Record Pollinators During the Texas Pollinator Bioblitz

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Are you a nature lover with some time on your hands? If so, consider joining the Texas Pollinator Bioblitz which will be held September 23 through October 8. Sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Pollinator Bioblitz participants are asked to observe and record pollinators that are spotted in their area between the dates of the program. This program helps to give scientists an idea of how our pollinator numbers are faring and bring focus to the important role that pollinators play in our ecosystem.

It’s More Than Just the Birds & The Bees

Pollinator Bioblitz

Photo: Flickr/Rachael Bonoan

Pollination occurs when pollen is moved within flowers or carried from flower to flower by pollinating animals such as birds, bees, bats, butterflies, moths, beetles, or other animals, or by the wind. The transfer of pollen in and between flowers of the same species leads to fertilization and successful seed and fruit production for plants. Pollination ensures that a plant will produce full-bodied fruit and a full set of viable seeds.

The Majestic Monarch

monarch butterfly

Photo: Flickr/Peter Miller

The monarch butterfly is an important pollinator population across the Eastern United States, Canada, and Mexico. Its numbers have declined by nearly 80 percent over the past 20 years. Besides monarchs, 30 native pollinator/flower-visiting species (bees, butterflies, and moths) are designated as Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Pollinators (butterflies, bees and moths, bats, hummingbirds, wasps, flies, and beetles) sustain native plant species, human food crops, and even crops for livestock.

Thank a Pollinator for Your Morning Cup of Joe

Hummingbird pollinator

Photo: Flickr/Danny Perez Photography

Up to 80 percent of all plant species are pollinated, mostly by insects. Three-quarters of all the world’s most common human food crops require insect pollination. These include coffee, tea, chili, berries, tomatoes, fruit and nut trees, spices, and vegetables. Additionally, fields of livestock crops, such as alfalfa and clover, are pollinated by insects.

All ages and abilities are encouraged to find pollinators and nectar-producing plants during the Texas Pollinator Bioblitz. This would be the ideal project for school groups, nursing homes, or anyone who enjoys watching nature in action. Participants are asked to share their observations by posting a photo or video to Instagram or Facebook. Daily observation challenges will be announced which will surely add to the fun. To learn more and register, visit the Pollinator Blitz website.