Bumblebee Set to Become Officially Endangered

Wildlife NewsBy Kieran Mulvaney, Discovery News | September 29, 2016 07:25am ET

Here, a rusty patched bumblebee (Bombus affinis) from Sky Meadows State Park at the edge of the Blue Ridge in northern Virginia.
Credit: USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed listing a species of bumblebee as an endangered species, the first bee species to be granted such federal protection in the continental United States.

The rusty patched bumblebee - the workers of which can be identified by a small rust-colored mark on the middle of their second abdominal segment - was historically widespread along the east coast of North America, from Quebec down to Georgia, and across much of the midwest as far west as the Dakotas. However, says USFWS, since the late 1990s, the species' numbers have decreased precipitously, and its range is now a mere 8 percent of its historical extent.

Read More: http://www.livescience.com/56312-bumblebee-species-may-become-endangered.html

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