In the 2012 President's Budget Request, the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) is terminated. As a result, all resources, databases, tools, and applications within this web site will be removed on January 15, 2012. For more information, please refer to the NBII Program Termination page.
Red spotted purple butterfly (Limenitis arthemis) on a butterflybush (Buddleja davidii). Photo by Beatriz Moisset.
Although we may not think about it often, pollinators are very important both to assuring that crop plants produce full harvests and in maintaining or increasing biodiversity. However, mounting evidence shows declines in pollinator populations throughout the world. A growing number of government agencies, non-government organizations, and researchers are working together in local, state, federal, and international efforts to determine the major threats to pollinators, the importance of services provided by pollinators, and what needs to be done to reverse pollinator declines.
In October, 2006 the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council released a report entitled "Status of Pollinators in North America." The report concluded that the long-term population trends for some North American pollinators are "demonstrably downward," but noted that much more pollinator population data remain to be collected. Declines in honey bee populations, as well as some wild pollinators, are of special concern. Recommendations related to managed honey bee populations include "improved information gathering for the beekeeping industry...prohibit introduction of new pests and parasites along with imported bees...expand efforts to encourage innovative approaches to protecting honey bees." Recommendations for wild pollinators include "expand basic research on the systematics of pollinators and on the development of rapid identification tools...require that any commercially produced bumble bee colony shipped within the United States be certified as disease-free...establish discovery surveys for pollinators of rare, threatened, and endangered plant species...establish a network of long-term pollinator-monitoring projects that use standardized protocols...Congress should not consider any Endangered Species Act amendment that would create additional barriers to listing pollinator species as endangered." The report can be viewed in full here.
Identification Guides for Rare Bumble Bees
The Xerces Society has developed pocket identification guides to help detect the rare and declining bumble bee species Bombus occidentalis, Bombus affinis, and Bombus terricola. These guides include illustrations of similar species found in the ranges of each of the above species.
Download and print a PDF version of the pocket identification guide for the:
If you would like a printed version of one or two of these guides, please email Sarina Jepsen (Endangered Species Coordinator) atÂ email@example.com.
Read more about our work on conservation of these three species of bumble bees.
This announcement posted by NBII on behalf of:
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation The Xerces Society is an international, nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat.
Can We Help You Conserve Pollinators?
The buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) can be an important source of nectar for butterfies and other pollinators. Photo by John D. Byrd, www.forestryimages.org.
Whether you are a homeowner who would like to learn how to provide habitat for butterflies and hummingbirds, a farmer interested in providing artificial nest sites for native bees, or an educator or student looking for curriculae and course materials on pollinators, you've come to the right place! On this Web site we have gathered information on pollinator-friendly gardening and farming, instructions for artificial nest construction, and guidelines for enhancing natural habitat to provide pollinator nesting and foraging habitat. Educational resources for elementary, secondary school, and college students are also available. Please check back frequently as our lists of resources will be updated regularly.
The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey