(UPI) The Iowa Soybean Association is leading a project to convert several acres of unused agricultural land to habitat for endangered native bees and fish in coming years. The project is targeting habitat for the rusty patched bumble bee. Syngenta, a global seed and pesticide company, has agreed to provide tens of thousands of dollars of upcoming work.
(Florida Museum of Natural History) Florida’s iconic wildlife includes the American alligator, the Florida panther, the scrub jay and the manatee. But some species unique to the state are less familiar, like the ultra-rare blue calamintha bee. First described in 2011, scientists weren’t sure the bee still existed. But that changed this spring when a Florida Museum of Natural History researcher rediscovered the metallic navy insects.
(Center for Biological Diversity) The Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned for Endangered Species Act protection today for the critically imperiled Suckley’s cuckoo bumble bee, which has declined by more than 90 percent. The bee is unusual in that it is a “cuckoo” or social parasite that takes over the nests of other bumblebees. Due to habitat loss, Suckley’s now mostly survives on public land, where it is still threatened by grazing, over-use of pesticides and fire suppression.
(Tufts University) Using more than 30 years of earth satellite images, scientists at Tufts University and Defenders of Wildlife have discovered that habitat loss for imperiled vertebrate species in the U.S. during that period was more than twice as great on non-protected private lands than on federally protected lands.
(Center for Biological Diversity) The Center for Biological Diversity has sued the Trump administration for failing to decide whether 241 plants and animals across the country should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Among the species covered by the lawsuit is the western bumble bee, whose population has declined 84 percent over the past two decades.
(CapRadio) Last June, the California Fish and Game Commission decided to list four bees as candidates to be endangered species, writing that there was a “substantial possibility” that the bees would end up protected by the act. Their candidacy provides temporary protection. But many agricultural interests are upset over the listing, and are suing to stop the insects from joining the more than 250 species protected by the act.
(Xerces Society) The Xerces Society, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Food Safety contend that the California Fish and Game Commission has clear legal authority to place insects on the state’s endangered species list. There is also strong scientific support that these four bee species meet the requirements for listing. Under the current regulatory timeline, the Commission is likely to make a final decision to place these four species on the list this year, making these bees the first invertebrate pollinators to receive such protection in California.
(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.