The Power of Every Landscape
It’s no secret to followers of this blog that I encourage the use of regional native plants because they have co-evolved with other living things and support our ecosystems. These symbiotic relationships are fundamental to a healthy environment.
The great news is that every backyard, every community garden, every rooftop garden, every commercial landscape and every container on a patio can help improve our environment.
Here are some of the reasons why we need to take our role as ecological stewards seriously:
– The Living Planet Index which tracks vertebrate species across the globe, shows a 30% decline in vertebrate species from 1970 – 2008.
– The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) recently announced that 20,934 species are threatened with extinction worldwide, and 70,294 species are of concern, on their “Red List.”
– The U.S. Geological Survey of May 2013 reported that 1/3 of amphibian species are imperiled and stated “declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.”
– The National Audubon Society announced that since 1967 the average population of common birds in steepest decline has plummeted by 68% decline. Some species have plummeted by as much as 80%.
– In April 2013, the Xerces Society reported that the population of overwintering Monarch butterflies in California has nose-dived by 80% since 1997.
– U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lists 23 butterfly species as threatened or endangered. The Xerces Society’s “Red List” is even larger, citing 50 butterfly species.
– The average loss for U.S. beekeepers for the winter of 2012 – 2013 was 45.1% of colonies, as reported by the Bee Informed Partnership.
– 34% of conifer species (pines, firs, spruces, cedar, etc.) are threatened with extinction as stated by the IUCN. This is particularly concerning since conifer forests sequester 3 times the amount of carbon that temperate or tropical forests do.
We cannot solve all environmental problems in our gardens and landscapes, but we can make an enormous difference!
Plant Some Regional Native Plants this Labor Day Weekend!
by Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!
Photo: Red Eft (Juvenile Eastern Newt)
Photo credit: Flickr/Dave Huth
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