Pollinators Are Essential

Pollinators Are Essential

Human food chain depends on wildlife!

"To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival." ~ Wendell Berry

35% of the world's crops depend on pollinatorsOur food chain depends on pollinators.  Wildlife like bees, birds, bats and insects are key to our food supply because 35% of the world’s crops depend on pollinators.  In fact, 80% of all flowering plants are pollinated by animals. Pollination is the process of moving pollen and what allows the plant to reproduce and to produce fruit.  These plants depend on wildlife to move their pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part of the flower.

According to the Pollinator Partnership (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign), there are over 200,000 species of animals which act as pollinators and of these bees do most of the work.  The Partnership also states "about 1,000  species of pollinators are hummingbirds, bats, and other small mammals."

bee pollinating cherries

Because of our mismanagement of pesticides, alien plants, diseases and parasites, many pollinator species have decreased in number and this puts our food supply at risk.  There are approximately 1,000 plants we use for food, beverages, spices, medicines and even clothing that depend on pollinators.  80% statistic graphic - 80% of all flowering plants are pollinated by animalsFor example, check out this list of some of the foods that depend on wildlife for help with pollination that you might enjoy daily:

  • Fruits like: pears, apricots, cherries, lemons, cantaloupes, apples, grapes, raspberries, watermelons, coconuts, tangerines, kiwi, nectarines, guava, limes, peaches, mango, papaya, avocados, figs, plums, tomatoes, pumpkins and pomegranates
  • Vegetables like:  okra, beans, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, eggplant, bell peppers, beets, brussel sprouts, cowpeas, lettuce, onions, pigeon peas, peas, radishes, squash and soybeans
  • Spices like:  chili peppers, pepper, coriander, sesame, vanilla, cocoa and mustard
  • Nuts and seeds like:  walnuts, brazil nuts, chestnuts, almonds and sunflowers
  • Cotton for clothing
  • Coffee

 

pollinators in the garden - bee, hummingbird, hummingbird moth, and butterfly on flowers