Rusty Patched Bumblebee Named to the Endangered Species List

Kris Maher reported yesterday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “The rusty patched bumblebee was named to the endangered species list Tuesday, the first bee species in the continental U.S. to receive that designation amid widespread bee losses in the past two decades.

“A prodigious pollinator, the rusty patched bumblebee has disappeared from much of its range on the prairies and grasslands of the Upper Midwest and Northeast. Its population has crashed by 87% since the late 1990s, according to federal officials, putting it on the brink of extinction.

“‘Pollinators are small but mighty parts of the natural mechanism that sustains us and our world,’ said Tom Melius, Midwest Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which made the designation. ‘Listing the bee as endangered will help us mobilize partners and focus resources on finding ways right now to stop the decline.'”

The Journal article noted that, “The Fish and Wildlife Service blamed several factors on the bee’s decline, including loss of habitat, parasites, disease and pesticides. Mr. Melius said people should plant native flowers, even in small urban plots, and limit the use of pesticides, to help the bee recover. Experts said the listing could affect the approval process for some construction sites and other land use.”

Meanwhile, Tatiana Schlossberg and John Schwartz reported in today’s New York Times that, “Federal wildlife officials noted that the process of listing a species as endangered can take years, sometimes even decades. More than 300 species have been listed during the Obama administration, second only to the more than 500 species listed under President Bill Clinton.”

The Times article added that, “The incoming Trump administration, however, would need to undertake a lengthy process to declare the rusty-patched bumblebee population recovered if it wished to reverse this week’s decision, and it would be required by law to justify its action on scientific grounds.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.