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from the field

Western Monarchs: Notes from the Field

Staff from the Xerces Society and our partners have been keeping close eyes on the imperiled western monarch population at study sites in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho as part of a multi-year collaborative research project.

The Source of Hope and Wonder Comes in Small Packages

Rich Hatfield, senior endangered species conservation biologist and bumble bee lead for the Xerces Society, trekked into Washington state’s Pasayten Wilderness to find the elusive high country bumble bee (Bombus kirbiellus).

Working Together in Iowa to Find the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Sarah Nizzi, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner and NRCS Partner Biologist, writes about a recent workshop in Iowa and a sighting of the endangered rusty patched bumble bee.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – August 2019

August’s featured staff members conducted a successful pollinator habitat workshop in Nebraska, and have been busy building beetle banks in Iowa.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – June 2019

June’s featured staff share their work with partners in large-scale agriculture in central Washington, family farms in Wisconsin, and a unique urban agriculture fellowship program in Virginia.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – May 2019

May’s featured staff share stories of building pollinator habitat that will also support monarchs—one project on a farm in Iowa, and the other in a park in Missouri.

Reflecting on a Multi-Year Conservation Biological Control Project

From 2015–2019, the Xerces Society brought a series of 61 day-long courses on conservation biological control to 49 states and 2,000 participants, with far-reaching results.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – April 2019

April’s featured staff—all Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planners—are driving the adoption of cover cropping in California, guiding farmers to support pollinators in Maine, and teaching the importance of rangeland to pollinator conservation in North Dakota.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – February 2019

February’s featured staff member has been working on a hedgerow incorporating diverse native species in North Carolina. Here she reports on its progress and the interesting invertebrates sighted on the plantings!

Cedaroak Park Primary School Gardens Offer Learning Opportunities

Jenni Denekas, Xerces' web and communications coordinator, writes, "Being assigned to create an interpretive panel for Cedaroak Park Primary School, where I attended grade school, was a special experience."

New Year’s Count of Western Monarchs Confirms Decline, Trends Seen in Previous Years

Overall, the count data revealed an average decrease of 38% between the Thanksgiving and New Year’s counts.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – January 2019

January’s featured staff have been working on establishing pollinator habitat in California’s Central Valley and helping farmers both navigate the ins and outs of the Endangered Species Act and provide restored habitat for native bees in Maine.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – December 2018

December’s featured staff hail from Iowa and Minnesota, and have been making significant impacts in their respective states by educating farmers and other members of the public, helping to restore and build new habitat, and pushing for policies that support pollinators and other beneficial insects.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – November 2018

November’s featured staff hail from Minnesota, Indiana, and California, and have been conducting training and outreach events, helping General Mills to implement their plan to plant 3,300 acres of pollinator habitat, and monitoring farm habitat plantings in the San Joaquin Valley.

Western Monarch Numbers Expected to Be Low this Year

What can you do to help the monarch? Protect habitat, avoid pesticide use, plant gardens, and contribute data to Xerces-led community science efforts.

My First Hybrid: Limenitis archippus archippus × Limenitis arthemis astyanax

Photographer Bryan E. Reynolds encountered a rare hybrid of two of his favorite butterfly species—a well-deserved sighting for a passionate lepidopterist!

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – October 2018

October’s featured staff hail from Oklahoma, California, and Nebraska, and have been providing workshops for the public, planning pollinator habitat for arid agricultural areas, and assessing the success of pollinator plantings.

From the Field: A Visit to Klickitat Canyon Vineyard

Klickitat Canyon Winery is teeming with life of many kinds, from flowers and bees to birds and spiders. The organic vineyard is working towards becoming Bee Better Certified.

From the Field: Trees for Bees

Our Mid-Atlantic Pollinator Conservation Specialist Kelly Gill visited the Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, DE, to tour the gardens and give a talk on the best trees for bees. Kelly shares highlights of this visit and her top picks for spring-blooming trees for bees.

The Crystal Skipper: North Carolina’s Newest Butterfly Species

Last week, a butterfly found along the North Carolina coast was officially named as a new species.