“Striking Pollinator Gold”
An amazing article in the March issue of National Geographic Magazine, lavishly illustrated with photographs by P2’s Dr. Mark W. Moffett, showcases the “little things” that provide vital ecosystem services including our food and clothing - the pollinators!
The article "Gold Dusters" is in the newstands now and is an imaginative, factual and fun romp around the world in search of exotic and familiar pollinating animals and their flowers all in a new light. The eighteen page feature is written by NG staff writer Jennifer Holland.
Just a few pollinator portraits from the article include a ring-tailed lemur gnawing on a cactus blossom in Madagascar, a Manduca hawk moth extending its six inch tongue into a flower in Arizona, a Heliconius butterfly with a pollen moustache in Panama, and an ornate day gecko pollinating blossoms on Mauritius, and a mosquito taking time off from sucking blood to pollinate an orchid in Minnesota.
The article also highlights the plight of other pollinators, including our champion managed pollinator, the honey bee, and the impact of colony collapse disorder on this species. Anthropogenic and natural threats to bees and other pollinating animals are discussed along with our dependence upon them for food, along with oils seeds, fibers like cotton, medicines, anti-oxidants, as well as other health-giving benefits of eating colorful fruits and vegetables.
Pollinator Partnership (P2) Scientist-at-Large and Board Member, Dr. Moffett, also known as "Dr. Bugs" of television talk show fame, was a student and protégé of Dr. Edward O. Wilson, Har¬vard entomologist and Pollinator Partnership science advisor. Mark is an ecologist who has explored remote places worldwide to document new species and behaviors. His artistry behind the lens is showcased in 500 NG photos a over 30 feature articles.
Mark's places Pollinators under the lens to show people the subtle interplay between these sometimes rare creatures who play a vital role on our planet. From Madagascar to Hawaii to Panama, Mark chases miniscule supermodels down perilous roads and through forests, and captures each one in stunning photographers - all profiled in Nat Geo's Most Amazing Photos: Pollinators, airing internationally on National Geographic Channel.
"We were thrilled when first contacted by Mark and National Geographic editors in 2009 that they had such a timely article in mind and they enlisted our science-based help" said Laurie Davies Adams, Executive Director of the San Francisco-based non-profit, the Pollinator Partnership.
The prestige and wide circulation of National Geographic Magazine, with its exacting requirements for scientifically accurate facts, will assure that a wide US and global audience will be introduced to the vital role pollinators play, their modern threats, and the role of organizations like P2 who work daily to conserve them. Several Pollinator Partnership board members, staff and NAPPC partners had a hand in making the magazine article and NG channel television program possible. P2's inter¬national coordinator, entomologist Dr. Stephen Buchmann, accompanied Dr. Moffett and NG television producer Hans Weise on field trips in Arizona and Panama's rainforests. Smithsonian senior scientist, STRI tropical biologist David Roubik offered his guidance and expertise with bees and other pollinators.
Be sure to get your copy NOW on newsstands and tell your friends and email contacts. We’ve set up a special site to receive your comments here about these amazing photos. Also, be sure to connect to the National Geographic web site for more detailed information.