Pollinator Week Protecting Vital Links in Ohio’s Ecosystem / Public News Service

From the frosty elf butterfly to the rusty bumblebee, the vital links of Ohio’s ecosystem are in trouble.

It’s Pollinator Week, which raises awareness of the crucial role of pollinators in our ecosystem and the challenges many of them face.

Marci Lininger, director of the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative, explained that about 40% of the world’s pollinators are threatened with extinction or decline. She said several challenges were putting pressure on pollinator populations, including habitat loss.

“Infrastructure, we’re constantly building, we’re constantly growing,” Lininger pointed out. “You can also look at the use of herbicides and pesticides. Different things like roads, increased traffic, climate change. So all of those things come together.”

Over 75% of all flowering plants need help with pollination. Ohioans are encouraged to help support pollinators by providing organic habitat, such as planting wildflowers on their property or getting involved in Pollinator Week activities. Learn more online at ohiopollinator.org.

Pollinators are responsible for one in three bites of food, Lininger noted, making them essential to healthy food systems.

“Without pollinators, we’re going to see changes in the prices of the things we want to eat,” Lininger pointed out. “We’re going to see changes in the availability of foods that we want to eat. If you’re a vegetarian, that’s super important, but even if you’re a meat eater, what do cows eat? There are certain native herbs that the cattle eat.”

The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative partners with organizations and groups to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators. It also provides advice and technical assistance for restoration events and other projects supporting pollinator conservation.

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