Bees Make It To US Endangered Species List: Are People To Blame?

Bees Make It To US Endangered Species List: Are People To Blame?
Human activities have great impact on the environment and could endager such wildlife such as the Hawaiian yellow-faced bees. Photo : wochit News/YouTube

Progress has come at a cost to our environment. As population and industries expand, people encroach on areas that have previously been the domain of many animal and plant life. Many animals and plants have become endangered or even have gone extinct as a result of this. Recently, one type of bee has been listed as endangered due to this continued encroachment.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) has listed the Hawaiian yellow-faced bees as an endangered species last September 30, according to Lexology. This is the first time that a bee species has been placed on the endangered species list. Seven species of the yellow-faced bees have come under the protection of this list. The seven yellow-faced bee species are all native to Hawaii.

Not only are the bees in danger, but even plant life could become critical as well. Many flowers and plants rely on the bees for pollination, as noted by Mongabay notes. This balance would be disturbed should the bees become extinct. A number of these plant species are endangered as well.

Human activities have caused the bees' habitats to be lost. Development, fires and vegetation being lost have contributed to the bees being endangered. With the bees' population so low, there is fear that even small changes in its environment could result in a loss of some of the yellow-faced bee species. The bees' population has faced a slow decline over the last century, as earlier reported.

Conservationalists have welcomed this move by the USFWS. With the bees now classified as endangered, efforts could begin in protecting them and their habitats until bee populations could recover significantly. One suggestion for this would be to have better control and management of the bees' habitats to ensure that their population would be free to increase without human disturbance.

While the bees have been protected, Matthew Shepherd of the Xerces Society has said on his blog that USFWS has not designated any area as critical habitat yet for the yellow-faced bees. Such areas are important to ensure that the bees would thrive and grow.

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