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Status of Pollinators in North America
status of wild pollinators in North America and to establish a framework for long-term monitoring of pollinator populations and function over time is a laudable goal. New long-term monitoring programs should maximize results obtained per dollar spent by integrating professional scientist monitoring activity with citizen-scientist monitoring activity in assessing both pollinator status and pollination function. The professional science activities fall within the mandate of governmental agencies, including the USDA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Science Foundation’s proposed National Ecological Observatory Network. The citizen-scientist activities could be coordinated through partnerships among nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governmental organizations, and citizen groups. Participating NGOs for a North American Pollination Monitoring Program could include the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, the Xerces Society, Monarch Watch, and likely citizen-scientist groups such as native plant societies, gardening clubs, schools, friends of nature reserves, community farm alliances, or commodity groups. The Pollinator Watch Program in Canada is currently under development through the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Network’s Nature Watch Program (http://www.eman-rese.ca/eman/naturewatch.html). Federal agencies could stimulate collaborative programs that encourage agency, university, and NGO scientists to work together via strategically formulated funding announcements. The participation of volunteer citizen-scientists through the NGOs could greatly increase the output of assessment programs at little additional cost.
Nonfarm landowners, such as homeowners and private businesses, also could contribute to conservation of pollinators, with little investment (Box 6-3). Wildflower plantings provide resources for bees, and wood fences can provide nesting sites for twig-nesting bees. Raising public awareness and educating the next generation about the importance of pollinators and what people could do to protect them is critical.
Recommendation: As part of their outreach, federal granting agenciesshould make an effort to enhance public understanding of the importanceof pollination as an ecosystem service through support for citizen-scientistmonitoring programs, teacher education, and K–12 and general publiceducation efforts that center on pollination.
Recommendation: Professional societies (Ecological Society of America,Entomological Society of America, American Association of ProfessionalApiculturists, Botanical Society of America) and NGOs (North AmericanPollinator Protection Campaign, Xerces Society for the Preservation ofEndangered Invertebrates) should collaborate with landowners and thepublic to increase awareness of the importance of pollinators and to pub-