Lawsuit launched to protect Minnesota’s endangered rusty patched bumble bee

Image of rusty patched bumble bee on flower.

(Center for Biological Diversity) The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice today of its intent to sue the city of Minnetonka, Minnesota, for failing to protect endangered rusty patched bumble bees from a planned mountain-bike course in Lone Lake Park, home to one of the largest populations of the bee in the state. “The Endangered Species Act is 99% effective at protecting our most imperiled wildlife, but it can only work when its mandates are followed.”

Rusty patched bumble bee found at Iowa nature center

The actual image of the rusty patched bumble bee taken by Amy Loving.

(Quad-City Times) Amy Loving was working at Davenport’s Nahant Marsh Education Center, taking photos of bees and other insects buzzing around the building in preparation for an upcoming program. Spotting a bee in some white clover, she crouched down to get a shot. Back inside the center some time later, she was scrolling through her images when suddenly she felt her heart begin to race. One of her pictures showed a bee with a rusty patch in its yellow backside.

Protecting insect habitats is saving multitudes

Image of American burying beetle being held in hands.

(Reasons to be Cheerful) Over the past couple of months, construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has faced two legal challenges. One is from a Native American tribe concerned that pipeline workers might spread the coronavirus to their communities. The other is driven, in part, by an inch-long beetle. A colorful scavenger of grasslands and forest understories, the American burying beetle is an endangered species, and on April 15, a federal judge in Montana ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers, in its haste to build the pipeline, had violated the insect’s protected status. The Endangered Species Act has been a conservation triumph for numerous species, including insects.

Judge rejects Trump administration attempt to toss endangered species lawsuit

Image of bears in a field.

(The Hill) A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to dismiss a challenge to its rollback of endangered species protections, ruling late Monday that the 17-state lawsuit can proceed. The August rule significantly weakens protections under the landmark Endangered Species Act, allowing economic factors to be weighed before adding an animal to the list and limiting how aspects such as climate change can be considered in listing decisions.

Iowa farm group restoring habitat for bees, fish

Image of waterway.

(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’s rare blue bee rediscovered at Lake Wales Ridge

Close up of blue calamintha bee.

(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.

Endangered Species Act protection sought for Suckley’s cuckoo bumble bee

Image of Suckley's bumble bee.

(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.

Federally protected lands reduce habitat loss and protect endangered species

Satellite map of United States.

(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.