This project was established because state wildlife diversity programs were aware of a number of rare pollinators that depend on these habitats. The main objective of the project is to improve habitat condition across the region - but a side benefit is that we are learning more about the species diversity of these habitats. While very few of these sites have ongoing pollinator monitoring programs, several have had episodic monitoring from which we have begun to understand the biodiversity of pollinators in and around these habitats.
Halictidae Augochlorella aurata
credit: USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab
254 species of bees have been found at sites participating in this project. Four of these species are listed as Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need.
These bees represent 5 families:
Andrenidae: 35 species (mining bees)
Apidae: 51 species (bumble, cuckoo, and carpenter bees)
Colletidae: 19 species (cellophane bees)
Halictidae: 101 species (sweat bees)
Megachilidae: 45 species (solitary, mason, and leaf-cutter bees)
Butterflies and moths
Many butterflies are habitat specialists because they rely on specific plants to host the larval stage. Monarchs famously rely on milkweed - and many butterflies in barrens habitats rely on the unique plants found in these fire-adapted habitats.
148 species of Lepidoptera have been recorded at these sites through a number of different survey efforts. 31 of these are listed as Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need, and one, the Karner Blue Butterfly, is federally listed Endangered.
Baptisia tinctoria (Wild Indigo)
credit: Helen Lowe Metzman; Howard County Maryland