Pollinator Watch

 

 

Join Us and Help to Reduce Global Pollinator Decline!

Recent studies have found insect populations to be declining globally at rapid and alarming rates, likely impacting the many vital ecological services they provide. Pollinator decline, in particular, is a massive concern because of the potential impacts it will have on food production, human health, and ecosystem functioning, including the capacity of plants to provide essential services such as sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.

The goal of Pollinator Watch, a home-based citizen science program, is to arm members of the public with the training and resources they need to collect data that will help us to better understand pollinator presence and abundance in regions around the world. These data will help us to track the critical timing of pollinator activity and the host plants that they rely upon for part of their life cycles, and ultimately, to help reduce pollinator decline.

Research Background

The goal of Earthwatch's Pollinator Watch, a home-based citizen science program, is to arm members of the public with the training and resources they need to collect data that will help us to better understand pollinator presence and abundance in regions around the world. These data will help us to track the critical timing of pollinator activity and the host plants that they rely upon for part of their life cycles, and ultimately, to help reduce pollinator decline.There are a number of drivers for pollinator decline, including habitat loss, overuse of pesticides and herbicides, regional declines in air and water quality, and, of course, a changing climate. But our knowledge about the decline in pollinators is limited to a few studies, in a few places, in a few different habitats. It is also limited to only a subset of species. 

To be able to act with greater certainty, managers and scientists need access to more information about which species are being most heavily impacted, which threats need to be mitigated, and which solutions are most effective. To date, much of the existing data has been gathered by citizen scientists working together with researchers. Pollinator monitoring is an area where citizen science can be a really useful approach - as evidenced by the many Earthwatch projects that include insects and pollinators as part of their field research. We are now looking to further catalyse this citizen science effort to generate data useful to pollinator conservation efforts globally - by having people collect pollinator data in their backyards, in nearby parks or as they travel. 

Stay Tuned!

Please note that we are currently in the final stages of building out this program, which will be free and openly accessible to the public. Check back in the coming weeks for more information and resources related to Pollinator Watch, including guidelines for how you can participate in this citizen science research program from your homes or communities.

 


Elements of this program will also be built into the core curriculum for the Earthwatch at Home standalone classes as well as the four-part climate change investigation course

In the meantime, if you have questions about the program, you’re welcome to contact us at info@earthwatch.org.

 

 

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