National Academies advisory: Pollinators in North America

October 12, 2006

STATUS OF POLLINATORS IN NORTH AMERICA, new from the National Research Council, assesses population trends among bees, birds, bats, and other animals and insects that spread pollen so plant fertilization can occur. European studies have documented declines of certain pollinator species, raising concerns that crop yields could drop or that ecosystems could be disrupted as a result. And last year, honeybees -- millions of colonies of which are leased by farmers to ensure pollination -- had to be imported from outside North America for the first time in decades because of a shortage in the U.S.

The report will be released in conjunction with a North American Pollinator Protection Campaign meeting being held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Oct. 18. Research Council committee member GENE ROBINSON, director of the neuroscience program and G. William Arends Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, will present the report's findings at the meeting. Also at the meeting, USDA will announce a public awareness campaign, and the U.S. Postal Service will unveil a "pollination" stamp series.
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MEETING DETAILS:
The meeting will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at USDA's Jefferson Auditorium, 14th Street and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. Robinson is scheduled to speak at 9:25 a.m., and he and other speakers will be available for interviews during lunch. Reporters who wish to attend should register in advance by contacting NAPPC's Laurie Adams, 415-260-8092, or Kimberly Winter, 301-219-7030; more information is available at www.pollinator.org.

REPORT DETAILS:
Advance copies will be available to reporters only beginning at noon EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 17. THE REPORT IS EMBARGOED AND NOT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE BEFORE 9:25 AM EDT ON OCT. 18. To obtain a copy, reporters should contact the National Academies' Office of News and Public Information; tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail news@nas.edu.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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