In October 2018, several scientific studies raised serious concerns about insects dying at an alarming rate in regions across the globe. Many of these insects—which account for about two-thirds of all life on earth—serve vital roles in earth’s natural ecosystems, pollinating plants and providing food sources for other animals.
But while pollinators in many areas are facing unprecedented threats, a devoted group of Western New Yorkers is working hard to make sure these animals will always have a home along the Niagara River.
Last year, the Pollinator Conservation Association (PCA) announced that it would partner with Niagara River Greenway Commission to develop a 37-mile corridor of pollinator-friendly habitats that will stretch from Woodlawn Beach to Four Mile Creek State Park. This corridor will feature a wide variety of native plants that are designed to attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and more.
“Pollinators are the lynchpins in biodiversity, and biodiversity is the lynchpin of life on earth,” said Jay Burney of the PCA in an interview with The Buffalo News. “Biodiversity of animals and plants create our clean water and clean air. They create conditions for food production and human health.”
In addition to identifying sites that are in need of habitat restoration and evaluating conservation strategies, the PCA is also working to identify the many pollinator species in our area and find ways to attract other endangered species in the future. In fact, entomologists estimate that there could be as many as 2,000 different species of bees living in Western New York.
Thanks to the efforts of the PCA, we may be lucky enough to see more monarch butterflies, bumblebees and other familiar pollinators in our gardens this spring. You can also learn more about how to foster pollinator-friendly habitats on your own property here!