Bayer's Ecological Efforts Show Significant Progress in Recovery of Monarch Habitat and PopulationsTue, 12 Mar 2019 12:30:06 CDT
For the past four years in recognition of the important role in which pollinators play in ecological biodiversity, Bayer Crop Science has engaged with stakeholders to reestablish pollinator habitat across the country. During the annual Bayer AgVocacy Forum held prior to the 2019 Commodity Classic in Orlando this year, Bayer’s Regulatory Sciences Lead Amy Hood talked with industry thought leaders about the company’s efforts to foster the growth of new habitat and expand the faltering population of Monarch butterflies. In an interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, she explained Bayer’s interest in this effort, part of its Feed A Bee program. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“Monarch butterflies are such an iconic species. Now that they’ve become a species where their population is fluctuating, we want to jump in and think about how we can change that,” she said. “I’m so excited that we have people aware of the issue and understanding what’s going on with the Monarch butterfly.”
To date, over one million people from all 50 states have participated in Bayer’s Feed A Bee program, who have planted approximately three billion free seeds from Bayer to establish pollinator habitat to help support the expansion of the Monarch population. In just the last year alone, Hood says significant progress has been seen, reporting a 144 percent increase in the overwintering Monarch population in Mexico.
“That means we’re headed in the right direction. But we still have a lot of work to do,” she said. “The programs are working because we’ve started to make a difference. We know that we can control getting habitat in the ground and so continuing to do that will allow for continual recovery of the population.”
Given the progress that has been made thus far, Hood is excited to see what the future holds for this program. As more people become aware of our environmental challenges, she believes the program will grow not only in participation but impact as well.
“I think about what we can do and the thing is, there will be another troubled species that’s next. Whether it’s a native bee species or a songbird - we’re going to have to think about what we’re going to need to do,” Hood remarked. “The good news is, with the things we’ve already done with pollinator habitat, we’re absolutely headed in the right direction and doing things that help these species as well.”
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