Pollinator Habitat Scorecard

The Pollinator Scorecard was developed by the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group (ROWHWG) to help energy and transportation rights-of-way (ROW) organizations and land managers evaluate pollinator habitat and management practices. The Pollinator Scorecard User’s Guide provides background information and protocols for using both components of the scorecard: (1) Pollinator Scorecard Management Module and (2) Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol (downloads available below). The Pollinator Scorecard aims to: 

  • Provide a common language to talk about habitat on energy and transportation lands in order to facilitate industry learning and collaboration
  • Establish a consistent valuation method across ROW sectors that aligns with existing habitat assessments and reporting
  • Provide a flexible, multi-tiered approach that encourages improved monitoring overtime
  • Support shared reporting of habitat metrics across industries

The Pollinator Scorecard may also be used to meet the monitoring requirements for organizations participating in the monarch butterfly Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (Monarch CCAA).



What is Pollinator Habitat?

For the purposes of the Pollinator Scorecard, pollinator habitat is defined as areas containing native flowering plants, host plants, and nesting sites, throughout the growing season. Other considerations include:

  • Pollinator habitat may be remnant natural habitat, habitat enhanced through management, or newly created habitat
  • A greater diversity of (or dominance by) native plants, which provides a greater diversity of floral resources, host plants, and nesting sites
  • Aim for 3 or more native plant species throughout the spring, summer, and fall

The Pollinator Scorecard seeks to capture information about the ability and potential of ROW and other energy and transportation lands to support monarch butterfly and other pollinator habitat. Specifically, the Pollinator Scorecard captures information about:

  • Abundance of milkweed and flowering plant coverage
  • Additional habitat resources
  • Adjacent land use 
  • Pollinators observed 
  • Threats related to management practices
  • Opportunities related to management practices

Photo Credit: Jason Bleich, Pheasants Forever



Using the Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol 

Organizations may choose between three tiers, from simple to advanced monitoring, depending on feasibility and organizational goals. The Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol is designed for flexibility with an understanding that ROW managers may have different objectives for using the Pollinator Scorecard and varying levels of access to resources and expertise for habitat assessment. All three tiers comply with monitoring requirements for the Monarch CCAA.

Assessment Protocol Tier 2

Tier 1: Is habitat for pollinators present?

Tier 2: What is the quality of pollinator habitat?

  • Generally assess habitat quality. This scorecard is intended for use by most assessors, but some skill level is required to identify percent plant cover, flowering plants in bloom, habitat resources, and management threats and opportunities.
  • Tier 2 Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol

Tier 3: What is the composition of the pollinator habitat?

In addition to internal use, completed scorecards may also be shared in the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Geospatial Database.


Using the Pollinator Scorecard Management Module

The Pollinator Scorecard Management Module is used to evaluate the suitability of management activities for pollinator habitat on each plot or site. This tool provides valuable information to consider alongside the habitat quality ratings and may be completed at any time of year following site assessments. The Management Module aims to identify:

  • Threats present on the site that may impact the condition (or availability of) habitat 
  • Opportunities to improve habitat to the benefit of a species

Effectiveness of current and potential management practices are assessed in terms of scale and persistence to generate an overall management score. 

Pollinator Scorecard Management Module


Pollinator Scorecard User’s Guide 

Pollinator Scorecard Management Module 

Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol Tier 1 Midwest/Northeast

Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol Tier 1 West/South

Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol Tier 2

Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol Tier 3

Pollinator Habitat Geospatial Database

Percent Cover Guide


The Pollinator Habitat Scorecard is made possible with funding from…

And technical expertise from…