The annual overwintering count of monarch butterflies released today shows a modest population rebound from last year’s lowest-ever count of 34 million butterflies, but is still the second lowest population count since surveys began in 1993. The population was expected to be up this winter due to favorable spring and summer weather conditions in the monarch’s U.S. and Canadian breeding areas, as butterfly populations fluctuate widely with changing weather. But the 56.5 million monarchs currently gathered in Mexico for the winter still represents a population decline of 82 percent from the 20-year average — and a decline of 95 percent from the population highs in the mid-1990s. Read more.
Monarch Numbers Up Slightly, But Butterfly Still at Risk of ExtinctionTuesday, January 27th, 2015
Annual Count Shows that Number of Monarch Butterflies Overwintering in California may be Holding SteadyWednesday, January 14th, 2015
For Immediate Release January 14, 2015 Contact: Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director, Xerces Society; (503) 449-3792, firstname.lastname@example.org Annual Count Shows that Number of Monarch Butterflies Overwintering in California may be Holding Steady Data released today show that monarch butterfly populations at overwintering sites in California may be remaining stable. Volunteers with the 2014 Xerces Society Read more …
Monarch Butterfly Moves Toward Endangered Species Act ProtectionMonday, December 29th, 2014
In response to a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said today that Endangered Species Act protection may be warranted for monarch butterflies. The agency will now conduct a one-year sta-tus review on monarchs, which have declined by 90 percent in the past 20 years.
Pollinator Health Task Force Makes Recommendations to Oregon LegislatureTuesday, November 18th, 2014
For Immediate Release November 19, 2014 Contact: Aimee Code, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, (541) 232-9767 Pollinator Health Task Force Makes Recommendations to Oregon Legislature Majority of task force members see a need for greater oversight of pesticides Salem, OR—On Wednesday, a special Task Force on Pollinator Health delivered a series of recommendations to the Read more …
After 90 Percent Decline, Federal Protection Sought for Monarch ButterflyTuesday, August 26th, 2014
For Immediate Release, August 26, 2014 Contact: Tierra Curry, Center for Biological Diversity, (928) 522-3681 Abigail Seiler, Center for Food Safety, (443) 854-4368 Lincoln Brower, Sweet Briar College, (434) 277-5065 Sarina Jepsen, Xerces Society, (971) 244-3727 After 90 Percent Decline, Federal Protection Sought for Monarch Butterfly Genetically Engineered Crops Are Major Driver in Population Crash Read more …
One of Nation’s Rarest Butterflies Closer to Protection under the Endangered Species ActMonday, August 18th, 2014
OLYMPIA, WA– Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) today issued a positive 90-day finding for the Island Marble Butterfly, determining that protection may be warranted and initiating a status review of the species. Today’s decision resulted from a settlement agreement between the Xerces Society and USFWS. Read more.
Farming with Native Beneficial InsectsMonday, August 4th, 2014
PORTLAND, Ore – Lacewings, lady beetles and flower flies are just a few of the beneficial insect groups that attack crop pests and reduce the need for pesticides. To increase the abundance and diversity of these hardworking insects on farms, the Xerces Society is pleased to announce the release of Farming with Native Beneficial Insects, the most comprehensive book ever developed on the subject of natural pest control. Read more.
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Threatened with ExtinctionTuesday, May 13th, 2014
PORTLAND, Ore.– The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation together with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a complaint today against the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asking them to take action on a petition to grant Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection to the rusty patched bumble bee. Read more.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Removes Controversial Chemicals from Mosquito Management PlanMonday, May 5th, 2014
PORTLAND, Ore.—The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that it will manage mosquitoes on the approximately 300 acres of the Ni-les’tun Unit of the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge using only the biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) to kill mosquito larvae, until the breeding habitat created inadvertently during a restoration project in 2011 has been remediated. Read more.
The Xerces Society, Other Conservation Leaders Participate in White House Pollinator Initiative Stakeholder MeetingThursday, May 1st, 2014
Scott Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, attended the White House Pollinator Initiative Stakeholder meeting Wednesday, and provided oral and written comments on how the White House can protect the diverse array of pollinators. “I am very pleased that the White House is engaged in pollinator conservation,” said Scott Hoffman Black. “We must act now to provide pesticide-free habitat on landscapes across the U.S. to protect these vitally important animals.” The meeting was attended by more than 60 conservationists, researchers, educators, farmers, beekeepers and corporate representatives. Read more.
Scientists, Farmers and Educators Ask the President and Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to Jump Start Recovery of Monarch ButterfliesMonday, April 14th, 2014
PATAGONIA, Ariz.—In a letter delivered to the White House on Monday, leading monarch scientists, farmers, and educators asked President Obama and the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to direct five federal agencies, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, Farm Service Agency and Bureau of Land Management, to establish a monarch butterfly recovery initiative to restore habitat for this species on both public and private lands. Read more.
Xerces and partners comment on proposed insecticide use in Willapa Bay and Grays HarborFriday, February 14th, 2014
The Xerces Society and partners provide comprehensive comments on the proposed use of insecticides to control native burrowing shrimp in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor The comments are in response to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s proposal to develop an Environmental Impact Statement for use of the toxic neonicotinoid imidacloprid for the control of Read more …
Xerces and NRDC ask FWS to take legal steps to protect rusty patched bumble beeThursday, February 13th, 2014
On February 13, 2014, the Xerces Society and NRDC filed a notice of intent to sue the Secretary of the Interior for failure to respond to a petition to list thenrusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Read more.
Save Oregon’s Pollinators Act addresses bee declineMonday, February 10th, 2014
Salem, OR: In response to four separate bee die-offs last summer that killed approximately 55,000 bumble bees, new legislation seeks solutions protect pollinators from insecticides. Save Oregon’s Pollinators Act (House Bill 4139) will get its first hearing with the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in Salem on Tuesday February 11th. Read more.
Number of Monarch butterflies overwintering in California holds steady, but still well below the 1990sFriday, January 31st, 2014
Portland, OR: Data released today show that more monarch butterflies were counted at overwintering sites in California this year compared to last year. While this is welcome news, the number of butterflies is still well below peak numbers from the 1990s. Read more.
Grab Your Camera…Bumble Bee Watch is Here!Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Portland, OR: A new web site launched today allows people to be directly involved in protecting bumble bees throughout North America. BumbleBeeWatch.org enables people to connect with experts and other enthusiasts, and help build a comprehensive picture of where bumble bees are thriving and where they need help. Read more.
Bumble Bee Kills: Negligence Proven, Fines InadequateThursday, December 19th, 2013
Salem, OR: The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) today released a report outlining their findings that several bumble bee kills in 2013 were caused by two neonicotinoid insecticides, dinotefuran and imidacloprid. ODA has levied fines because of negligence on the part of applicators totaling $2,886 for bee kills in Wilsonville, downtown Portland and West Linn. No fines were levied in an incident in Hillsboro. Read more.
Protection for Pollinators: Conservation Groups and Scientists Push USDA to Save Wild Bumble BeesTuesday, October 29th, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore — Leading conservation and science voices renewed their call today for a key federal agency to protect bumble bees in light of numerous threats contributing to population declines. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Defenders of Wildlife and Dr. Robbin Thorp asked the Secretary of Agriculture to take action on a petition to regulate the movement of commercial bumble bees in order to help control the spread of parasites and pathogens to wild bumble bees—at least one species of which may have already been driven to extinction. Read more.
New Report: Beyond the Birds and the BeesTuesday, September 24th, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore — A report released today by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation moves the spotlight from the risks neonicotinoids pose to bees to the impacts of neonicotinoids to invertebrates such as earthworms or lady beetles. Beyond the Birds and the Bees provides a comprehensive review of published articles and pulls together the growing body of research that demonstrates risks from neonicotinoids to these beneficial insects. Read more.
Coos County cancels aerial spraying of 10,000 acresWednesday, September 11th, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Xerces Society applauds Coos County commissioners for listening to local opinion and deciding to cancel a large part of the mosquito spraying plan. Aerial spraying of the adulticide Dibrom will not be done around the city of Bandon or Bandon Marsh NWR. However, treatment of 300 acres of the marsh itself with a larvicide will be done. Read more.
Majority of residents at public meeting speak out against Bandon Marsh spraying planTuesday, September 10th, 2013
Portland, OR: Local residents packed a town hall meeting to express their opposition to spraying Bandon Marsh NWR for the control of nuisance mosquitos. The Xerces Society supports local residents in their opposition to this misguided and likely illegal spraying plan. Read more.
Xerces Society to speak at public meeting for Bandon Marsh sprayingMonday, September 9th, 2013
Portland, OR: A scientist from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation will be attending the public meeting arranged by Coos County later today to join members of the Bandon community in speaking out against the mosquito control spraying proposed for the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. Read more
Bandon Marsh mosquito spraying plan is ineffective and bad for wildlifeTuesday, September 3rd, 2013
Portland, OR: The Xerces Society urges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service not to spray Bandon Marsh NWR for the control of nuisance mosquitos because the treatment will harm wildlife, cause disruption to the refuge ecosystem and will likely not be an effective way to manage mosquitoes. Read more
Blumenauer, Conyers Introduce Save America’s Pollinator ActWednesday, August 7th, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC: Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) joined Representative John Conyers (MI-13) in introducing The Save America’s Pollinators Act. The legislation suspends certain uses of neonicotinoids, a particular type of pesticide that is suspected to play a role in the bee die-offs happening in Oregon and around the world, until the Environmental Protection Agency reviews these chemicals and makes a new determination about their proper application and safe use. Read more
Scientists Call for an End to Cosmetic Insecticide Use After the Largest Bumble Bee Poisoning on RecordThursday, June 27th, 2013
PORTLAND, OR: After the mass poisoning of over 50,000 bumble bees last week in Wilsonville, Oregon and other incidents now being reported in neighboring Washington County, scientists are calling on local officials to ban the cosmetic use of insecticides on city- and county-owned lands. Read more
Pesticide Causes Largest Mass Bumble Bee Death on RecordFriday, June 21st, 2013
Wilsonville, OR – Oregon Department of Agriculture confirms that over 50,000 bumble bee deaths in the parking lot of an OR Target were due to application of insecticide known as Safari. This represents that largest mass bumble bee death on record. Read more
Mystery Bee Kill: Causes Being SoughtTuesday, June 18th, 2013
WILSONVILLE, OR.– Tens of thousands of bumble bees and other pollinators were found dead under trees at the Target store in Wilsonville on Monday, June 17th. The discovery was a strange and ironic start to National Pollinator Week, a symbolic annual event intended to raise public awareness about the plight of bees. Read more
New Report Provides Guidance on Mosquito Management that Protects People and WetlandsWednesday, April 3rd, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore.—A new report released today by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation shows that public education and targeted mosquito management efforts are the best way to both protect communities from mosquito-borne diseases and protect wetland health. Read more
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Threatened with ExtinctionTuesday, January 29th, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore.— The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation filed a petition today with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the rusty patched bumble bee. This animal was once very common from the Upper Midwest to the East Coast and was an important pollinator of crops and wildflowers.
New Study: Bark beetle outbreak not the culprit in recent rash of western firesWednesday, January 23rd, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore.—A new paper published today in the Natural Areas Journal indicates that bark beetle outbreaks that have turned millions of acres of forests in the Inter-mountain West a noticeable red coloration (from tree death) do not substantially increase the risk of active crown fire in lodgepole pine and spruce forests as commonly assumed.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Federal Protection for the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly and its HabitatTuesday, October 23rd, 2012
On October 11, 2012, in response to a petition from the Xerces Society and partners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori) as an endangered species and designate critical habitat. This butterfly’s native prairie habitat is one of the rarest ecosystems in the U.S., with 90 Read more …
Arapahoe Snowfly on the Brink of ExtinctionTuesday, April 26th, 2011
DENVER, Colo. — Responding to a petition from a coalition of conservation groups and scientists the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) today issued a positive 90-day finding for the Arapahoe snowfly (Capnia arapahoe) determining that protection may be warranted and initiating a status review of the species.
Conservation groups and scientists ask the USDA to protect wild bumble bees from diseaseThursday, November 19th, 2009
In comments to the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, ten other conservation groups, and several bee scientists have formally asked for protection of wild bumble bees from the threat of disease.
New report finds that bumble bees have undergone dramatic declinesWednesday, December 17th, 2008
An extensive review of bumble bee studies and surveys from across the U.S. show that three formerly common bumble bee species are experiencing steep declines. The report compiled information from more than three dozen scientists and citizen monitors and found that populations of the rusty-patched, yellowbanded and western bumble bee have all sharply dropped in the last decade.
Island Marble one of top ten wildlife, fish and plants in need of Endangered Species Act ProtectionTuesday, December 16th, 2008
A new report details how the island marble butterfly is languishing without protection even though it may be on the brink of extinction. The new report lists the island marble as one of ten species that have been named the most in-need of protection under the Endangered Species Act. With a population of less than 2,000 individuals and multiple threats to its survival the island marble is one of the most imperiled butterflies in the U.S.
Susan’s Purse-making Caddisfly on the Brink of ExtinctionWednesday, July 9th, 2008
A coalition of scientists and conservationists filed a petition today requesting that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extend Endangered Species Act protection to Susan’s purse-making caddisfly (Ochrotrichia susanae).
Senate Pollinator Habitat Protection Act of 2007Thursday, May 24th, 2007
Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) along with 28 other co-sponsors introduced the Pollinator Habitat Protection Act into the Senate today. This bill allows existing conservation programs to provide enhanced habitat for pollinators.
Pollinators in PerilMonday, May 7th, 2007
The recent widespread losses of honey bee colonies from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has received a lot of media coverage.
Dollar value of insect services more than $57 billion a year in the United StatesSaturday, April 1st, 2006
A new study in the April issue of the journal Bioscience shows that insects provide services worth more than $57 billion to Americans.
Conservation Groups Move To Protect Rare Washington ButterflyTuesday, September 28th, 2004
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Center for Biological Diversity, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and Friends of the San Juans yesterday filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Seattle to compel the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the Island Marble butterfly.
Western Springsnails on the Brink of ExtinctionWednesday, July 28th, 2004
A coalition of scientists and conservationists filed a petition today requesting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extend Endangered Species Act protection to the Jackson Lake, Harney Lake, and Columbia springsnails, three relatives of the Idaho springsnail, which is currently an endangered species.
Conservation Groups Move To Protect Seven Imperiled Swallowtail Butterflies from Around the WorldFriday, May 7th, 2004
The Center for Biological Diversity and the Xerces Society today filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Portland, Oregon to compel the US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect seven swallowtail butterfly species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Petition Filed to List Nevada Butterfly as Endangered SpeciesFriday, April 23rd, 2004
A coalition of conservation groups today filed a scientific petition with U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton in Washington DC to list the Sand Mountain blue butterfly (Euphilotes pallescens arenamontana) as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, and designate critical habitat for its survival, conservation and recovery.
Conservationists Act to Save Declining Black Hills SnailThursday, September 25th, 2003
A coalition of conservation and scientific organizations filed a petition today requesting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protect the Black Hills mountainsnail (read “mountain-snail”) – a declining land snail that exists only in the Black Hills – under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Conservationists Seek Federal Protection for Rare Midwest ButterflyMonday, May 12th, 2003
A coalition of conservation and scientific organizations filed a petition today under the Endangered Species Act requesting federal protection for the Dakota skipper, an imperiled prairie butterfly, and its endangered grassland habitat under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Endangered Invertebrates – A Case For Attention To Invertebrate ConservationFriday, September 27th, 2002
With almost one million described species, insects eclipse all other forms of animal life on Earth, not only in sheer numbers, diversity, and biomass, but also in their importance to functioning ecosystems.
Carson Wandering Skipper Butterfly Listed as EndangeredThursday, August 8th, 2002
In keeping with a legal agreement the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listed the Carson wandering skipper butterfly as an endangered species on August 7, 2002. The species was listed on a temporary, emergency basis in November 2001.
Photo: Rusty patched bumble bee by Johanna James Heinz.
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