UTAH (ABC4) – Spring has officially sprung in Utah, as have the pollinators. 

Though many Utahns don’t realize it, the Beehive State is home to many unique species of pollinators, including five species of hummingbirds, 250 species of butterflies, and more than 900 species of native bees. 

According to Utah’s Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), “a pollinator is an animal or insect that helps plants reproduce by transferring pollen from one part of a flower to another plant, resulting in seeds and fruit.”

The DWR has noted that pollinators in Utah are facing extreme changing conditions this year, and some are increasingly at risk due to declining populations. 

Amid the surge of warm weather, it is a perfect time to bring awareness to the pollinators in our communities and the different ways in which we can help them. 

In accordance with the Utah Pollinator Pursuit that was created in 2019, the Utah DWR has worked with Utah State University to conduct research in support of the launch of the Survey123 app. This program allows you to snap a picture of pollinators you come across (the closer you can get, the better) to submit through the app related to the species you found. From there, biologists will use the photos to make better informed decisions for habitat restoration projects throughout the state. 

“With the recent drastic declines in Utah insect populations, we needed to do something bigger  to understand what was happening,” Utah State University’s Rare Insect Conservation Project Leader Amanda Barth said. “We really appreciate the efforts of people who share photos of  bumble bees, monarch butterflies and other rare pollinator species they happen to see during the spring and summer months.”

Along with the use of the Survey123 app, there are other ways Utahns can help pollinator species thrive and survive. 

One major help to pollinators is making sure they have enough suitable nectar and pollen sources. This spring, be sure to fill your garden with native plants, and try to reduce your use of herbicides and insecticides that may be harming your native pollinators. 

“By working together, Utahns can make a difference for pollinators,” Barth said. “Even small steps will make a big difference in the long-term survival for these species.”