January 13, 2017

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species — the first such designation for a bumblebee and for a bee species in the continental U.S."

NPR: The protected status, which goes into effect on Feb. 10, includes requirements for federal protections and the development of a recovery plan. It also means that states with habitats for this species are eligible for federal funds. by Merrit Kennedy

'"Today's Endangered Species listing is the best—and probably last—hope for the recovery of the rusty patched bumble bee," NRDC Senior Attorney Rebecca Riley said in a statement from the Xerces Society, which advocates for invertebrates. "Bumble bees are dying off, vanishing from our farms, gardens, and parks, where they were once found in great numbers."

'Large parts of the Eastern and Midwestern United States were once crawling with these bees, Bombus affinis, but the bees have suffered a dramatic decline in the last two decades due to habitat loss and degradation, along with pathogens and pesticides.'

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