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Pollinator Conservation Projects

Arizona Monarch Conservation Partnership (National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Oct.2015-Sep.2016)

In partnership with the Southwest Monarch Study, Borderlands Restoration, the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona and Sky Island Alliance, the project will significantly advance monarch butterfly conservation in Arizona through milkweed (Asclepias spp) surveys, seed collection, increasing Asclepias availability and density, native plant propagation and habitat improvement, monarch adult and immature monitoring in breeding areas, and tagging monarchs to determine migration flyways.

Contact: Sergio Avila ([email protected])

2016 Report Summary

Mariposas of the Milpa (North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action; Jan. 2016 - Nov. 2017)

“Mariposas of the Milpa” (Butterflies of the farm field) will establish a partnership between the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM) and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (CFBSA) to promote biodiversity in Tucson, Arizona, with an initial focus on increasing the abundance and diversity of pollinators. Our objectives are (1) to increase the quantity of high quality habitat to support pollinator populations in central Tucson and (2) to educate community members and decision makers about the value of pollinators through programs developed in collaboration with the CFBSA.

Contact: Sergio Avila ([email protected])

Pollinator Hotspots

Pollinator conservation has become a national priority. In the Sonoran Desert, where water is at a premium, riparian areas and springs are likely essential habitats for native pollinators. Under climate change and with continued population growth, these natural water sources are vanishing. At the same time, artificial water sources are common in urban and rural areas alike, possibly creating new pollinator habitat and new centers of elevated pollination. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum scientists are working to identify pollination hotspots and to understand their importance for plants and animals of the region. Ultimately, conservation projects that create pollination hotspots may help to restore or sustain pollination across vast areas. One of the primary methods by which we are working to identify hotspots is by counting the seeds of fruits of common native species and comparing those counts across our region, enabling us to pinpoint locations within the Sonoran Desert with high vs. low seed production.

Pollinator Hotspots Citizen Scientist Project

Focus on bees: KGUN9 News clip

Contacts: Kim Franklin ([email protected])

Additional resources: Pollinator Partnership

A History of the Migratory Pollinators Program at ASDM