The bumblebee is finally listed as endangered in US

PHOTO: AFP

This might be the Trump administration's first pro-environment move.

The rusty patched bumblebee is now on the endangered species list, making it the first bee species in the continental United States to be considered endangered, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced this week.

The species is "balancing precariously on the brink of extinction," the agency said on Tuesday.

"Just 20 years ago, the rusty patched bumblebee was a common sight, so ordinary that it went almost unnoticed as it moved from flower to flower, collecting nectar and pollen."

The decision came as a huge relief to environmentalists, who said they worried the Trump administration would scrap the effort.

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The FWS had approved the bee's endangered listing in the final days of the Obama administration.

Shortly after taking office, however, President Donald Trump issued a sweeping "freeze" on Obama-era federal regulations.

On Feb. 9, a day before the bee order was supposed to take effect, the Trump administration delayed the listing until Feb. 21.

The Natural Resources Defence Council quickly filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to stop FWS from "violating the law" by delaying the rule without public comment or notice.

"The Trump administration reversed course and listed the rusty patched bumblebee as an endangered species just in the nick of time," Rebecca Riley, a senior attorney with the environmental group, said in a statement released this week.

Now the real work can begin.

By listing a species as endangered, the FWS is required to devise plans for creating "a healthy and secure condition" in the areas where the species is native.

That might mean limiting or redefining development in places that are critical to the species' survival.

Read the full article here.


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