Pollinator Week | UPSC
Pollinator Week: Why we need to protect the bees and the butterflies
WHY IN NEWS:
Around 40% of invertebrate pollinator species — particularly bees and butterflies — face extinction across the world, warns FAO
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Conservation of Biodiversity : Flora and Fauna : Ecosystem : Food chain : Pollinator Week UPSC
For PRELIMS we have mentioned the whole celebration ! Start , Organisations celebrating this week , Relationship of pollinators and ecosystem .
For MAINS as an aspirant understand your role in leading our Nation . That would give more meaning to this article . Let us dive in !
POLLINATOR WEEK :
- Pollinator Week has grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.
- But the little creatures, like the bees and the butterflies, have increasingly been under threat. This is a week for them.
THERE ARE TWO CATEGORIES OF POLLINATORS :
- INVERTEBRATES : Bees, moths, flies, wasps, beetles and butterflies.
- VERTEBRATES : Monkeys, rodents, lemurs, tree squirrels and birds
- There are 150,000 species across the world who visit flowers, of which bees, being dominant pollinators, account for 25,000-30,000 species-FAO.
CELEBRATED BY :
POLLINATORS AND ECOSYSTEM :
- Pollinator Week shines a spotlight on the vital role of pollinators in our agriculture and ecosystems.
- Pollinators bring us 1 in 3 bites of food; promote ecosystem health; and lay the foundation for a sustainable future.
IMPORTANCE OF POLLINATORS :
Pollinating animals travel from plant to plant carrying pollen on their bodies in a vital interaction that allows the transfer of genetic material critical to the reproductive system of most flowering plants – the very plants that
- Bring us countless fruits, vegetables, and nuts,
- ½ of the world’s oils, fibers and raw materials;
- Prevent soil erosion,
- and increase carbon sequestration.
DECLINE IN NUMBERS
- In India, wild honeybees of the genus Apis including the Asian bee (A cerana) and the little bee (A florea) — declined steadily for the past 30 years.
- Similarly, around 16.5 per cent of vertebrate pollinators are threatened with extinction, according to the FAO.
- Of these, 45 species of bats, 36 species of non-flying mammals, 26 species of hummingbirds, seven species of sunbirds and 70 species of passerine birds, face extinction, according to the FAO’s rapid assessment on pollinators’ status.
MAJOR CAUSES FOR THE DECLINE
- Land-use change and fragmentation
- Changes in agricultural practices including use of chemical pesticides, fungicides and insecticides
- Change in the cropping pattern and crops like the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and mono-cropping
- High environmental pollution from heavy metals and nitrogen
- Growth of invasive alien species
WHAT WE CAN DO ? #ASPIRANT’s LIFE 😉
1. PLANT FOR POLLINATORS :
- Utilize plants native to your area (or at the least, non-invasive for your area).
- Know your soil type and select appropriate plant material.
- Plant in clusters to create a “target’ for pollinators to find.
2. REDUCE OR ELIMINATE THE IMPACT OF PESTICIDES :
- Where possible, avoid pest problems in the first place by burying infested plant residues.
- Practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
3. REACH OUT TO OTHERS – INFORM AND INSPIRE :
- Especially during National Pollinator Week (June 17-23, 2019)
- Tell local and state government officials that you care about pollinator health
4. SUPPORT LOCAL BEES AND BEEKEEPERS :
- Buying local honey supports the beekeepers in your area
- If you’re concerned about the number of chemicals use in agriculture, buy organic.
5. CONSERVE ALL OF OUR RESOURCES :
- Pollinators are dramatically affected by extremes in weather
- Climate change puts pressure on native ranges and overwintering sites.
“Pollination is one of these services, so it is very worrying to learn that some of our top pollinators are at risk! If we don’t address the reasons behind this decline in wild bees, and act urgently to stop it, we could pay a very heavy price indeed.”