The Trump administration is delaying listing this bumblebee species as endangered
The Trump administration has delayed the endangered designation for a bee species in the US – a day before it was to take effect.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced in a Federal Register notice it has delayed a move to protect the rusty patched bumblebee, in keeping with US President Donald Trump’s executive order that was issued in January.
Had the delay not happened, it would have, for the first time in the history of the continental United States, placed a species of bumblebee under federal protection.
The service announced a postponement until March 21.
Federal law requires a 30-day waiting period before most new regulations become effective.
But the service imposed a 60-day freeze on regulations that had been published in the register but hadn’t taken effect.
The delay, according to the White House, was for the purpose of “reviewing questions of fact, law and policy they raise”.
Fish and Wildlife assistant director Gary Frazer said the move was not expected to impact conservation efforts.
He said the federal agency “is developing a recovery plan to guide efforts to bring this species back to a healthy and secure condition”.
The rusty patched bumblebee has disappeared from about 90% of its range in the past 20 years.
Scientists say disease, pesticide exposure, habitat loss and climate change are among possible causes.
It’s among a number of bee species that have suffered steep population declines – along with monarch butterflies, another key pollinator.