(Michigan Technological University) Three-quarters of those surveyed said a species deserves special protections if it had been driven to extinction from any more than 30 percent of its historic range. Not everyone was in perfect agreement. Some were more accepting of losses.
The impact of the Australian wildfires has been devastating and terrifying. They pose a very real danger to the country’s immensely diverse insect populations. But the bushfires may have put one species of native Australian bee on the teetering brink of extinction.
(NC State) A new study from North Carolina State University shows that ongoing habitat management could help prevent hurricane-driven extinctions. The study found that a rare Florida plant, the pineland croton, weathered the damage from Hurricane Irma better in plots that were under human management than those left alone. This rare plant is the only host plant for two species of endangered butterfly – Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak and the Florida leafwing. Without croton, the butterflies will go extinct.
(Center for Biological Diversity) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it will move forward with considering Endangered Species Act protection for the Gulf Coast solitary bee and Bethany Beach firefly. Both coastal species face increasing threats from climate-driven sea-level rise, unchecked coastal development and pesticides.
(Center for Biological Diversity) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing Bradshaw’s desert parsley, a wet prairie wildflower, from the list of endangered species this week due to the plant’s successful recovery. Insects observed to pollinate this plant include some small native bees.
(AP) As a 400-pound explosive resounds in the distance, a tiny St. Francis Satyr butterfly flits among the splotchy leaves, ready to lay as many as 100 eggs. One of Earth’s rarest butterfly species, there are maybe 3,000 St. Francis Satyrs. There are never going to be enough of them to get off the endangered species list, but they’re not about to go extinct either – thanks in great measure to the 46-year-old federal act.
(StarTribune) The federally endangered bumble bee — a single male of the species — has been discovered at the Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area in Inver Grove Heights, a positive sign for ecologists who have worked on restoring the area. Just one bee represents approximately 0.2 percent of the species’ known world population. Minnesota hosts the largest population of the bee in the world, with about 35 percent of the species buzzing about in the Twin Cities metro area.
(Washington University in St. Louis) Faced with unprecedented change in their environments, animals and plants are scrambling to catch up — with mixed results. Researchers have developed a new model that helps to predict the types of changes that could drive a given species to extinction. This model could give wildlife managers and conservation organizations insight into the potential vulnerabilities of different species based on relatively simple assessments of their natural histories and historical environments.