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Advocating for Change

Rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis). (Photo: Xerces Society / Sarina Jepsen)
Thanks to the Xerces Society's and partners' efforts, in 2017, the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) became the first bumble bee to be listed as endangered in the continental United States. (Photo: Xerces Society / Sarina Jepsen)

The Xerces Society serves as the voice for the "little things that run the world." From the world’s rarest butterflies, to caddisflies that live solely in one stream, to declining bumble bees, we are dedicated to protecting invertebrates and the ecosystems that depend on them—no matter how long it takes. Our scientists seek to minimize the threats pesticides pose to invertebrates by advocating reduced usage, safer products, and more effective evaluation and regulation—including by providing support to communities in the process of adopting pesticide reduction plans. In the realm of pollinator conservation, we work with federal agencies to incorporate the needs of pollinators and other invertebrates into national conservation programs. We engage lawmakers to pass legislation to improve habitat for invertebrates. We also promote invertebrate protection under the Endangered Species Act and other federal and state laws.


Some Recent Accomplishments

  • Securing protection for one of North America's rarest butterflies, the island marble (Euchloe ausonides insulana) in 2018 and 2020.

  • The first bee listed as endangered in the continental United States. In 2017, the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) was afforded protection under the Endangered Species Act.

  • Over one million acres of habitat for monarch butterflies have been restored or created due to our advocacy to attain endangered species protection for this beloved species.

  • Twenty-eight communities in twelve states have banned the use of neonicotinoid insecticides thanks to guidance and support from Xerces scientists.

  • More than ten thousand people have signed the Pollinator Protection Pledge, creating a network of pollinator advocates that extends beyond the United States.

  • Engaged thousands of volunteers in community science projects, including Bumble Bee Watch, Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper, and Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, a two-decade-old project that has documented the decline of the monarch butterfly in western North America.