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 Global 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.
We are using the online platform iNaturalist to collect observations from citizen scientists (that’s where you come in!), and have created two levels of involvement in the project.
- Level 1: Set up an account on iNaturalist and join the Global Pollinator Watch project. Any observations you submit of species within any of those four target orders of insects will automatically become associated with the project. Easy beezy.
- Level 2: Set up an account on iNaturalist and join the project and—as above—those target observations become associated with Global Pollinator Watch. As we are also interested in the interactions with the host flowers they are found on—including mismatches in the timing of the flowers and their important pollinators—we provide some structure around connecting your insect observation with the species of flower it was photographed on, through some specific “Observational Fields” within iNaturalist, a process described on the Global Pollinator Watch project description page in iNaturalist.
Both levels are actually pretty easy to contribute to, and both allow your contributions to expand upon the available data and thus our understanding of what is happening with these incredible and vital creatures around the world!
YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS
Earthwatch depends on donations—above and beyond what we raise from volunteers who participate on our expeditions—in order to deliver our global conservation mission. In fact, volunteer contributions provide only half of the total resources Earthwatch needs to sustain over 40 field research expeditions, a wide variety of educational programs, corporate sustainability trainings, and more each year.