Wake Up Call: 2 Studies Show 347 Native Bee Species ‘Spiraling Toward Extinction’

Claire Bernish – March 3, 2017

Having taken a backseat to any number of controversies surrounding the nascent Trump administration, pollinators should be back in the headlines — again painting a tragic portent for the future of the planet’s food supply — as an analysis found 347 bee species native to North America and Hawai`i “are spiraling toward extinction.”

In total, 700 bee species have been pushed to precarious footing by a web of threats, including increased pesticide use and severe habitat loss.

In “Pollinators in Peril: A systematic status review of North American and Hawaiian native bees,” the Center for Biological Diversity studied 4,337 native species to assess how the vital pollinators are enduring worsening, multi-fronted threats.

“The evidence is overwhelming that hundreds of the native bees we depend on for ecosystem stability, as well as pollination services worth billions of dollars, are spiraling toward extinction,” Kelsey Kopec, pollinator researcher at the Center for Biological Diversity and author of the study, told EcoWatch. “It’s a quiet but staggering crisis unfolding right under our noses that illuminates the unacceptably high cost of our careless addiction to pesticides and monoculture farming.

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