There has been a global alarm due to numerous reports and studies highlighting the receding number of natural insect pollinators as this can greatly impact our agriculture and apiculture industry as well as the forests due to their intricate role in natural cross pollination. But it is also important to note that in addition to bees, several species native (indigenous) bee species, moths and butterflies, pollination friendly species of beetles and flies, pollinator birds like different species of humming birds and other small passerine species contributing to cross pollination; as well as different bat species helping in nocturnal pollination are seriously endangered and pushed towards extinction due to various detrimental anthropogenic factors like pollution, over application of agro-chemicals, change in land use patterns, lack of foraging plant species and rapid degradation of their natural habitats.
As latest research is finding out that several species of snails and slugs (mollusks), reptiles and amphibians are also involved in cross pollination of several endangered plants in exotic and remote tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems; they are also unfortunately being threatened with extinction due to encroachments by humans into their sensitive and highly fragile ecological habitats sensitive to any kind of anthropogenic disturbances. It is sad that humanity is failing to be truly humanitarian in saving several highly valuable pollinator species across the green planet and jeopardizing both our ecological as well as economical future. Long term comprehensive conservative measures are hence needs to protect all these pollinator species in their natural habitats. Connecting ecology and economy together with food security is therefore important for the long term sustainability of our planet.
Saikat Kumar Basu,