“It’s official. As tragically revealing as the move might be, the rusty-patched bumble bee has now joined the grizzly bear, gray wolf, northern spotted owl, and some 700 others on the endangered species list — the first bee ever to garner those protections in the continental United States.
Once abundant in the grasslands and prairies in 31 states in the East and Midwest, the rusty-patched bumble bee’s population has been decimated by as much as 95 percent by some estimates, and now exists only in isolated pockets in 12 states and the province of Ontario, Canada.
“There are a few little spots where we know they are,” James Strange, a research entomologist and bumble bee ecologist with the USDA, told Forbes.”
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