The National Wildlife Refuge System
As a major federal land management agency, the National Wildlife Refuge System can play an important role in the conservation of pollinators. National Wildlife Refuges are unique in their “wildlife first” mission, so it is appropriate that the Refuge System take a lead in conserving pollinating species large and small. Existing refuge management activities that are incorporating pollinator conservation practices include:
- Habitat restoration: planting a variety of native flowering plants helps to support a diversity of native pollinators. For example, the restoration of tallgrass prairie at Neal Smith NWR in Iowa has provided important habitat for breeding and migratory monarch butterflies.
- Integrated Pest Management: using pest management tools wisely, such as in the control of invasive species, minimizes harmful effects on pollinators
- Environmental Education: a modest butterfly garden or butterfly trail makes an attractive, living educational display that attracts many different pollinators in addition to butterflies.
- Monarch butterfly conservation: Some refuges have developed Monarch Waystations and participate in the Monarch Sister-Protected Area Program.
- Volunteer projects: construction of a native plant garden and the placement of bee nesting blocks are examples of ways to engage volunteers in pollinator conservation projects.
National Wildlife Refuge System home page
More information on Integrated Pest Management
Factsheet – Reducing Risks to Pollinators from Pest Management activities U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. October 2013. [pdf file]