I mentioned the book “Forgotten Pollinators” on Monday of National Pollinator Week, and I wanted to follow up on that today. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM) hosts a Forgotten Pollinators Website to help focus interest on some of the lesser known migratory pollinators.
While pollinators in general are facing many threats, migratory pollinators are most at risk:
“While protection of plant/pollinator interactions is an emerging national priority, ecological conditions of migratory corridors for pollinators have received far less attention than conditions at wintering grounds in the south and breeding/birthing grounds in the north. “Nectar corridors,” a term first used by bat ecologist Ted Fleming (Fleming et al. 1993) specifically for pollinator corridors, are a distinctive type of migratory corridor comprised of a series of stepping stones placed in a dissimilar matrix. They are the migratory routes that pollinators follow in order to take advantage of a sequence of plants coming into bloom along a south-to-north gradient in the spring and the reverse in the fall.”
There has to be an actual sequence of flowering plants as the animals move north and south on their migrations. There also has to be safe roosting or resting sites for the animals as they travel.
A change at just one point in the migratory journey can spell disaster for a migrating population–and the plants they service:
“There is consensus among biologists that many migrant roost sites have already been lost, migratory corridor habitats have been converted or fragmented, invasive plant species are out competing many floral resources upon which these migrants depend, and many of the flowering plants these migrants visit are suffering low seed set due to pollen decline.”
While I am rather biased towards insect pollinators, ASDM also covers some of the mammalian and bird pollinators that are less well known.
If you live in a migratory corridor, consider planting some of the plants important for migrating pollinators.
This photo of courtesy of FreeSpirit5.