The rusty patched bumblebee is endangered. Federal regulators won’t protect its habitats.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Monday announced it would not ensure the protection of habitats that endangered bumblebees call home. This is despite a sharp decline in rusty patched bumblebee populations, and their shrinking presence across North America. The government can help endangered species recover by designating certain areas as “critical habitat,” which requires federal regulators to factor habitat protection into permitting decisions. In its announcement, FWS said that climate change and pesticides—not habitat loss—drive bumblebee population declines, the Associated Press reported. Environmental groups have indicated they’ll likely sue FWS over the move.