Endangered Species List is Finally “Buzzing”
by Amy Lignor
Although it would be a heck of a lot nicer to say that the Endangered Species List was getting smaller and smaller because creatures are being saved every day and they’re all now thriving, this is actually a tale of the list getting larger, but having that increase be a good thing.
The list has never “buzzed” at any point in our time, but after a great deal of turning away from a particular species that seriously needed help, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finally added seven species of yellow-faced bees (from the state of Hawaii) to the U.S. Endangered Species List. And because of this move, there is now hope that they can be saved by the special protection that the federal government claims it will give to them.
Extra protection is more than important when it comes to these species, because bee populations all across the country have been declining. Not a lot of people even noticed; for 90% of the population, bees are still a species you either run away from so as not to get stung, or swat them in the air. It took a lot of time to make people see that bees are a necessity to this planet and the consistent decline of the species has been frightening.
It was a decade ago that 33 different bee species were placed on an FWS “watch list” because of the concern. Then, the concern turned to real fear. The seven types of bees now defined as being endangered are: Hylaeus anthracinus, Hylaeus longiceps, Hylaeus assimulans, Hylaeus facilis, Hylaeus hilaris, Hylaeus kuakea and Hylaeus mana, and are the very first bees in the country to be protected.
The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that actually petitioned the U.S. back in 2009 to protect the bees. Especially seeing as that the common North American bee, the rusty-patched bumble bee, was moving closer and closer to extinction. These seven that did make the list, however, are native only to Hawaii, and without them left to pollinate, various plants would go the way of the do-do, as well. Now all we have to do is make others see that there are a variety of bees vanishing that the rest of the country absolutely needs.
The bee’s diverse habitats are becoming devastated by various activities, such as building and industry, as well as from fire issues. With the loss of bees goes the loss of native vegetation which would then harm grazing practices. In other words, conservationists are breathing a sigh of relief that the FWS has added them to the list and is finally taking the bee issue seriously.
With the seven bee species now federally protected, the next step in the saving process can begin. Such as, authorities can now focus their conservation efforts on helping the bee populations recover before it’s too late. Although this first step took ten years to come to fruition, now everyone must concentrate on better control and management of natural bee habitats. Currently these species are found in areas that are quite small and surrounded by land developments, meaning that federal lands must be officially designated so that the bees can come back from the brink of death.
Source: Baret News