What is a pollinator?
Pollinators are animals and insects that transfer pollen from the male parts of flowers (anther), to the female parts of flowers (stigma). This results in the fertilization of the flowers eggs and ensures flowering plants can produce seeds, fruit and crops.
Both flowering plants and pollinators benefit from this relationship. Over 75 per cent of flowering plants require the pollination services of our winged and furred wild friends, who receive nutrients in the form of nectar and pollen. Bees, bats, birds, beetles and a variety of other small animals and insects are pollinators.
Why are pollinators important?
Pollinators contribute to every 1/3 bites of food humans consume. Most of the fruits, vegetables and nuts that make up our diets require pollinators in order to reproduce.
Pollinators help create healthy, resilient ecosystems that many animals rely on for food and shelter. Without pollinators, most of our trees and plants would not be able to successfully reproduce, resulting in less habitat for wildlife, fewer natural resources and less diverse environments.
Pollinators are responsible for many hidden ecosystem services such as keeping our air, water and soils clean. Flowering plants produce the oxygen we breathe, and absorb carbon dioxide in the environment. Plants are also responsible for cleaning our water and preventing soil erosion. Without pollinators to help our plants reproduce, the quality of our air, water and soil would greatly decrease.