Regional Guidebooks of Current Practices for Roadside Pollinator Conservation and Endangered Species Act Compliance

Pollinating insect populations are declining. As a result, there is increased interest in protecting pollinators along roadways. Several insect pollinators have been petitioned for listing, or listed, under state laws and the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Many of the species listed to date have had limited spatial distributions, but species with more widespread ranges are now being considered. State DOTs face uncertainty in practices to best design and maintain roadsides to accomplish the legislative mandate of providing safe transportation while conserving species and, in cases of listed species, complying with state laws and the ESA. This project will compile information on current and previous conservation and compliance strategies and practices across the United States to inform state DOTs as they determine how best to conserve, maintain, and improve roadside pollinator habitat. Over 30 species of butterflies, skippers, and moths are listed as threatened or endangered, as well as a fly, beetle, three bats and several birds (US Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS]). While most of these species are listed because they have limited remaining habitat areas, some of that habitat is on roadsides, and state DOTs have already worked out approaches to maintenance and conservation in those areas. The techniques developed and lessons learned by those DOTs can be transferred to other DOTs and local transportation agencies to help as additional pollinating insects may become candidates for listing under the ESA, especially species that were historically more widely distributed. For example, the once widely occurring rusty-patched bumble bee was recently added to the list and the western bumble bee and Monarch butterfly are under consideration for listing, both of which are found across multiple states. The objective of this project is to build on the existing syntheses of best management practices (BMP) for pollinator habitat in general by adding information on strategies for complying with regulatory requirements for currently listed, and preparing for future possible listing of additional, insect pollinators. The main synthesis of information will focus on best practices shared by transportation agencies, upcoming research, and approaches to conservation of pollinating insects listed under the ESA. This information could be used to contribute to a template Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances, for development of BMPs for credits under Section 4 of the USFWS Director’s Order 218, “Policy Regarding Voluntary Prelisting Conservation Actions” or for development of a Habitat Conservation Plan for candidate or future-listed pollinators on roadsides.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 25-59

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Rogers, William

  • Start Date: 20181112
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01672565
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 25-59
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 18 2018 3:03PM