Press Releases

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Threatened with Extinction

Tuesday, 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 Plan

Monday, 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 Meeting

Thursday, 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 Butterflies

Monday, 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 Harbor

Friday, 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 bee

Thursday, 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 decline

Monday, 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 1990s

Friday, 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. 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 Inadequate

Thursday, 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 Bees

Tuesday, 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 Bees

Tuesday, 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 acres

Wednesday, 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 plan

Tuesday, 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 spraying

Monday, 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 wildlife

Tuesday, 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 Act

Wednesday, 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 Record

Thursday, 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 Record

Friday, 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 Sought

Tuesday, 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 Wetlands

Wednesday, 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 Extinction

Tuesday, 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 fires

Wednesday, 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 Habitat

Tuesday, 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 Extinction

Tuesday, 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 disease

Thursday, 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 declines

Wednesday, 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 Protection

Tuesday, 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 Extinction

Wednesday, 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 2007

Thursday, 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 Peril

Monday, 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 States

Saturday, 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 Butterfly

Tuesday, 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 Extinction

Wednesday, 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 World

Friday, 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 Species

Friday, 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 Snail

Thursday, 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 Butterfly

Monday, 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 Conservation

Friday, 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 Endangered

Thursday, 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.



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Photo: Rusty patched bumble bee by Johanna James Heinz.

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