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.

Jay Cossey Presentation

Monday, 13 November 2017 at 7:00 p.m.



Jay Cossey will be sharing fascinating stories and images of butterflies, moths and many other insects, and tell us about his recent book, Southern Ontario Butterflies and their Natural History.

Jay was born into a nature-loving family.  There were always caterpillars, chrysalises and cocoons in the house, so the miracle of metamorphosis was always on display in the Cossey household.

After 40 years as a graphic designer and studio photographer, Jay then helped create and then led the BIObus (University of Guelph) and crew to over 20 national parks in Canada, and numerous state parks from Florida to California for four years.  Since then he has worked as a freelance photographer.  Among Jay’s accomplishments, he contributed all 24 images for the first ever National Geographic Butterfly Calendar.

The OVN meets on the lower level at the Vienna Community Centre, 26 Fulton Street, Vienna.  Vienna is north of Port Burwell and south of Tillsonburg, but much closer to Port Burwell.  Admission is free and parking is free.

Fungus Among Us


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:


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



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




Alert: Do something good for birds today

Climate change puts nearly half of U.S bird species at risk. · Trouble viewing this email? Try our web version.
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Global warming puts the Common Loon at risk of extinction by the end of the century.
Support the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to reduce global warming.

Dear Joe,

You may have seen the study we released this fall on the potential effects of global warming on North American birds.

The news is not good. Based on Audubon’s own exhaustive research, we’ve identified 314 bird species whose futures in the wild could be jeopardized—unless we act now to change course.

Toward that goal, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a critical step to curb carbon pollution from electric power plants, the single largest domestic source of the greenhouse gas pollution that threatens America’s birds and our future.

Please send in your comments to support EPA’s proposed rule to slash greenhouse gas pollution from power plants.

Already, polluting industries are fighting back and we must stand strong in support of EPA’s work. The shift from dirty fossil fuels toward a clean energy economy is a fight we can win—but only if we all do our part.

Limiting emissions from existing power plants won’t solve the global warming problem all by itself, but there is no more critical next step toward averting the worst climate catastrophes. And as we mobilize across the country to protect birds and their habitats for future generations, we need all the help we can get.

Let the EPA know where you stand. Please send in your comments today.

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David Yarnold

David Yarnold
President & CEO, National Audubon Society

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Wolves In Yellowstone

Wolves In Yellowstone