Category: Nature News


Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Now Protected

21 March 2017 – An Historic Day: Protection for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

First bee in the continental United States to become an endangered species

 

Today, protection of the rusty patched bumble bee under the Endangered Species Act takes effect, making this the first bee in the continental United States to be federally protected. This historic moment comes as a result of a listing petition filed by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Steps can now be taken to work toward the recovery of this species, which previously was common from Minnesota to the Atlantic.

“We are thrilled to see one of North America’s most endangered species receive the protection it needs,” said Sarina Jepsen, director of endangered species at the Xerces Society. “Now that the Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the rusty patched bumble bee as endangered, it stands a chance of surviving the many threats it faces – from the use of neonicotinoid pesticides to diseases.”

This is the culmination of work completed by the Xerces Society, numerous colleagues in the scientific community, our partners at Natural Resources Defense Council, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help protect a critically imperiled animal. Now that the rusty patched bumble bee is listed as an endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the authority to develop and implement a recovery plan for this species, which has the potential to have a positive effect on suitable habitat throughout much of the eastern United States.

“While this listing clearly supports the rusty patched bumble bee, the entire suite of pollinators that share its habitat, and which are so critical to natural ecosystems and agriculture, will also benefit,” said Rich Hatfield, senior conservation biologist at the Xerces Society. “This is a positive step towards the conservation of this species, and we now have to roll up our sleeves to begin the actual on-the-ground conservation that will help it move toward recovery.”

The effort to protect the rusty patched bumble bee has been long, and the task has been helped along by numerous people. In particular, the Xerces Society is grateful for the many individuals who participated in citizen science projects, initially via Project Bumble Bee and since 2013 through Bumble Bee Watch. Observations from citizen scientists had a critical role in understanding the rusty patched bumble bee’s current distribution. Special thanks go to photographer Clay Bolt and filmmaker Neil Losin of Day’s Edge Productions, who produced the award-winning film, A Ghost in the Making.

The overwhelming scientific and public support, including the more than 128,000 people that signed a petition urging endangered species protection, for this species has been incredibly heartening. Few disappearing species have engendered this level of support for protection. Because of this collective effort the rusty patched bumble bee now has a chance – and that is something we can all celebrate.

OVN General Meeting September 12, 2016

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Flying blind, researchers looking for bat fans

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Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Environmental groups win right to appeal endangered species decision

Industry exemptions from Endangered Species Act unlawful, groups say

TORONTO – The Ontario Court of Appeal has granted Ontario Nature and Wildlands League leave to appeal a lower court ruling that puts already endangered species at further risk of extinction.

“Biological diversity is a great treasure of our planet with ecological, social, economic, cultural and intrinsic value, yet we are losing plants and animals forever at an alarming rate due to human activities,” says Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature’s Executive Director. “That’s why the Endangered Species Act was put in place — as an essential safeguard to protect Ontario’s natural heritage for our kids.”

This marks the first time environmental groups have won the right to appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal on a case about the Endangered Species Act (ESA) or about endangered species.

The appeal, to be argued by lawyers from Ecojustice, challenges the Ontario Divisional Court’s decision to uphold a provincial regulation that exempts major industries from the ESA and allows those industries to kill species at risk and destroy their habitat.

“The Court of Appeal only hears appeals of public importance,” said Lara Tessaro, Ecojustice lawyer. “The Court has signalled that our clients’ legal challenge to this regulation, which deprives endangered species of the law’s protection, is important to Ontarians."

When it was introduced in 2007, the ESA was considered the gold standard law for species protection in North America. Recent years, however, have seen Ontario avoid its duties to protect at-risk wildlife.

A regulation made by Cabinet in 2013 exempts major industries — including forestry, mining, energy, and residential development — from the strict protection standards outlined in the ESA. In many instances, these exemptions give industries a free pass to kill endangered or threatened species, and destroy their habitat, as long as this harm is “minimized.”

Species threatened by the regulation include the American Eel, Blanding’s Turtle, Lakeside Daisy, Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, Acadian Flycatcher and the iconic Woodland Caribou.

“We can’t allow the government to turn its back on at risk birds, turtles and mammals just so it can save a few bucks,” said Anna Baggio of CPAWS Wildlands League. “It is up to Ontario to provide a lifeline not an anchor for these species when faced with imminent threats of extinction.”

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For media inquiries

Lara Tessaro, Lawyer | Ecojustice 416-368-7533 ext. 531

Anna Baggio, Director Conservation Planning | CPAWS Wildlands League 416-453-3285 mobile

John Hassell, Communications Manager | Ontario Nature 416-444-8419 ext. 269; cell 416-786-2171

David Baird – Program Coordinator

Otter Valley Naturalists

(519) 842-6508 or cel (519) 983-4066

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Hello Nature Network members in the Carolinian West Region,

 

Ontario Nature has just launched a new conservation science blog, thanks to Tanya Pulfer’s leadership. This blog engages guest bloggers who are leading scientists in various areas of conservation biology. Here is the link to our first blog from our own former Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Coordinator, James Paterson (now working on his Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa) and well know reptile biologist Dr. Jacqueline Litzgus: http://www.ontarionature.org/connect/blog/helping-turtles-not-cross-the-road/.

 

You may also be interested in blogs on other topics at Ontario Nature’s blog on the Web.  Please forward the above link to other members of your organization who may be interested.

 

Best wishes and Happy Easter,

 

Anita Caveney.

 

Carolinian West Regional Director.

 

Anita Caveney anita.caveney@gmail.com

 

 

“In the love of our people for nature lies the highest hope of the race.”  Harriet Monro.

I recently painted this pair of Bachman’s Warblers, and learned a lot in the process, but the last definite record was in 1962 (before my first birthday), so I could only learn as much as had been preserved and recorded by a few lucky observers more than 50 years ago. The painting was a melancholy project in some ways, but also a reminder of the value of enjoying, questioning, and documenting everything we can about all of the wonderful birds that are with us today. And – it should go without saying – remaining vigilant and supporting conservation efforts so that no more species follow the Bachman’s Warbler.

I recently painted this pair of Bachman's Warblers, and learned a lot in the process, but the last definite record was in 1962 (before my first birthday), so I could only learn as much as had been preserved and recorded by a few lucky observers more than 50 years ago. The painting was a melancholy project in some ways, but also a reminder of the value of enjoying, questioning, and documenting everything we can about all of the wonderful birds that are with us today. And - it should go without saying - remaining vigilant and supporting conservation efforts so that no more species follow the Bachman's Warbler.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/monarch-butterflies-rebound-in-mexico-but-numbers-still-low-1.2208013

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