|I’ve had many conversations about insect conservation, but over the years both the frequency of those conversations and the urgency of the issue have grown. The evidence is clear that we are losing insects around the globe at an alarming rate. Consider bumble bees alone: 28 percent of species in North America are considered threatened. The story is similar for the world’s butterflies, beetles, and aquatic insects. This is seen even in species that are widely found and well-known, such as the monarch butterfly.
So why are we seeing these declines? We have removed, degraded, or fragmented habitat in agricultural areas as well as in towns and cities. Less habitat means less diversity of species and less abundance of those that survive. It is as simple as that. Add in the toxic chemicals that are widely used, competition from invasive plants and animals, poor water quality, and severe weather events and shifting rainfall patterns that are caused by climate change, and you can see that it is hard to be an insect in this human-dominated world.
To reverse these trends and encourage robust populations of diverse native insects, we need high-quality, climate-resilient habitat across the landscape. Government agencies, farmers, managers of natural areas, homeowners, and businesses all can protect and restore habitat, reduce the harm of pesticides on non-target insects, and undertake action to help slow climate change.
Xerces is working to promote these changes for the benefit of insects worldwide. By using applied research, engaging in advocacy, providing educational and training resources, and addressing policy implications, we endeavor to make meaningful long-term conservation a reality. But, as a donor supported nonprofit, we need your support to be successful. At the end of each year, we look to you, our loyal and generous supporters to provide us the foundation to continue this essential work forward into the next year. For those of you who are able, please consider making a tax deductible gift this year-end.
Thank you for all you do.
Scott Black, Director
Check in with your tax advisor about added benefits through the CARES Act. Even if you do not itemize your deductions and take the standard deduction, you may be able to deduct $300 in donations to qualified charities in 2021 ($600 for married couples filing jointly).