U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of the Interior designate June 19-25, 2017 as Pollinator Week
Just a decade ago, the U.S. Senate declared that a week in June would be Pollinator Week. This year, it falls on the week of June 19-25. Pollinator Week is dedicated to advocating the importance of pollinators and educating people on the need to protect pollinators. Pollinator Partnership is a non-profit organization that works year long on this, and organizes Pollinator Week.
Pollinators are necessary in order to keep agricultural ecosystems and natural habitats thriving. There are about 200,000 different kinds of pollinators, and only .5% of these are vertebrates. Austin Parks Foundation’s very own mascot, Harvey the Hummingbird, is a pollinator! Hummingbirds use their elongated beaks to drink nectar from plants. As they do this, pollen gets attached to them. When they move from plant to plant for nectar, the pollen on their bodies fertilizes plants of the same species.
There are over 330 species of hummingbirds, all of which are located in the Western hemisphere. Fewer than two dozen of these ever venture into the U.S. or Canada. While hummingbirds spend the winter months in Mexico and Central America, they migrate to the Southern U.S. as early as February. Some breeds that are common in Texas include the Ruby-Throated, Black-Chinned, and Broad-Tailed.
In order to ensure that pollinators around us continue to thrive there are multiple steps that can be taken. Reducing the use of pesticides, increasing green spaces, and planting pollinator friendly native plants all help pollinators. To learn more head over to the Pollinator Partnerships website, right here.