Protecting pollinators and the use of neonicotinoids
Why we need Pollinators
Bees, birds, butterflies, and other insects are responsible for pollinating 30% of the world’s food supply. They also provide an essential function in our native ecosystems, pollinating thousands of plant species in forests, meadows and wetlands. Protection of these pollinators is vital to maintaining healthy and diverse plant communities.
Are we losing our pollinators?
Our pollinators are under attack from many sources including diseases, poor nutrition, and loss of habitat. Many insecticides can also put pollinators at risk. Most recently we have learned that pollinators, like bees, can be harmed by the use of neonicotinoid insecticides.
What are Neonicotinoid Insecticides?
Neonicotinoids are a class of persistent insecticides that are toxic not only to pests, but to our beneficial pollinators as well. They can be used directly on pests, or to treat plants systemically. These systemic insecticides enter plant tissues and can move into flowers, pollen, and nectar putting visiting pollinators at risk.
How is PP&R protecting pollinators?
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) uses an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach that values pollinators and other beneficial insects. Insects and pests rarely need to be controlled in an IPM approach, but if they do, environmentally friendly means are used first, such as biological, physical, and cultural methods. Insecticides are seldom used, but if needed they are carefully selected and applied to minimize risks to people and the environment.