KCS, CP, GATX, Rotary, NASCO Team for a ‘Butterfly Effect’

Railway Age

August 3, 2022

Here’s something probably not too many rail industry people know: The migration path of the Monarch Butterfly, recently declared an endangered species, closely follows the alignment of the combined north-south Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern networks, which (pending merger approval by the Surface Transportation Board) will in early 2023 merge to form CPKC (Canadian Pacific Kansas City), North America’s first transnational freight railroad.

Thus, the Monarch Butterfly “represents North American unity,” say CP, KCS, GATX, the Monterrey (Mexico) Metropolitan Rotary Club and NASCO (North American Supply Chain Organization), which have launched the Save the Monarch Butterfly 60,000 Tree Challenge North American Boxcar Tour to raise $100,000. The funds raised will be used to plant 60,000 Oyamel fir trees at El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacán, Mexico to help reestablish the monarch population.

Read the rest of the article at the Railway Age website.

Conservation survey finds native New York State pollinators at risk

Cornell Chronicle (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)

August 8, 2022

A New York state survey, supported by Cornell bee experts, finds that more than half of important native pollinators may be at risk of disappearing from the state – potentially threatening crops, wildflowers and insect diversity.

The three-year Empire State Native Pollinator Survey, released Aug. 4 by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), found that at least 38% – and as many as 60% – of the pollinators targeted by the survey are at risk because they are rare or declining. For bees, up to 24% of the species may be at risk and an additional 11% are considered possibly extirpated, or known only from historical records. The survey is among the most systematic conservation status assessments of pollinators conducted by any state, according to its authors.

Read the rest of the article at the Cornell Chronicle website.

 

Roadside habitats for pollinators

University of Minnesota

June 28, 2022

Most people spend little time considering roadsides. Not so for College of Biological Sciences Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Emilie Snell-Rood, who has overseen three projects and more than 400 roadside site surveys in Minnesota to determine the benefits and the risks of developing roadside habitats for declining native plants and pollinators. She is using the results of this research to help with conservation efforts by providing data-driven guidance to roadside managers.

Providing crucial support for 70 percent of the country’s crops, pollinators and insects, including native bees and monarch butterflies, are an important part of our ecosystem, yet many are declining due to factors including habitat loss. To counteract this decline, many are looking toward investing in roadsides, including the Biden Administration, which recently passed an infrastructure bill containing millions of dollars in funding toward roadside monarch habitat. In Minnesota alone, roadsides offer the potential for over half a million acres of viable pollinator-friendly habitat.

Read the rest of the article here.

These Pollinating Crustaceans are the Bees of the Sea

Smithsonian Magazine

July 29, 2022

Bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and other nectar-seeking wildlife are often heralded for the vital role they play in pollinating flowering plants on land.

Now, there’s a new creature to add to the very important pollinator list, one that helps plants flourish in a surprising place: underwater.

Scientists have discovered that a small, bug-like crustacean called Idotea balthica can pollinate red seaweed, a type of algae often found growing in tide pools. The findings, published Thursday in the journal Science, add to a small but growing body of evidence that raises questions about whether animal-mediated pollination may have first evolved underwater, instead of on land. It’s also possible that pollination evolved in separate instances, underwater and on land.

Continue reading this article at the Smithsonian Magazine website.

 

Duke Energy ramps up environmental efforts, joins forces to protect vulnerable wildlife in Florida

Press release from Duke Energy

July 21, 2022

As part of its commitment to support the vitality of a healthy ecosystem, Duke Energy Florida has aligned efforts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), among other agencies, to protect a population of federally endangered wildflowers in central Florida.

Earlier this spring, Duke Energy environmental scientists joined various agencies and stakeholders to maximize the preservation and protection of the federally endangered clasping warea (Warea amplexifolia) and the federally threatened sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) found in an unincorporated community in Marion County, near Ocklawaha.

Read the rest of the press release at the Duke Energy website.

Napa County aids monarch butterfly comeback push

Napa Valley Register (Napa, CA)

July 19, 2022

Napa Valley wine country could potentially also be western monarch butterfly country — at least a little bit — at a time when the iconic orange-and-black butterfly needs help. 

The butterfly faces challenges. An annual Thanksgiving count done in California found about 2,000 monarchs in 2020 before rebounding to 247,000 in 2021. Both numbers are far short of the more than 1.2 million recorded in 1997.

Read the rest of the article at the Napa Valley Register website.

Round Rock (TX) City Council passes resolution to protect, conserve native pollinators

Fox 7 Austin (Austin, TX)

July 17, 2022

Round Rock City Council has passed a resolution on becoming a pollinator-friendly community through the Bee City USA initiative.

Bee City USA provides community affiliates and campuses with a framework to conserve native pollinators by providing a heathy habitat that is rich in various native plants, provides nest sites and is pesticide-free.

Round Rock is joining several other Texas cities as a Bee City USA affiliate, including Austin, Buda, Beeville and Abilene.

Read the rest of this article at the Fox 7 Austin website.

Milkweed for monarchs: Local plant giveaways aim to sustain butterfly

Ventura County Star (Camarillo, CA)

July 14, 2022

Hundreds of Ventura County residents are converging on events to pick up free native milkweed plants that support monarch butterflies and provide an alternative to a recently banned nonnative milkweed harmful to monarchs.

Last month, county Agricultural Commissioner Ed Williams prohibited the sale of a tropical milkweed called Asclepias curassavica after the California Department of Food and Agriculture classified it as a B-rated noxious weed. That means the state considers the species detrimental and counties can ban its sale.

Read the rest of the article at the Ventura County Star website.

New pollinator garden helping monarch butterflies thrive

ABC News Channel 20 (Springfield, IL)

July 12, 2022

City Water, Light and Power’s Land & Water Resources Department has established a new pollinator garden.

The pollinator garden acts as one of the many Monarch waystations around Lake Springfield.

Planting milkweed is one of several ways to help pollinators as it provides monarchs with shelter, milkweed, and other pollinator plants to help their migration.

Read the rest of the article at the News Channel 20 website.

Trenton (ME) pledges to save monarch butterflies

News Center Maine (Portland, ME)

July 6, 2022

Monarch butterflies may be the most familiar butterfly in North America. It’s hard to miss the black, orange, and white patterned wings fluttering from flower to flower. But spotting them is becoming less common.

The population of the monarch butterfly has declined in recent years.

The eastern monarch population dropped about 88 percent from 1996 to 2020, from an estimated 383 million to just under 45 million, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Read the rest of the article at newscentermaine.com.