Rusty Patched Bumble Bee May Not Survive Trump Executive Order

Agency Freezes Listing for First Bumble Bee Identified as an Endangered Species

CHICAGO  – In a last-minute reversal of fortune that could push the rusty patched bumble bee beyond the brink, federal protections for the first bumble bee to be listed as an endangered species were frozen due to a Trump administration order, just one day before the listing was to take effect.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s freeze on the bee’s endangered species listing is the result of an order by the Trump White House instructing agencies to withdraw or freeze a broad array of rules issued by the Obama administration to protect public health and the environment.

The rusty patched bumble bee has lost almost 90 percent of its range in the past 20 years. It is the first bumble bee ever listed under the Endangered Species Act. Bumble bees are prodigious pollinators, essential to blueberries, tomatoes, and clover, as well as native flowering plants. The economic value of bumble bee and other native pollinators is estimated at $9 billion per year in the United States.

The following is a statement by Rebecca Riley, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“The Trump administration has put the rusty patched bumble bee back on the path to extinction. This bee is one of the most critically endangered species in the country and we can save it – but not if the White House stands in the way.”

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


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