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Status of Pollinators in North America
nificant caves for ongoing standardized monitoring is essential for assessing the status of bat populations. Documenting population size and evidence of reproduction is the most important priority, but dates of arrival at and departure from the roosts, diet composition, and other data are important to acquire in order to understand conservation needs (Medellín, 2003). Given the long-distance, international movements of those species, only monitoring at large scales of multiple colonies across the species’ summer and winter ranges will provide the needed information. International collaborative efforts in monitoring and conservation practices are therefore critical for the benefit of those primarily migratory species.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ADEQUATE MONITORING OFPOLLINATORS AND POLLINATION FUNCTION
An accurate assessment of commercially managed pollinator status and function is a fundamental antecedent to a rational decision-making process aimed at recommending allocation of private and public resources for management of commercial pollinator species. An accurate assessment requires an unambiguous determination of the number and type of commercial pollinating units available, the quality of those pollinating units (for example, health and strength), assessments of annual and seasonal losses, pollination fees or purchase prices, and the crops that are pollinated with each species. Complete and accurate data will permit statistical trend analyses of commercial pollinator status and function, and such analyses can provide stakeholders with a rational basis for action.
Specifically, monitoring activities could include an array of pollination-specific characteristics. Questions could be directed to both suppliers of pollination services (for example, solitary bee operations and bumble bee companies), and consumers of pollination services (for example, crop growers). Questions for suppliers could include queries regarding the number of pollination units rented or sold for pollination (by crop); in the case of honey bees, the number of times a colony was rented in a year; and rental fees or selling prices charged for pollinating units. For honey bees, data should be segregated according to the crop being pollinated. Data on annual colony losses and colony losses during the previous winter should also be collected. Questions for growers could include queries on whether pollination services were purchased during the previous seasons, the species involved (honey bees, bumble bees, solitary bees), the number of units purchased or rented, the price or rental fee paid, the crop grown, and some measure of the difficulty in obtaining the desired pollination services.
NASS is already collecting some pollination-specific data, but surveys