Disappearing bumblebee species under threat of extinction

The American Bumblebee—a species once more commonly seen buzzing around Southern Ontario—is critically endangered, according to a new study led by York University. The finding, published in Journal of Insect Conservation, found the native North American species, Bombus pensylvanicus, is facing imminent extinction from Canada, considered the highest and most at-risk classification before extinction. Many bumblebee species are rapidly declining across North America, but are important pollinators needed to grow Canada's crops including apples, tomatoes, blueberries and legumes, as well as countless types of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.

The researchers assessed the extinction risk of the American Bumblebee, ranking the risk much higher than a federal advisory committee's most recent assessment which classifies the species' extinction risk at special concern. "This species is at risk of extinction and it's currently not protected in any way despite the drastic decline," said Assistant Professor Sheila Colla, an expert in bees and endangered species in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. "Now that we have assessed the extent of the decline and located where the remaining populations are, we can look more closely at threats and habitat requirements to design an effective conservation management plan so that this species does not disappear from Canada forever," said Colla, who co-authored and helped design the study.

Source: PHYS.ORG, 18 April 2019