Over 75% of our flowering plants and nearly 75% of our crops rely on pollinators – hummingbirds, bats, bees, beetles, butterflies, and flies. Their role in crops means pollinators also play a large role in our economy, providing more than $15 billion worth of agricultural services annually. Unfortunately, many pollinators, particularly bees, are experiencing dramatic population declines both in the U.S. and around the world.
In June 2015, the National Pollinator Garden Network, a collaboration of dozens of conservation and gardening organizations, was launched in the White House garden by First Lady Michelle Obama. AZA is a member of the Network and is supporting the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. This is a nationwide, long-term effort to create and maintain habitat for bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across the country. Help us all reach that million, by putting your pollinator garden on the map!
The Butterfly Conservation Initiative (BFCI) was jointly established by AZA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Office of Partnerships and Outreach in 2001, and has been supported by AZA-accredited organizations, the University of Florida, and other organizations since its inception. Now managed as a program of the Florida Biodiversity Foundation, Inc., BFCI continues to engage AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums in its mission to support the recovery of federally listed butterfly species in the United States and increase public awareness of and involvement in local and regional butterfly conservation efforts.
Every year, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums provide information about their field conservation and science activities to AZA’s Conservation and Research Database. Members enter program updates each year; follow the link and use the search fields to explore how individual AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are helping pollinators and other animals. Read more about the AZA community’s commitment to conservation and science.