Endangered: Bumble Bees
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Life and Arts

Endangered: Bumble Bees

The race against extinction

WHAT IT IS

  • March 2017: The “Rusty Patched” bumble bee is officially listed on the endangered species list.1

  • There has been an 87% decline in their population in the last 20 years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).2

  • The bumble bee is only present in 0.1% of it’s “natural range.”3

  • The bumble bee is currently receiving protection under the Endangered Species Act.

PROTECTIONS UNDER

THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT (1973)4

No harm

Listed species are protected by law

from being killed or harmed

Safe space

Habitat essential to these species’ survival are listed as federally protected lands

Plan

The USFWS is required to create and implement plans to restore the listed species

Awareness

Listing species as endangered gives the problem public awareness which leads to

public involvement

WHY IT'S HAPPENING

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

CCD occurs when a majority of worker bees disappear, leaving behind plenty of food and the queen bee. As a result, the hive dies without the worker bees to care for the colony. It is unclear what causes CCD.5

 

 

Constant battles

Diseases caused by parasites, pathogens, and pesticides, as well as loss of habitat from intensive farming, are all known factors contributing to the loss.6

 

 

Climate change

Researchers at University of Ottawa in Canada point to snow melting earlier, causing flowers to bloom sooner. Researchers also found some species of bees are migrating north.12 7 

 

WHY BEES ARE IMPORTANT

Food

Bees help maintain human's food supply in a major way. Bees pollinate about 90 commercial crops including nuts, blueberries, cranberries, vegetables.8 If extinct, the global agricultural system would be in serious jeopardy.11

 

 

Life cycles

“Without them, our forests, parks, meadows and shrub-lands, and the abundant, vibrant life they support, cannot survive.”9 -Tom Melius of USFWS

 

 

Economy

The economic value of bees is estimated at $3 billion per year in the U.S.10

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required to develop a recovery plan.13

  • President Trump is threatening protections under the Endangered Species Act.14 President Trump believes the act fails to protect animals and harms businesses.15
  • Poll from Tulchin Research found that 90% of Americans support the Endangered Species Act. 16 17

 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

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