Status and Trends

Pollinators and Monarchs

Pollinators – Pleasing the Palate

Pollinators are crucial contributors to our environment and society by enhancing plant diversity in wild lands and providing food for humans in agricultural settings. Some three-fourths of all native plants in the world require pollination by an animal, most often an insect, and most often a native bee.

Pollinators, most often honey bees, are responsible for one in every three bites of food you take, and increase our nation’s crop values each year by more than 15 billion dollars.

We are providing science to better understand the status of pollinator species define and address research priorities through

Our projects are coordinated through the Federal Pollinator Health Task Force and the Monarch Butterfly High Level Working Group as identified in the 2014 Presidential Memorandum on Pollinator Health.

We will continue to develop our community of practice focused on

  • pollinator research,
  • habitat characteristics,
  • ecosystem services,
  • disease, and
  • pesticides.

Featured Publications

The bee microbiome: Impact on bee health and model for evolution and ecology of host-microbe interactions

Exposure of native bees foraging in an agricultural landscape to current-use pesticides


We are a leader in the Monarch Conservation Science Partnership (MCSP) which includes a variety of resource management organizations both Federal (including the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and non-Federal (including Xerces Society). Recent MCSP workshops developed conceptual and information frameworks, including advanced models, to identify priority monarch butterfly habitat that can support conservation decision-making by a variety of stakeholders.

In collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we are developing a conceptual framework and monitoring protocols to assess landscape-scale conservation effectiveness and Monarch Butterfly habitat restoration across the Monarch migratory flyway in the eastern United States.

Featured Publications

Quasi-extinction risk and population targets for the Eastern, migratory population of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus)

National Valuation of Monarch Butterflies Indicates an Untapped Potential for Incentive-Based Conservation


Top Photo: Honey Bees Swarm. Photo courtesy of Sarah Swenty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.