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Protecting Pollinators

Pollinators are vital to the health of natural food webs and the functioning of ecosystems as they transfer pollen from flower to flower, fertilizing plants and leading to the growth of fruit, vegetables and grains. Pollinators include vertebrates like birds, bats and mice and invertebrates including flies, ants, wasps, spiders, beetles, butterflies, moths and bees.

Many pollinators are in serious decline in the United States and worldwide. Pollinator decline is not completely understood but disease, habitat loss, pesticide use and climate change all may play a role.

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island is committed to supporting the diversity and health of pollinators through environmental education, advocacy for sound policies, and conservation of pollinator habitat and species.

Why are Pollinators Important?

Approximately 80% of the world’s flowering plants require pollinators to reproduce. In the United States alone, more than 100 species of plants require pollinators. The fruits and seeds that result provide food, beverages, fibers, fuel, medicine and other goods. The value of pollinated crops in the United States was estimated at $50 billion in 2020.

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Latest Pollinator News

Get the buzz on pollinator news and upcoming events.

Some scientists estimate that the monarch butterfly has declined by 85 to 95 percent in New England since the 1990s. In this installment of the Newport This Week Nature in the Neighborhood series, Audubon Senior Director of Education Lauren Parmelee reflects on the uniqueness of this endangered species and what you can do to help them.

Neonic Pesticide Regulation Bill Signed Into Law!

Rhode Island has officially made major updates to our pesticide regulations for the first time in more than a decade! Representative Kislak's and Senator Miller's bills (passed in the House on June 7 and Senate on June 14, respectively) will take harmful neonicotinoid pesticides out of the hands of untrained users. The legislation was signed into law by Governor McKee on June 27, 2022! THANK YOU to everyone who helped us advance these bills by contacting their legislators; our partner advocates; and to the bill cosponsors.

The case against harmful neonicotinoid insecticides grows as pollinator populations decline. Environmental groups, legislators, and supporters gathered on May 11, 2022, at the Roger Williams Botanical Center in Providence for a legislative breakfast and speaking event to rally support for legislation that would restrict the use of harmful neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) in Rhode Island.