Conservationists Petition To Add Franklin’s Bumblebee Into Endangered Species List

June 24th, 2010 - 7:22 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
beeJune 24, (THAINDIAN NEWS) A conservationist group has filed a petition that puts Franklin’s bumblebee into the endangered list. The species is found in Southern Oregon and Northern California. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and scientist Robbin Thorp formally petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the insect under the Endangered Species Act.

Robbin Thorp, an entomologist at the University of California at Davis, said that over the last 12 years he has seen the population of the bumblebees plummet completely. The last sighting of the bumblebee was in 2006. Robbin Thorp however said that he is hopeful that the species can recover from the situation before its too late.

Bumblebees are important for the nation’s agriculture as they help pollinate about 15% of the crops which is worth $3 billion. Scott Hoffman Black, the executive director of the Xerces Society in Portland said that the petition is a small effort to reverse the decline of the various bee species that are being wiped out due to the changing environment, pollution and habitat loss.

The petition also asks for the reduction in the shipment of commercial bees. The bees spilling out of the greenhouses often affect the native species of the area. The disappearance of Franklin’s bumblebee has been attributed to a disease that could have been spread by the imported species of bees.

The collapse of the species could also be due to a mysterious factor called the colony collapse disorder according to some researchers. Robbin Thorp has also theorized that the decline of the Franklin’s bumble bee population could also be due to a fungus that was brought in unintentionally into the country with a shipment of bees from Europe.

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