The Insect Apocalypse Is Here

Just published in the New York Times, this article details the dramatic decline of insect populations in recent history.  Have you ever heard of the ‘windshield phenomenon’?  If you’re old enough, think back twenty, thirty, forty years:  you’re driving down the road and so many insects are piling up on your windshield that you can barely see.  Have you noticed that now?  Most people are shaking their heads, ‘no’.  There is a noticeable absence of solid data from the past to establish a baseline, but scientists and nature enthusiasts alike are noticing the stark drop in insect numbers.  Click here to read the article and learn more about what is happening as well as what can still be done to prevent a total extinction event.

Photo illustration courtesy of Matt Dorfman

Photo illustration courtesy of Matt Dorfman

 

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Audubon NC Expands Native Plant Guide!

Audubon North Carolina has expanded their native plant list from 400 to 692 native and cultivated plants that thrive in North Carolina!  This list is a single source of recommended bird and pollinator-friendly plants that can be filtered by habitat, food source type, animals benefited, wetland status and more.  Also on the Audubon NC website, you can enter your zip code and get a list of recommended bird-friendly plants native to your geographical area.  Click here to learn more Audubon NC’s expanded list!

Photo courtesy of Will Stuart

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To Protect Pollinators, Go Easy on the Fall Garden Cleanup

The leaves are falling and garden beds are looking drab.  You might look out your window and think it’s time to do some yard work.  Before you head out the door, remember there are many good reasons why you should sit back and let nature take it’s course.  Providing good habitat for our insect communities is a top reason:  standing stalks of dead plants and leaf litter provide shelter and refuge for countless hibernating insects.  Click here to learn more about how you can help our pollinators survive the season.

Photo courtesy of Dean Fosdick via AP

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North Carolina Native Plants Week, October 28 – November 3

Photo courtesy of Debbie Roos

Governor Roy Cooper has officially designated October 28 to November 3 as Native Plants Week in North Carolina, highlighting the importance of native plants to North Carolina’s natural heritage.  Last October (2017), First Lady, Kristin Cooper, hosted a special commemoration at the Executive Mansion, where she joined Audubon North Carolina in installing over 1,000 native plants.  Read Governor Cooper’s Proclamation for this year, and check out our ‘Events’ tab for pictures from last year’s event.

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North Carolina Solar Technical Guidance Document

Just released!  Our Energy Committee has drafted a detailed guidance document for the creation of pollinator habitat on solar farms.  You can either navigate to our ‘Energy’ section (under the ‘Committees’ tab) to find the document and get more information, or click here: NC Solar Technical Guidance Oct 2018.   You will find a wide range of information, including plant lists, habitat recommendations and general pollinator biology.

Photo courtesy of Fresh Energy

Photo courtesy of Fresh Energy

 

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Study Reveals Best Use of Wildflowers to Benefit Crops on Farms

There have been ongoing discussions to determine the best strategy to attract pollinator and pest predators to agricultural fields.  Scientists have suggested that wildflowers as border crops may be effective.  However, there must be an ideal mix of natural habitat and agricultural land.  Click here to find out more details on this study conducted by Cornell University.

Photo Courtesy of Heather Grab

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Sunflower Pollen Effects on Bees

If you follow headlines and diligently read the news, there is often disconcerting research regarding the status of our native pollinators.  Here’s a break in that trend!  This study, conducted by one of our partners at NCSU, Dr. Rebecca Irwin, along with her colleagues, indicates that sunflower pollen has the potential to dramatically lower infection rates by specific pathogens.  Check it out here!

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Giacomini

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