscon, AZ.
M. G.P. Nabhan, S. Buchmann. 1996b. Impending pollination crisis
threatens biodiversity and agriculture. Tropinet 7:1.
A.R. 1975. Niche specialization and species diversity along
a California transect. Oecologia 21: 219-242.
D., H. Acquay, M. Biltonen, P. Rice, M. Silva, J. Nelson, V.
Lipner, S. Giordano, A. Horowitz, and M. D'Amore. 1992. Environmental
and economic cost of pesticide use. BioScience 42(10): 750-760.
R.C., B.A. Pendrel and I.A. McLaren. 1978. The impact of aerial
fenitrothion spraying upon the population biology of bumble
bees (Bombus Latr.: Hym.) in southwestern New Brunswick.
Can. Entomol. 110: 1145-1156.
R. and C. Prescott-Allen. 1990. How many plants feed the world?
Conserv. Biol. 4(4): 365-374.
V.J. 1979. The importance of bees and other insect pollinators
in maintaining floral species composition. Great Basin Naturalist
Memoirs 3: 139-150.
M.E. 1994. Pollination worries rise as honey bees decline.