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Author: Justin Fritscher

Wildflowers Provide Critical Habitat for Wildlife and Pollinators

Posted by Justin Fritscher on May 03, 2016 at 02:21 PM
A monarch butterfly gathers nectar from a milkweed flower. NRCS helps agricultural producers plant Milkweed on farms, ranches and working forests to help the monarch and other species. USFWS photo.

A monarch butterfly gathers nectar from a milkweed flower. NRCS helps agricultural producers plant Milkweed on farms, ranches and working forests to help the monarch and other species. USFWS photo.

It all begins with a seed. Filled with food and information, it one day grows into something beautiful―a wildflower. And before the flower’s time is done, it has shared pollen and nectar for an abundance of bees, butterflies, beetles and other pollinators. When the flower is gone, it leaves behind fruit or seeds to feed wildlife, or to begin the cycle anew.

From prairies to roadsides and bogs to hillsides, wildflowers provide vital food and habitat for wildlife and pollinators. They’re an essential part of ecosystems and benefit conservation efforts on America’s private lands.

This week marks National Wildflower Week, a great time for everyone to celebrate the importance of native wildflowers. As native plants, they’re more resistant to pests, more resilient to climate extremes and require less maintenance. Plus, they’re beautiful! Read more >>

Tags: wildflowers, pollinators, conservation, milkweed, monarch butterfly

categories Plants & Animals


Targeted Efforts to Restore Wetlands Helped Louisiana Black Bear Recover

Posted by Justin Fritscher on May 02, 2016 at 10:42 AM
The Louisiana black bear's current range is in Louisiana and Mississippi along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers.

The Louisiana black bear's current range is in Louisiana and Mississippi along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers.

Louisiana black bears were in trouble. In the alluvial plain along the Mississippi River, highly fertile soil led to the historic conversion of bottomland hardwoods to cultivated cropland during the 1960s and 1970s when soybean prices reached record highs. By 1992, the bear had lost 80 percent of its habitat, and biologists estimated fewer than 200 remained.

But landowners who voluntarily restored wetland habitat on private lands reversed the bear’s downward trend, paving the way for its recovery.

May marks American Wetlands Month, a time to celebrate the importance of wetland ecosystems, including the bottomland hardwood forests that the Louisiana black bear needs. Read more >>

Tags: Louisiana, black bear, Working Lands for Wildlife, wetlands, bottomland hardwood, forests

categories Plants & Animals, Conservation Programs, Discover Conservation, Environment, Landscape Initiatives