Habitat for Pollinators: Improving Management of Regionally Signficant Xeric Grasslands, Barrens, and Woodlands in the Northeast

A standardized pollinator protocol was developed for the 2018 season of the Xeric Grassland, Barren, and Woodland Pollinator Conservation Project anticipated to improve the ability of Northeast states to implement cost-effective habitat management to benefit native pollinators and Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need that depend on these priority habitats. A network of twelve organizations (state, federal, and not-for-profit), representing eight states (VA, MD, NJ, NY, MA, NH, VT, ME) enrolled to participate in the first year of this project. The sites were located in seven ecoregions within the eastern United States. All participants received the necessary equipment to collect and mail bee specimens to a central lab at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to be processed and identified. Through a webinar, all participating sites were provided training on how collect bees using bee bowls (pan traps) and hand netting. Each site received a copy of the RCN pollinator protocol to assist in their collection efforts. An undergraduate student was hired as a summer intern to help process bees in the lab. Over the course of the season a total of 3237 bees representing 5 families, 25 genera, and 125 species have been identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible. Three species listed on State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP) were collected. Baseline bee datasets developed from these surveys will help guide future treatment and management activities to create and restore xeric grasslands, barrens, and woodland communities.

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