Who Are They?Meet some of the incredible pollinator species native to Canada
Meet the Pollinators
Canada is home to an impressive line-up of pollinators. Flies, Beetles, Ants, Moths, Wasps, Hummingbirds, Butterflies and Bees spread pollen from one plant to another as they navigate flowers for food.
More research into plant-pollinator interactions is needed as there is still a lot we don’t know. Conservation programs will need to continue to evolve to best help them.
Why Help Pollinators?
Around the world pollinators are struggling to survive amidst growing threats to their homes and health.
In Canada we have seen the disappearance of bee and butterfly species, the decline of others and a critical reduction in the number of migrating Monarchs.
Threats facing pollinators
Pollinators are in trouble
The many threats facing pollinators today have led to as much as a 90% decline for some species. When meadows become housing developments, pollinators usually lose their homes. Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides continue to have drastic effects on pollinating creatures. Climate change is affecting the availability of resources for pollinators and we have spread many pests and diseases around to managed and wild bees.
Development versus Diversity
Biodiversity is key for thriving pollinator ecologies, as we sprawl our communities into land previously occupied by meadows we reduce that diversity drastically. We have buried river systems, drained wetlands, fragmented habitats, maintained manicured lawnscapes and eliminated roadside wildflowers in many areas.
The Karner Blue Butterfly, originally prolific, likely became extirpated in Southern Ontario in the 1990’s because of land use practices.
Chemicals are Killing Pollinators
Allowing chemicals to be used on plants before testing their safety on pollinators has resulted in huge loses in honey and native bee populations, as well as a decline in migrating Monarch Butterflies.
Systemic pesticides like neonicitinoids (currently under review by OMAFRA) are 7,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT. When they are mixed with herbicides and fungicides they are even more lethal.
Hurtful Human Impact
Climate change is affecting pollinators globally.
Spring emergence of species is becoming mismatched to the flowers that have evolved to attract them.
As we have migrated around the globe, bringing our favorite plants and animals with us, we have also spread pests and diseases that local pollinators have not evolved mechanisms to defend themselves from.