Bumblebee Has Officially Been Added to the Ever-Growing List of Endangered Species

It seems that there is no end to endangering the variety of species in our planet. Another specie was added to this list, and that is, the bumblebee, along with 700 other animal species like the northern spotted owl, the gray wolf, grizzly bear, etc.

Bumble bee or scientifically recognized as Bombu saffinis got its name due to the red patch in its abdomen. But, due to the ongoing pollution this bee reached to be on the endangered list of species this year, although originally the listing date as an endangered species was set for February 2018.

James Stranger, a research entomologist, and Bumblebee ecologist, warns about their extinction:

There are a few little spots where we know they are. But only a really few spots.”

The National Geographic states the following:

The rusty-patched bumblebee (Bombusaffinis), once a common sight, is “now balancing precariously on the brink of extinction,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Once thriving in 28 states and the District of Columbia, but over the past two decades, the bee’s population has plummeted nearly 90 percent. There are more than 3,000 bee species in the United States, and about 40 belong to the genus Bombus—the bumblebees.

Advocates for the rusty-patched bumblebee’s listing are abuzz with relief, but it may be the first skirmish in a grueling conflict over the fate of the Endangered Species Act under the Trump administration.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emphasize the importance of bumble bee in agriculture:

Bumblebees are among the most important pollinators of crops such as blueberries, cranberries, and clover, and almost the only insect pollinators of tomatoes. The economic value of pollination services provided by native insects (mostly bees) is estimated at $3 billion per year in the United States.”

Sarah Jepsen, a director of endangered species at Xerces Society reported:

We are thrilled to see one of North America’s most endangered species receive the protection it needs. Now that the Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the rusty-patched bumble bee as endangered, it stands a chance of surviving the many threats it faces — from the use of neonicotinoid pesticides to diseases.”

Humans have significantly contributed in their decline in number and one of the affecting factors was the human encroachment that led to the loss of their natural habitat. Although they are on this list, it will in fact help in the protection of the grasslands, their natural habitat, allowing them to thrive and that will be of great help for the other pollinators as well. 

Rich Hatfield, a senior conservation biologist at Xerces Society, maintains:

While this listing clearly supports the rusty patched bumble bee, the entire suite of pollinators that share its habitat, and which are so critical to natural ecosystems and agriculture, will also benefit.

This is a positive step towards the conservation of this species, and we now have to roll up our sleeves to begin the actual on-the-ground conservation that will help it move toward recovery.”

However, this listing imitated controversy among the National Cotton Council of America, American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Home Builders, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and two entities to the Secretary of the Interior and Acting Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, so that they submitted petition in getting a year’s delay in the listing, since “the implications of this hasty listing decision are difficult to overstate.”

This petition opposes the listing of this bee as “one of the most significant species listings in decades in terms of scope and impact on human activities.”

Yet, it is a fact that over one-third of the plants grown in the United States depend on pollinators. On the other hand, the population of this bee dramatically gets lower as a result of the destruction of natural resources via monoculture and overuse of pesticides and herbicides on GMO crops. Therefore, opposing the listing of this bee is not valid as we need every living pollinator for our crops.

According to the beliefs of many people the conservation efforts should have started earlier and that it should be signed an agreement urging the listing of the bumble bee.

Sources:

beyondblindfold.com

nationalgeographic.com