Pollinator Conservation in Wisconsin

Check out our photos from the field to see what we’ve been up to!

Brown-belted Bumblebee (Bombus griseocollis)Why study pollinators?

Over the last few decades, habitat loss, pesticide use, disease, and climate change have led to a global decline in the diversity and abundance of native pollinators. This phenomenon has received much attention, due to the tremendous economic and ecological value provided by these species. Still, conserving pollinators is a challenge, in part because there is little baseline data on the distribution and status of many species.

Some evidence suggests that urban areas may provide valuable refuges for native pollinator species. Is this true in Madison as well? What kinds of species do we have in our own backyards, and how can we create habitat to sustain them? WSCB has initiated a citizen science project to answer these kinds of questions.

What is WSCB doing?

Beginning this summer, we will be monitoring native pollinators around Madison, with a particular interest in two species of special concern, the rusty-patched and yellow-banded bumblebees. We’ll start by cataloguing the pollinator diversity in different habitats of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve.

We need your help to better understand and conserve our native pollinator community. The bees won’t be the only ones who benefit! Volunteers on our project will have the opportunity to:

  • develop plant and insect identification skills
  • take part in Citizen Science
  • help engage Madison community members in conservation
  • conduct research on pollinator biodiversity
  • learn gardening techniques that benefit native species
  • get outdoors!

Interested in participating? Contact Elena West or fill out the form below for more ideas on how to get involved:

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