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Celebrate Pollinator Week June 19-25
Indiana Ag Connection - 06/16/2017

Celebrate the vital role bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other organisms play in pollinating flowers and crops during Pollinator Week.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has proclaimed June 19-25 as Pollinator Week in Indiana.

Pollinators are responsible for 35 percent of global crop production. The need for pollinators is increasing as the human population grows and needs more food. But many pollinator populations are declining because of habitat loss, nutritional deficiency, parasites, pathogens, chemical exposure and extreme weather.

The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) helps increase pollinator-friendly habitat in a variety of ways. Grasslands and woodlands are regularly established, restored and maintained by DFW on both public and private lands. These projects provide cover and food for pollinators, birds and other wildlife.

Conservation programs administered by DFW provide private landowners with financial and technical assistance to establish pollinator habitat.

In 2016, DFW established 472 acres of pollinator habitat on private property. DFW wildlife biologists also provide technical assistance on conservation programs with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that have established more than 50,000 acres of pollinator- friendly habitat statewide on private lands, including 4,161 acres designed specifically for important pollinator species.

Pollinator habitat can exist almost anywhere, including fallow fields, farms, conservation grasslands, roadsides, forests and backyards. If you are interested in establishing or restoring habitat on your land, contact your local DFW wildlife biologist. Contact information is at wildlife.IN.gov/2716.htm.

A DFW program called CORRIDORS can provide financial and technical assistance to eligible landowners interested in establishing pollinator habitats. More information is at wildlife.IN.gov/9405.htm.

A new partnership program called Grasslands for Gamebirds & Songbirds (GGS) allows landowners in focal regions of the state to work with DFW and other conservation partners to establish grassland habitats often beneficial to pollinators. People who don't own land can participate by donating to the program through the GGS fund set up with the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation.

For more information, or to donate to the Natural Resources Foundation GGS account, contact a DFW landscape biologist. They are Jason Wade, north region, (260) 468-2515, jwade@dnr.IN.gov; and Erin Basiger, south region, (765) 276-3047, ebasiger@dnr.IN.gov.

More information on pollinator habitat is at extension.entm.purdue.edu/publications/POL-5/POL-5.html

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