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Australia

Kangaroo Island

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Conservation benefit: Saving the native green carpenter bee from extinction

Date Approved: 04.2020

In early 2020, the worst bushfires in history tore across Australia, causing unprecedented destruction. Prompted by images of the country’s iconic koalas and kangaroos dead or injured, support poured in from people around the world. At the same time, some lesser-known species face an even greater threat.

One such species is the green carpenter bee. These once abundant shimmering green and gold pollinators had already lost most of their historic habitat before the fires. The only populations left were on Kangaroo Island and in part of New South Wales—and the bushfires devastated both areas.

On Kangaroo Island, the fires destroyed most of the trees that the bees nest in, such as banksia and yacca. (Unlike most bees, which nest in groups, the solitary green carpenter bee burrows into soft wood to make its nest.) Without a place to nest, the species is in danger of rapid extinction.

Working with the Australian conservation group the Wheen Bee Foundation, Seacology is providing a critical lifeline for these native bees. We are funding hundreds of artificial nests, which will be placed in key areas on Kangaroo Island. They will provide crucial nesting habitat for the carpenter bees while the trees grow back.

This project will fund enough nests for the next three years—a critical period that will make or break the future of the species.

This project was funded by our Earth Day 2020 crowdfunding campaign. We are deeply grateful to those who, in such a difficult time, supported this unique campaign to save a species from extinction!

Project Updates

July 2020

Thanks to many donors, we will be funding four years’ worth of artificial nesting material for green carpenter bees on Kangaroo Island! Our crowdfunding campaign raised even more than our original goal, and we are looking forward to helping the bees make it through the next few critical years. Huge thanks to all the generous folks who are saving this species!

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