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:
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:
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
Using the Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol
Users can complete the Pollinator Habitat Assessment Protocol electronically through the Survey123 app. The app streamlines data collection and reporting by syncing habitat data and photos with the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Geospatial Database. Refer to the “Guide for Using Survey123” and the Database User Guidance document for detailed instructions.
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.
Determine the best tier for your organizational needs with the following questions:
Tier 1: Is habitat for pollinators present?
- Quickly determine if pollinator habitat is present. This scorecard is intended for use by anyone, with minimal training or plant identification skills required. The scorecard clearly delineates the required and optional biological effectiveness monitoring fields per the Monarch CCAA.
- Two versions of the Tier 1 scorecard are available depending on geographic location:
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 3: What is the composition of the pollinator habitat?
- Detailed assessment of habitat quality. This scorecard is intended for advanced assessors who are capable of identifying most plants to species-level.
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.
The Pollinator Habitat Scorecard is made possible with funding from…
And technical expertise from…