Every month, the National Recreation and Park Association polls Americans on any and everything related to park and recreation issues. In this month’s poll, there were two questions: 1. Should communities have designated areas for plants that support pollinator species? and 2. What actions can be taken to help conserve pollinators? Click here to find the answers! This survey was conducted by Wakefield Research; 1,002 individuals, age 18+, were polled.
Do you remember learning about insects when you were in school? Or if you’re in school currently, are there multiple chapters devoted to insects in your science textbook? Insects outnumber most other species beyond measure, yet new research has revealed that they’re not represented nearly enough in today’s classroom. A recent study in the scientific journal, American Entomologist, found that insects are vastly underrepresented, leading to misconceptions about animal diversity. Furthermore, research found that insect content in textbooks decreased by more than 75% in recent textbooks (published since 2000) compared to books published before 1960. To read more about this, and find the link to American Entomologist, click 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!