The American bumblebee is quickly moving towards the endangered species list as their population has declined by 89% in the last 20 years. The vital pollinators have also already vanished from eight states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will continue analyzing populations and create their “12-month finding” before making a decision.
Pesticides, development, and climate change are having devastating effects on their populations. Thus, if the American bumblebee were to end up on the endangered species list, it could have huge implications for development, pesticide use in farming, and livestock grazing.
Keith Hirokawa, an environmental law professor, said, “The implications could be really significant. A far-reaching solution would be a fundamental change in the way we build our agricultural operations.”
Brooke Marcus, a natural resources lawyer, said that it could even get to the point where there could be legal consequences for killing a bumblebee. This would mean serious industry changes for developers and farmers especially.
Hirokawa added, “The dilemma is we’re not really prepared to lose our pollinators. We haven’t figured out what our substitute would be.”
This comes as worrying but not surprising news. Scientists have known for a long time how in danger bee populations are. Fortunately, activists are working hard to ensure that our leaders take action before it’s too late. The Center for Biological Diversity recently worked with Bombus Pollinators Association of Law Students to submit a petition calling for the American Bumblebee to be classified as an endangered species on the Endangered Species Act. Now it’s vital that our leaders listen to scientists and create significant protections so that we don’t lose our pollinators.
Sign this petition and ask the United States to get serious about protecting the bees and start creating bee stops!
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