Bumble bees remind us of warm summer days, bright blossoming flowers, and the sweet smell of freshly cut grass. Unfortunately, they are quickly becoming a symbol of humankind’s indifference towards the environment and creatures that inhabit it.
Bees play a vital role in pollinating crops and wild flowers. They are responsible for pollinating 70 of the top 100 crops we eat at least 10 of these crops rely almost entirely on bees as pollinators. But bees are disappearing.
Despite their vital importance to their ecosystems and to humans, bee populations around the globe have been collapsing and the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, one of the two bee species responsible for 80 percent of all crop pollination, is a pronounced case of this sad situation. The Rusty Patch Bee has declined by 87 percent in the past 15 years, and scientists believe they are dying due to a combination of human factors: climate change, habitat, destruction, and pesticides.
Because of their precarious position, on January 11, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) secured the Rusty Patch Bee a spot on the endangered species list, which would have provided these pollinators with crucial protections. However, the Trump administration has delayed these protections as a part of a larger move to gut the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Thankfully, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is not going to let this happen without a fight. They are suing the Department of the Interior, claiming that it is illegal to deny these bees protections that have already been granted. This is a crucial fight because bees need these protections immediately. The NRDC’s senior attorney, Rebecca Riley told the Christian Science Monitor, “The science is clear – this species is headed toward extinction, and soon.” But we can stop this from happening.
Add your voice to the many other concerned Americans who are protesting the Trump administration’s assault on the Endangered Species Act by signing this petition. Not only will you help protect the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee but all the endangered species in America. You can also help by sharing this post with your friends and having them sign the petition.