Pollinators and Native Plants
Declines in the health and population of pollinators pose a significant threat to biodiversity, global food webs, and human health. Scientists have determined contributing factors to these include: habitat fragmentation, improper use of pesticides and herbicides, degradation of food sources and sites for mating, nesting, roosting, and migration, aggressive competition from non-native species, disease, predators, and parasites, climate change, and lack of floral diversity.
In specific, bird and bat pollinators have been affected by similar factors. Habitat fragmentation, caused by human development in natural areas, is threatening populations of both migratory and local species. Pollination patterns in natural areas are dramatically different now than they were before European settlement, and little is known about their current status. Rare, threatened, and endangered plants are particularly vulnerable when their pollination requirements cannot be met.
Animal pollinators are needed for the reproduction of 90% of flowering plants and one third of human food crops. Domestic honeybees pollinate approximately 10 billion dollars worth of crops in the U.S. alone each year. The elimination, replacement, or reduction of any species of pollinator may result in the decline of a specific plant species, which in turn may affect relative plant abundance and community dynamics, impacting wild animals and humans that depend on those plants.
It is essential that we actively conserve a diversity of pollinators and sustain natural ecosystems in order to preserve the quality of human and all other species of life.
Native plants provide appropriate food sources for local habitat.
Native Plants are host plants necessary for reproduction.
Monarch Butterflies are only nourished by Milkweed, Asclepias species.
Native plants provide shelter and habitat.
Native plants increase water quality (wetlands, stream restorations).