The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requesting that the rusty patched bumble bee be added to the Endangered Species list for federal protections. It is one of 47 varieties of bumble bees native to the U.S. and Canada. If accepted, it would be the first bumble bee to make the list. The bee—also known as Bombus affinis—has had a dramatic drop in its population since the 1990s, due to what scientist say appears to be climate change, diseases, and pesticides, among other factors. “Endangered Species Act safeguards are now the only way the bumble bee would have a fighting chance for survival,” said Sarina Jepsen, of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
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