This spreadsheet is the underlying data for the biodiversity indicator D1c, Status of pollinating insects.
Nature is essential for human health and well-being. Pollination is an important ecosystem service that benefits agricultural and horticultural production, and is essential for sustaining wild flower biodiversity; bees and hoverflies are popular insects. Pollination depends on the abundance, distribution and diversity of pollinators. It is therefore important to assess the population dynamics and distribution of those species that provide the service: the pollinators. Wild bees and other insect pollinators are probably less abundant in total than they were in the 1950s, and many species have become less widespread, particularly those species associated with semi-natural habitats. At the same time, a smaller number have become more widespread. This may have implications for the pollination service they provide to crops and wild flowers (Potts et al. 2010; Garratt et al. 2014).
Occupancy of pollinators refers to the overall area where each species is found and does not refer directly to their abundance. The reduction in the index shows that overall pollinators are becoming more restricted in their distributions so that on average in any one place the diversity of pollinator species found is reduced. This does not necessarily mean that the abundance of pollinators has declined, as some species may have become more abundant. National level data on changes in abundance of pollinators is not currently available.
The indicator illustrates changes in pollinator distribution (bees and hoverflies) in the UK between 1980 and 2010. The indicator is based on 213 species of pollinator (105 species of bee and 108 species of hoverfly), and measures change in the number of 1km grid squares across the UK in which they were recorded - this is referred to as the 'occupancy index'. Bees and hoverflies are key pollinators and are presented here as an indicator of overall pollinator trend. Other taxonomic groups (e.g. some butterflies and moths) can provide pollination services but are not yet included in the indicator.
This is one of a suite of 24 UK biodiversity indicators published by JNCC on behalf of Defra; the latest publication date was 19 January 2016 - for indicator D1c the latest data are for 2010. The supporting technical document details the methodology used to create the indicator.