Xerces Blog

Updates and perspective on invertebrate conservation

Rusty patched bumble bee deserves protection, not delay

By - Senior Endangered Species Conservation Biologist

Published on February 10, 2017
Tags: , ,

Today, February 10, 2017, the rusty patched bumble bee was slated to receive the federal protection it so clearly deserves. Unfortunately, the Executive Order signed by the president on Inauguration Day freezing all new regulations while the new administration reviews “questions of fact, law, and policy they raise” has unnecessarily delayed the implementation of this rule until March 21, 2017—60 days after the Executive Order was signed.

In the case of the Endangered Species Act and the rusty patched bumble bee, the law and the science are plain. According to the law, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under authority of the Department of the Interior, must make an endangered species listing decision “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available”. The scientific evidence for the decline of the rusty patched bumble bee is undeniable, and has been reviewed by the USFWS, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and multiple independent peer-reviewed scientific studies. In short, there is scientific consensus that this species is critically endangered and agreement that current regulations are inadequate to protect this species and help it down the road to recovery.

Since the Xerces Society filed a petition in 2013 to have this species listed as endangered, it has been under consideration by the USFWS. The rule published by the USFWS in January of 2017 (along with associated documents) provided clear and convincing evidence that this species is in immediate danger of extinction and in need of federal protection under the …

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About the Blog

Our blog features posts about conservation written by Xerces Society staff. To see older posts, visit the archive.

Recent Posts:
  • Rusty patched bumble bee deserves protection, not delay

  • 2017 Monarch Numbers Are Down, Lengthening a Worrying Trend

  • The Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count at 20: A record volunteer effort, but disappointing butterfly numbers

  • Western Monarch Conservation: A 40 Year History

  • Plants for Pollinators: Giant Hyssop

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  • Photo: Xerces staff leading a field day at the Lockeford Plant Materials Center in California, Jim Cairns (USDA-NRCS).