News and Blog Articles
News and Blog Articles
You’ve heard of the census, of course. Periodically, we all respond to a variety of questions that help keep our country up-to-date. But have you heard of the Great Georgia Pollinator Census?
What is the Great Georgia Pollinator Census?
Once a year, the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences organizes the Great Georgia Pollinator Census, or GGAPC for short. This project catalogues the pollinator population in our state by recording the frequency with which different pollinators visit pollen-bearing plants.
Why is that important?
Pollinators are, of course, vital to their ecosystems, but they are also vital to our way of life. There are more than 180,000 species that pollinators visit to assist with their reproductive process. 1,200 of those species are major crops that sustain our society! To put that in perspective, think of it this way: approximately 1 out of every 3 bites of food you take is thanks to pollinators.
In addition to supporting our food supply, pollinators also ensure the continuation of all life on earth. That may sound drastic, but without pollinators assisting them, somewhere between 75% to 95% of all plant life wouldn’t be able to reproduce, which means their species would die out. Plants produce the oxygen we breathe and help keep the air clean. No plants means no oxygen, and no oxygen means no humans!
How can you help?
Contributing to the pollinator census is easy, especially with the GGAPC’s helpful census worksheet !
On August 20th or August 21st, go outside and sit in view of a pollinator plant. It can be your favorite flowering bush in your garden, a cluster of wildflowers on the sidewalk, or something found at the local park.
For 15 minutes, watch your chosen plant and write down the pollinators that land there. The census categorizes pollinators like this:
Keep a tally for each category, and when your 15 minutes are up, submit the numbers you recorded to the Great Georgia Pollinator Census’s website.
Can anyone participate?
Yes! You don’t have to be an entomologist (someone who studies bugs) to help out with the census.
If you’re still unsure about the different categories of pollinators, the GGAPC has a detailed guide with pictures, descriptions, and other information to help you figure things out. You can also check out their video guide on YouTube for a walk-through of the process.
What about kids?
Absolutely! The GGAPC encourages kids across the state to join in (with parental supervision, of course). This project is a great way to get kids outdoors and engaged with the natural world around them. It also makes for a great introductory STEM exercise, and is perfect for class activities as well as at-home adventuring.
If you’re interested in participating in the Great Georgia Pollinator Census, check out their website for more information at GGAPC.org. You can also visit their Facebook group for updates, event details, and other fun community activities!
Looking for more ways to contribute?
One of the best things to do for pollinators is to grow them some food! Check out our article on what to plant to attract pollinators so you can support their population, and enjoy some pretty flowers to boot!