The plight of the bumblebee is a pretty well-documented affair at this point, but general news articles sometimes gloss over the fact that there are so many different species of bee out there, and all of them are pretty vulnerable right now. Recently, the very first bumble bee has been added to the official United States Endangered Species List by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: the rusty patched bumblebee.
Getting officially listed is a huge turn of good fortune for endangered species, as the higher profile and additional government protections they receive can help turn their decline around. Getting on the list requires a comprehensive Species Status Assessment. Something very interesting about the rusty patched bumblebee’s case was that its Status Assessment was largely derived from data gathered by volunteers, citizen scientists who participated in the Bumble Bee Watch project. Volunteers submit photos with date, time, and location to the database, where the photos are scanned and reviewed to determine the species pictured. Anyone, even you, can help provide information to Bumble Bee Watch, to continue to monitor the bumblebee’s status.
There’s a lot more that goes into being a volunteer scientist for Bumble Bee Watch, and if you are interested, your role can be far more in-depth than just taking photos and uploading them to databases. If monitoring bumblebees and heping them fight their way out of endangerment, check out Bumble Bee Watch today!
Full article here.