(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.
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.