Feds agree to consider Western Bumblebees an endangered species

Federal wildlife biologists said…they will consider protecting the native western bumblebee as an endangered species.

Once widespread, bumblebees have declined across western North America and, for at least one type, it may be too late.

A Defenders of Wildlife petition drove the decision by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials to launch a scientific review to determine whether bumblebees need federal protection to survive.

The petition declares western bumblebees at risk of extinction — hammered by habitat loss in the face of development and population growth, disease, pesticides and climate change…

Bees, including native bumblebees, play key roles as pollinators of flowering plants and agricultural crops from the Dakotas to California and Alaska to Mexico.

Wildlife advocates in recent years have urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to do more to try to stop the spread of disease to wild bees. They asked federal regulators to control commercial bumblebees and, in particular, prohibit transport of bumblebees beyond their native ranges. They contend commercial bumblebees should move between states only when certified as disease-free.

Sensible. I suppose it’s asking too much of government since the Age of Reagan to consider scientific caution sufficient reason to regulate any sort of interstate commerce. It’s not like we’re considering the productivity of American foodstuffs as mission-critical, eh?

3 thoughts on “Feds agree to consider Western Bumblebees an endangered species

    • Update says:

      Federal wildlife officials on Thursday made a formal recommendation to list the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species because it has disappeared from about 90% of its historic range in just the past two decades.
      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the recommendation after the Portland, Oregon-based Xerces Society petitioned the agency on behalf of the bee in 2013 and presented studies showing it was struggling due to a combination of disease, habitat loss, climate change and overuse of pesticides on commercial crops.
      If approved, the species would be the first bee listed as endangered in the continental United States, said Rich Hatfield, senior conservation biologist with the Xerces Society. http://www.allgov.com/news/controversies/government-urges-that-bumble-bee-be-placed-on-endangered-species-list-160923?news=859508

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