Aquatic Conservation

Invertebrates live in every type of aquatic habitat, from streams and seeps to marshes and lakes. Aquatic invertebrates such as stoneflies, mayflies, mussels, and midges play critical roles in sustaining healthy aquatic ecosystems, and are at the center of the aquatic food web. The winged adult forms of many aquatic insects also provide a huge amount of the food for terrestrial birds, bats, and reptiles. Aquatic invertebrates and the habitats that sustain them are seriously imperiled. In the United States, over half of the wetlands that existed in the 1600s have been lost, and a recent nationwide stream survey found pesticides or their degradates in all the streams sampled. The Aquatic Conservation program works to protect aquatic invertebrates and the ecosystems that sustain them.

Current Projects

Learn more and get involved with the Aquatic Conservation projects.
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Migratory Dragonfly Partnership

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Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management

Western Fresh Water Mussels

Western Freshwater Mussels

Biomonitoring

Biomonitoring

Our Work

Check out some of the work the aquatic team has been doing!

Upcoming Events

Native Bees of Georgia – Brunswick, GA

October 13th, 2016
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
University of Georgia, Marine Extension
Brunswick, GA

This workshop will be hosted by EcoScapes program manager Keren Giovengo. She will be joined by guest speaker Dr. Nancy Lee Adamson, Pollinator Conservation Specialist of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Dr. Adamson’s presentation, “Common Bees of Georgia,” will provide valuable information about the importance of pollinators, native bee diversity, common bees of Georgia, and planting for pollinators. Following the presentation, participants will tour the EcoScapes native plant demonstration garden where they will identify bees and the native plants that they depend upon. Workshop is free but registration is required. Deadline to register is OCtober 10th.

Click here for more information. Contact Keren Giovengo at giovengo@uga.edu or (912) 280-1586 to register.

US Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Rusty Patched Bumble Bee for Endangered Species Act Protection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Rich Hatfield, Senior Conservation Biologist, Xerces; (503) 468-8405; rich@xerces.org Sarina Jepsen, Director of Endangered Species Program, Xerces; (971) 244-3727; sarina@xerces.org Margie Kelly, Communications Manager, Natural Resources Defense Council, 312-651-7935, mkelly@nrdc.org   US Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Rusty Patched Bumble Bee for Endangered Species Act Protection PORTLAND, Ore.— Responding to a Read more ...

Farming with Beneficial Insects: Conservation Biological Control Short Course – Olivebridge, NY

November 9th, 2016
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
The Ashokan Center
Olivebridge, NY

Learn about supporting beneficial insects that provide pest control in this full-day short course. Conservation biological control is a science-based pest management strategy that seeks to integrate beneficial insects back into cropping systems for natural pest control, ultimately reducing and in some cases eliminating the need for pesticides. Join Kelly Gill, Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Specialist from the Xerces Society, and partners from the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, as they overview conservation biological control and beneficial predators and parasitoids that attack insect pests. Participants will learn how common farm practices can impact beneficial insects and how to assess and create farm habitat for beneficial insects.

Check here soon for more information and to register.

Pollinator Conservation & Farmscaping – Alma, GA

October 14th, 2016
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Bacon County Extension Office - Conference Room
Alma, GA

Pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other insects, are essential to our environment. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of more than 85 percent of the world's flowering plants and is fundamental to agriculture and natural ecosystems. Other beneficial insects contribute to farm production and natural pest suppression and potentially save $4.5 billion annually in pesticide costs. Conservation biological control is a science-based pest management strategy that recognizes the integral role of beneficial insects in natural pest control, ultimately reducing and in some cases eliminating the need for insecticides. You will leave with the tools necessary to assess, create, protect, and manage habitat.

Click here for more information.

Bats, Bees & Butterflies: Pollinator Day at SciWorks – Winston-Salem, NC

September 24th, 2016
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
SciWorks
Winston-Salem, NC

Dr. Nancy Adamson, Pollinator Conservation Specialist for The Xerces Society, will give a presentation about the benefits of attracting pollinators followed by a tour of SciWorks’ native gardens. She will provide valuable information about common pollinators (with a focus on bees), their habitat needs, and plants that support pollinators and other wildlife.
This program is appropriate for Master Gardeners, backyard garden enthusiasts, and educators. Plants, seeds, and educational materials will be provided to participants. Continuing Education credit for Environmental Education Certification is available.

Pre-registration is required for free admission to the workshop. Contact Kelli Isenhour at (336) 714-7106 or kisenhour@sciworks.org

Conservation Biological Control Short Course – Carson City, NV

September 30th, 2016
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Western Nevada College, Carson City Campus
Carson City, NV

Learn about supporting beneficial insects that provide pest control in this full-day short course. Conservation biological control is a science-based pest management strategy that seeks to integrate beneficial insects back into cropping systems for natural pest control, ultimately reducing and in some cases eliminating the need for pesticides. Join Jessa Kay Cruz, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist of the Xerces Society, as she overviews conservation biological control and beneficial predators and parasitoids that attack insect pests. Participants will learn how common farm practices can impact beneficial insects and how to assess and create farm habitat for beneficial insects.

Click here for more information and to register.

Lunchtime Lecture: Monarch Butterflies – A Species of Wonder, a Species in Crisis – San Jose, CA

December 7th, 2016
12:00 PM
San Jose Museum of Art
San Jose, CA

Please join Mia Monroe, volunteer with the Xerces Society and local coordinator of the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, for December's Lunchtime Lecture entitled “Monarch Butterflies...A Species of Wonder, a Species in Crisis”. Lunchtime Lectures are included in Museum admission.

Click here for more details.

Pollinator Conservation Short Course – Westampton, NJ

September 29th, 2016
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
Westampton, NJ

This full day workshop, instructed by Kelly Gill, Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Specialist, will focus on concepts around protecting and enhancing populations of pollinators, especially bees, in agricultural landscapes. The course will provide an overview of bee natural history and identify practices such as protecting and creating habitat, modified horticultural practices, and advice on how to manage pests while protecting pollinators.

*COURSE FULL*

Firefly Populations Are Blinking Out

Blink and you’ll miss them this summer. Around the world, people are reporting that local firefly populations are shrinking or even disappearing. The insect’s dilemma first came to the world’s attention at the 2010 International Firefly Symposium, where researchers from 13 nations presented evidence of firefly population declines and declared “an urgent need for conservation Read more ...

State of the Monarch Butterfly Overwintering Sites in California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Sarina Jepsen, Endangered Species Program Director, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; (971) 244-3727, sarina@xerces.org Emma Pelton, Endangered Species Conservation Biologist, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; (503) 232-6639 ext. 102, emma.pelton@xerces.org New Report Documents a 74% Decline in the Number of Monarch Butterflies Overwintering in Coastal California The Xerces Society prioritizes the top Read more ...

[VIDEO] Western Bumblebee no longer in Willamette Valley

Though Oregon may be experiencing a population boom, there is at least one group that is no longer found anywhere in the Willamette Valley. The Western Bumblebee. “Western Bumblebee used to be one of the 3 most common species in Oregon,” said Sarina Jepsen of the Xerces Society in Portland. “It’s really declined dramatically and Read more ...

A Ghost in the Making: Nationwide Release of a Revealing Film About the Decline of a Once Common Pollinator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Sarina Jepsen, Endangered Species Program Director, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, 971-244-3727, sarina@xerces.org Clay Bolt, Natural History Photographer, 864-385-4616, cbnatphoto@gmail.com A Ghost In the Making: Searching for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Nationwide release of a revealing film about the decline of a once common pollinator Portland, OR – Today, Read more ...

Groups seek to protect rare butterfly whose only home is San Juan Island

San Juan Island is the only home to the island marble butterfly. Populations of the species disappeared from Canadian islands in the 1900’s and were rediscovered on San Juan Island in 1998. The species has suffered further decline since rediscovery and faces limited protections. In the grasslands on south San Juan Island, several patches of Read more ...

LA Times: 6 easy ways you can help save the bees

Busy as a bee is an accurate statement. According to the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization working to protect bees, 75% of the world’s food crop depends on at least one pollinator, such as the honeybee. (California’s pollinator-dependent crop value is about $12 billion a year.) That’s a lot riding on the journey of the Read more ...

What Santa Monica can do about monarch butterfly decline

In 1997 there were more than 1.2 million monarchs overwintering in California and in 2014 only 234,000 – an 81 percent decline from the 1997 high, 48 percent decline from the 18- year average, and just over 10 percent per year. What has caused such a decline? The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, which studies Read more ...

A common pesticide may be a menace to pollinators. Know how to protect them.

Many homeowners want to throw a lifeline to beleaguered bees and butterflies by planting pollinator gardens that will provide sustenance and habitat, but the unwitting use of insecticides may lure these beloved insects to their doom. The worry is that a common type of pesticide known as neonicotinoids, or neonics, will poison honeybees, bumblebees, monarch Read more ...

Cheerios Giving Bees A Buzz-Worthy 3,300 Acres Of Flowers To Pollinate

On April 26, General Mills announced that the farms that supply oats for Honey Nut Cheerios will plant approximately 3,300 acres of habitat for bees and other pollinators by 2020. It’s a size of land that is equivalent to “3,000 football fields,” Tom Rabaey, principal agronomist for General Mills, said in a video for Cheerios. “I Read more ...

City of Milwaukie Protects Pollinators from Pesticide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Mark Gamba: Mayor of Milwaukie, Oregon, gambam@milwaukieoregon.gov, 971-404-5274 Aimee Code: Pesticide Program Director, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation;aimee@xerces.org, 541 232-9767   City of Milwaukie, Ore., Protects Pollinators from Pesticide Milwaukie, Ore., joins more than 20 cities across the United States by passing a resolution to protect pollinators from highly toxic insecticides   PORTLAND, Ore., Read more ...

Gardeners can help protect butterfly populations

Bees aren’t the only pollinators suffering from a massive North American die-off. Butterflies and moths, those flying flowers of the insect world, are disappearing too. “But the situation isn’t hopeless,” says Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, in Portland, Oregon. “Anybody — gardeners or butterfly lovers — can make Read more ...

This Is What Dessert Would Look Like Without Bees

Bad news for those with a sweet tooth: the absence of pollinators such as bees and butterflies would signal the end of dessert as we know it. Whole Foods Market recently removed all products from an area of the supermarket reliant on the creatures, mirroring past initiatives in the diary aisle and the produce section. Read more ...

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Contact Us

Email us with your questions and comments about the Aquatic Program.

Questions about the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership or dragonflies? Email us here.

Aquatic Conservation
Take Action!
Dragonfly Pond Watch

Contribute your local dragonfly sightings to this Migratory Dragonfly Partnership (MDP) citizen science project. Learn more.

Identification Guides
Field Guide for Migratory Dragonflies

Download the MDP field guide and view additional Xerces guides to identify stream and wetland invertebrates. Click here.

Stonefly (Isoperla sp.) by David Funk.
Common Green Darner by Walter Chadwick.
Western Freshwater Mussels and Biomonitor Volunteer by Celeste Mazzacano.