Letter: Plant native species, protect pollinators
To the Editor:
I had the distinct pleasure to hear Dr. Doug Tallamy, a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware on Nov. 7 in Westport.
Dr. Tallamy warns us that insect populations have crashed 45% since 1974 and that without insects as pollinators humans are in danger. Bees, butterflies and moths are pollinators which are necessary for flowering plants including trees for worldwide food production.
The major takeaway from the talk was the following: Native species like oaks, black cherry, and willow are larval trees for hundreds of pollinators which MUST lay their eggs on these specific trees. Caterpillars hatch and birds like chickadees must feed their young thousands of caterpillars (larvae) to survive. The exotic or foreign trees, bushes, and flowers such as Norway Maple, Autumn Olive, Japanese Maple and others simply do not attract pollinators due to their shorter lifespan in the evolutionary history.
Every one of us can help pollinators by planting native oaks, maples, and willows which insects such as butterflies and moths depend upon. Save the insects and we go a long way to saving all species including our own.
Director, Milford Marine Institute, Milford