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Kangaroo Island


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 injured or dead koalas and kangaroos, 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. Even before the fires, these once abundant shimmering green and gold bees had already lost most of their historic habitat. 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 bees that 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

February 2021

After making a detailed survey of the island to find remaining bees, volunteers placed 150 nesting stalks around the island during the Australian winter, from June to August. They plan to check the stalks in early 2021 to see how many were being used.

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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 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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