Forgotten But Not Gone: The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee
In the United States, there are hundreds of species of plants and animals that are at high risk of extinction, but have no federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. They are "Forgotten, But Not Gone."
One of these species is the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis). This bee has declined more than 90% across its range in the northeastern and midwestern U.S. A combination of habitat loss, agricultural pesticides, and diseases borne by managed commercial bumble bees is likely to blame. Luckily, in late 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed that this species be listed as an Endangered Species, bringing it one step closer to protection. In March 2017, it became the first North American bee species to to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.