September Ecology Club: Insect Apocalypse? What is really happening, why it matters, and how we can all be a part of the solution

Date: 
Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

With well over one million known species, insects and other invertebrates eclipse all other forms of life on Earth. They are essential to the reproduction of most flowering plants, including many fruits, vegetables, and nuts; they are food for birds, fish, and other animals; they filter water and help clean rivers and streams; and they clean up waste from plants and animals. Just four of the many insect services—dung burial, pest control, pollination, and wildlife nutrition—have an estimated annual value in the United States alone of at least $57 billion. They truly are the “little things that run the world.”

Though they are indisputably the most important creatures on earth, invertebrates are in trouble.  Recent regional reports and trends in biomonitoring suggest that insects are experiencing a multi continental crisis evident as reductions in abundance, diversity and biomass. Given the centrality of insects to terrestrial and freshwater aquatic ecosystems and the food chain that supports humans, the potential importance of this crisis cannot be overstated. If we hope to stem the losses of insect diversity and the services they provide, society must take steps at all levels to protect, restore and enhance native plant habitat across landscapes, from wildlands to farmlands to urban cores. Protecting and managing existing habitat in forests and rangelands is an essential step as natural areas can act as reservoirs for invertebrate diversity. 

At this Ecology Club, Scott Hoffman Black will explain the latest science on insect declines, discuss forest and range management threats and solutions and highlight how managers and activists can incorporate invertebrate conservation into their work. 

Register for this online event here!

Scott Hoffman Black is an internationally recognized conservationist who has been at the forefront of the conservation movement for three decades. He is executive director of the Xerces Society, which under his leadership has become the premier invertebrate conservation organization in North America. Scott’s work has led to habitat protection, restoration and improved management on millions of acres of rangelands, forests, and farmland as well as protection for dozens of rare and endangered species. He is an author of the best-selling Attracting Native Pollinators and Gardening for Butterflies and has written more than two hundred other publications. His work has been honored with many awards, including the 2011 Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus Award, the U.S. Forest Service Wings Across the Americas 2012 Butterfly Conservation Award and the 2019 Wings Across the Americas International Research Partnership Award and a 2020 Natures Choice Award from the Greater Good Foundation.  Learn more about the Xerces Society at www.xerces.org.

 

Join us online the second Wednesday of each month for Ecology Club! We discuss an ecological themes related to Bark’s work on Mt Hood or seasonal skills to give the community a deeper appreciation and understanding of NW ecology. Some months feature presenters, who bring their unique skills to the community. Other times, we will work as a group on such topics as thinning, fire ecology, wildflowers, birds, road ecology, or other ecological knowledge.

At the meeting's close, we leave time open to further explore the topics of the evening, delve deeper into Bark's work to protect Mt Hood, and learn about what you can do to protect Mt. Hood National Forest!

This event is free + open to the public.

Image: 
Color photograph showing a butterfly sitting on a rock