The Great Participatory Pollinator Project

About This Project


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Global pollinator crisis research and design to focus on radically increasing pollinator populations in urban natural systems can test most relevant parameters of ecosystems science and the understudied tropical monsoon forests*. Using the density of (interested) humans as a positive we create ‘radical pedagogy’ through enlisting participants into urban systems intervention, instructing  on provision and nectar plants, density and spatial requirements of plants for specific pollinator lifestyles.

Turbo-charging the reproduction of diverse plants builds complex community structure.

1. Use the reproductive power and rapid life cycle of pollinators to increase plant reproduction and biodiversity and build forests; investigate flowering phenology and pollinator assemblages in the various forest types, describe plant–pollinator interactions as new Aesops Fables while x pollinator population is not saturated, to:

  • augment and increase population by distributing eggs for guided human care
  • provide geo-specific release instructions
  • provide ongoing phenological notebooks for observations
  • stage monthly open-book exhibitions

2. Increase the population of beetle pollinators.

Beetles,  with their diverse lifestyles, their perplexing “force of nature,” are pollinators, decomposers, and the strongest animals in the world. After social bees (32%), beetles are the most prodigious pollinators in relation to the general flowering observed in dipterocarp forests.

“Every claim about Alfred Russel Wallace and evolution is incorrect…Wallace deserves more attention…”

Alfred Russel Wallace1 based his theory of evolution on the Malay Pannifsular/Archipelago and included 80000 beetles of the  126,000 specimens collected.

The Anthropocene invites us to revisit Wallace’s concerns with distribution, population of speciation in changing climate and ecological conditions. The biogeochemical effects are most sensitively displayed and potentially disrupted, predominantly through the phenology of  organisms. Phenological observation are the primary integrative and precondition for mutualism.

Wallace was a social activist who also used authority of natural systems to counter eugenics. The transformations in knowledge production from the era of “ collect and theorize” to the contemporary “design and improve”  idea that appropriated scientific work and was particularly interested in the integrative science of populations and species.

“The problem then was not only how and why do species change, but how and why do they change into new and well defined species, distinguished from each other in so many ways; why and how they become so exactly adapted to distinct modes of life; and why do all the intermediate grades die out (as geology shows they have died out) and leave only clearly defined and well marked species, genera, and higher groups of animals?[68]”

Others have used beetles to ask important questions. Haldane discussed the prevalence of stars and beetles in his book What is life? published in the 1940s [HWIL].  The Creator would appear as endowed with a passion for stars, on the one hand, and for beetles on the other, for the simple reason that there are nearly 300,000 species of beetles known, and perhaps more, as compared with somewhat less than 9,000 species of birds and a little over 10,000 species of mammals. Beetles are actually more numerous than the species of any other insect order…a characteristic of nature.

Wallace collected over 800 species in a single outing at Bukit Timah and commented widely on the local megabiodiverisity.

3.  Increase the population of pollinators to augment amphibian populations in the amphibian species extinction crisis.

Two  strategies:

  1. Conventional raise and release methods  (cf Raffles Museum)
  2. Raise in situ improving,  adapting and designing diverse habitats from larval microhabitats to frog opera houses.

Habitat creation challenges the WSUB with organism centric design and provides a different but powerful metric of success –specifically population increase of relevant species.

Providing vernal and ephemeral habitat that incorporate a filter-mix in surrounding micro-catchments, including biochar, sand and chitin-dreivative to remove hydrocarbon pollutants or other urban stressors known to impact frogs.

18 of Singapore’s 24 native anurans can be found in forest fragments close to urban facilities and therefore can be easily coupled to guided generative designs.

4. Public experiments – participatory research and redisigning our relationship to natural systems. 

  • Direct greywater outlet from a your bath tub/shower to a constructed vernal pond.
  • Design seepage and evapartion to match bathing schedule
  • Direct water through passive char-sand-chitin filter
  • Observe volunteer organisms as nonhuman clients for architectural/socio-ecological design services
  • Increasing the population of pollinators to increase survivability of critically-insect-dependent fledglings and investigation the forest types with  diverse pollinator communities.
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