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California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462, Darlene Robbis, Pollinators Work Group, (240) 535-2729 , Fred Deneke, Pollinators Work Group, (928) 642-8947; Samantha Scalise, Pollinators Work Group,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #08-054
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Pollinator tour in Davis area scheduled for August 27

SACRAMENTO, August 26, 2008 - With the widespread issue of hive collapse affecting agriculture around the world, CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura is promoting and supporting the Native Pollinators In Agriculture Work Group, which is conducting a field tour of working farms in Yolo County on Wednesday, August 27, 2008.

Secretary Kawamura is working with the projectís steering committee as it examines real world opportunities to enhance pollination services and profitability with native pollinators, such as native bumblebees and other bees native to California; some moths; and even fruit bats. Notably, honeybees are not native to California.

The field tour will leave by bus from the Hallmark Inn in Davis at 7:45 a.m. and will return around 5:00 p.m. Media are invited to attend.

Through its work to date, the steering committee has found that the decline in pollinator populations is real and that these declines represent a critical challenge for U.S. agriculture. Over eighty percent of the world's food and fiber crops require insects and animals for pollination. In recent years, specialists have documented dramatic declines in pollinator populations and disruptions in pollinator services worldwide. These factors have led to declines in crop yields, higher food prices, and loss of biodiversity along with changes in ecosystem function and health.

The steering committee is working to create an agriculture-led pollinator protection alliance to provide strategic leadership in mobilizing the agricultural sector to embrace and work proactively in support of efforts to increase populations of native pollinators and enhance pollination services.

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814