Thank you for helping to make 2012 a successful year for Xerces. Whether you signed the Pollinator Protection Pledge, registered your local pond for Pond Watch, sent us photographs of rare bumble bees, donated to support our programs, or simply shared our work with a friend or neighbor, we want thank you for your commitment to invertebrate conservation.
We're now looking ahead to a busy year as we continue to grow and build on the successes of past years. Here are a few things our conservation staff will be working on in 2013.
Our Endangered Species Program will launch Project Bumble Bee this spring with an expanded citizen science program to collect data on wild bumble bee sightings. In addition to gathering information on more species than before, our improved web site will make it much easier for you to send us information. We will also work to protect at-risk butterflies, including field studies to better understand the conservation status of the mardon skipper, and publish guidelines for managing monarch overwintering sites in California.
The Pollinator Conservation Program is taking its Sustainable Agriculture Workshop Series to leading farm conferences across the country with sessions on prairie restoration, creating bee pastures, research updates on the effects of pesticides, and more! (Visit the events page of our website for event details.) In addition, the Bring Back the Pollinators campaign will develop a series of new pollinator gardening fact sheets, and will also collaborate with the native plant industry to "farm" uncommon, high-value pollinator plants, making these seeds available to the conservation community.
The Aquatic Program will soon release Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management in Wetlands, an overview of mosquito control practices, risks and benefits, impacts to nontarget organisms, and recommendations on effective practices that control mosquitoes, reduce pesticide use, and conserve wetlands. Building on last year's successful Migratory Dragonfly Partnership courses, we will offer additional short courses to train new participants and Pond Watch volunteers, and continue to collect data on dragonfly migration across North America.
Lastly, we are launching a new project in 2013, in which we will publish a review of the impacts of oil spills on marine and estuarine invertebrates, and identify invertebrate groups that are potentially imperiled in the Gulf of Mexico as a way to target future species for conservation efforts.