Quarters for Conservation: Xerces Society
Zoo Atlanta’s Quarters for Conservation Program is in full swing right now! I’m Catie Aubuchon, a member of the Elephant Care Team and the Quarters for Conservation Champion for the Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation’s Pollinator Conservation Program. In case you weren’t aware, our Quarters for Conservation initiative directs 25 cents of every Zoo Atlanta admission ticket to programs for wildlife, and the Xerces Society is one of our three program beneficiaries for the 2020-2021 program year. The Pollinator Conservation Program sign can be found in one of the Zoo’s pollinator gardens across from the southern ground hornbills!
Fall is an especially important time for conserving and helping pollinator species. Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program is working diligently to educate people all around the country on how to save pollinators. One of the most important things people can do for pollinators is to give them winter covering in the form of fall leaves. Moths and butterflies use fallen leaves as camouflage for their cocoons and chrysalis and will often use the leaves as protection for predators or the harsh winter weather. Queen bumble bees will burrow about an inch or two into the ground, under dead plant matter, to survive through the winter. Leaving dead plant matter for the pollinators is crucial to their survival and is much healthier for your lawn and garden. #leavetheleaves
There are always ways to help the pollinators around us, and if dead leaf matter in your yard is not your cup of tea – you can still get involved. In 2014, Xerces Society launched the Bumble Bee Watch. And since then, there have been over 75,000 bumble bee sightings around North America. These sightings have given researchers all new insights on where bumbles bees forage, what plants are vital for their survival and bumble bee populations in general. For more, check out www.bumblebeewatch.org.
If you and your family would like to help bumble bee populations, join the Bumble Bee Watch and Leave the Leaves!
(photo by Stephanie McKnight)
Keeper I, Elephants and Quarters for Conservation Champion, Xerces Society