Pollination is becoming a very serious problem for us and the hope of a prosperous future. Without healthy populations of bees, butterflies—and other beneficial insects that pollinate the crops on which we depend—our food supply and essential natural materials are put into jeopardy.
While some researchers and engineers are working on bionic pollinators and other human-built solutions to fill in, others are trying to help nature regain some pollinator essential territory.
By rethinking our roadsides, parks, lawns, and other areas—remote as well as heavily populated—could we put certain insects back to work for their benefit and ours?
Stop Mowing For The Monarchs?
Ecologist are now working to restore habitats once belonging to the monarch butterfly and other pollinating insects. They aim to change landscaped roadsides and utility corridors back to native grasslands and shrub lands.
While many of us are accustom to seeing trimmed medians and manicured grasses across stretches of highway, that could change, provided new conservation and pollinator strategies go into effect.
A White House Backed Plan
In the summer of 2014, the White House pledged to aid wild pollinators in addition to commercial honeybees, which we rely on for production of honey as well as agricultural pollination.
Populations of pollinating insects, including thousands of different species of native bees and butterflies, could gain some important advantages if the government, researchers, local municipalities, and public can agree on how to start actively addressing a major pollinator threat: habitat loss.
Start With Habitat Loss
Disease and use of pesticides are also critical factors threating beneficial insects. Restoration of natural flora across rural roadsides and urban areas alike, may be the most accessible approach to repopulation—considering how some industries are obviously poised to fight new pesticide regulation and how difficult it is to understand and control disease in the animal kingdom.
However, the initiative is reportedly still in the planning stages. Not only will it be necessary to source seeds and plant life, as well as funding, best practices must be determined to ensure that road visibility and safety can be maintained as the habitat transition takes root.
Changing Mindsets And Reducing Maintenance
Public mindset and land maintenance procedures will also need to be addressed. It might be one thing to change collective minds on less highway mowing in favor of reintroducing more scenic flora and native butterflies, but private and public landscaping methods will need to change.
However, if those changes mean less cost and less management on public land, then advocating for pollinator friendly infrastructure may not be as great of a task as it would seem.
Do you think pollination strategies are a worthwhile cause?
Could you see potential partnership opportunities in your industry?
1 thought on “Why Give Our Forgotten And Frequented Roadways To The Butterflies?”
I’m glad that more highway planners are rethinking roadsides as potential habitat for native plants and wildlife. Scientists say this new approach could provide a useful tool in fostering biodiversity. This reminds me of an account I heard about a biologist who took a Florida landscape architect aside and suggested that he ought to be designing highway margins not just for safety or scenic value, but as habitat, to help address the nation’s drastic decline in pollinating insects.
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