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endangered species

Conserving the Jewels of the Night

Protecting, restoring, and enhancing firefly habitat is one of the best ways to conserve their populations. In addition, collecting data on firefly populations and distributions will contribute to a better understanding of their conservation status and needs. This is why we have initiated the Xerces Society’s firefly conservation campaign: Conserving the Jewels of the Night.

The Source of Hope and Wonder Comes in Small Packages

Rich Hatfield, senior endangered species conservation biologist and bumble bee lead for the Xerces Society, trekked into Washington state’s Pasayten Wilderness to find the elusive high country bumble bee (Bombus kirbiellus).

Working Together in Iowa to Find the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Sarah Nizzi, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner and NRCS Partner Biologist, writes about a recent workshop in Iowa and a sighting of the endangered rusty patched bumble bee.

Insects Lose as Trump Administration Weakens the Endangered Species Act

These new regulations will make it much harder to protect and recover the animals that are struggling to survive and need our help the most.

Community Science Powers New Western Monarch Studies

Western monarch researchers and community scientists have been busy, contributing information vital to understanding the situation facing this imperiled population.

Celebrate World Firefly Day by Keeping Nights Dark

Fireflies are some of our most well-loved insects—yet their numbers appear to be dwindling. One likely driver for this decline is light pollution. Put simply, fireflies need dark nights.

Working to Conserve Monarchs from Coast to Coast

The Xerces Society is working across the U.S. to conserve this beloved species, and there are a number of ways you can help!

Introducing Xerces’ Newest Community Science Project: Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas

Work alongside researchers to collect data and support bumble bee conservation.

Taking a Stand for Firefly Species Facing Extinction

The Xerces Society and the Center for Biological Diversity have submitted a joint petition for the emergency listing of the Bethany Beach firefly (Photuris bethaniensis) under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

How to Support Monarch Butterfly Conservation—During Earth Week and Beyond!

Helping the monarch back to full health isn’t going to be easy or quick, but together we can transform the landscape to allow the monarch to rebound—and give our children the gift of watching orange wings flap in the sunshine.

Honoring Robbin Thorp, a Legendary Figure in North American Bee Conservation

Robbin Thorp, Professor Emeritus at University of California–Davis, has made lasting contributions to the bee conservation community in ways that might never be measured, but will certainly be felt.

Community Scientists Take on the Cultivar Conundrum

The Xerces Society’s blog post “Picking Plants for Pollinators: The Cultivar Conundrum” highlighted the lack of research on this topic. To help address this knowledge gap, Budburst launched the Nativars research project in 2018.

Announcing the 2019 DeWind Awardees

The Xerces Society is happy to announce the 2019 DeWind awardees: Niranjana Krishnan, a PhD candidate at Iowa State University, and Molly Wiebush, a master’s student at Florida State University.

A Quest for Bumble Bee Nests: The Missing Link

Researchers at York University are recruiting members from across North America for a very important mission. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it: find and submit sightings of bumble bee nests.

Community Scientists Can Help Support Imperiled Western Monarchs

While hiking in California and the rest of the West, you can help researchers by submitting any and all monarch and milkweed observations this year to the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper website.

Photo Essay: Trinational Monarch Meeting and Exploring Mexico’s Monarch Overwintering Sites

Xerces Society Endangered Species Conservation Biologist and Western Monarch Lead Emma Pelton recounts her recent experience in Mexico with this photo essay.

National Butterfly Center Gets Reprieve—But Border Wall Will Impact Much More

There are many reasons to oppose the wall along the southern border—including the loss of habitat for some of our smallest and most important animals.

New Year’s Count of Western Monarchs Confirms Decline, Trends Seen in Previous Years

Overall, the count data revealed an average decrease of 38% between the Thanksgiving and New Year’s counts.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – January 2019

January’s featured staff have been working on establishing pollinator habitat in California’s Central Valley and helping farmers both navigate the ins and outs of the Endangered Species Act and provide restored habitat for native bees in Maine.

Record Low Number of Overwintering Monarch Butterflies in California—They Need Your Help!

We urge you to join us and our colleagues in the western monarch science and conservation community in taking meaningful, swift action to help save western monarchs.

Pollinators and the 2018 Farm Bill

Although we did not get everything we wanted in the 2018 Farm Bill, pollinators are still a priority and formal commitments to support conservation efforts are now in effect for at least the next five years.

Climate News Round-Up: January 2019

Climate change is an unprecedented global challenge. Angela Laws, our resident climate change expert, reviews recent news on the topic and provides concrete ways to help.

Businesses Aligning with the Life that Sustains Us

The trend of business owners aligning with social and environmental causes is on the rise. Here at the Xerces Society, we are feeling these benefits—and are very thankful for the support.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – November 2018

November’s featured staff hail from Minnesota, Indiana, and California, and have been conducting training and outreach events, helping General Mills to implement their plan to plant 3,300 acres of pollinator habitat, and monitoring farm habitat plantings in the San Joaquin Valley.

A Shifting Climate Creates Winners and Losers

We are already observing impacts on some species that are emerging earlier or whose distributions are changing, but it is difficult to characterize how insects as a whole will be impacted: some species will benefit while most will lose out.

Western Monarch Numbers Expected to Be Low this Year

What can you do to help the monarch? Protect habitat, avoid pesticide use, plant gardens, and contribute data to Xerces-led community science efforts.

The Xerces Society Seeks Endangered Species Protections for California Bumble Bees

Protecting these species is not only the right thing to do; it will also help to maintain the healthy ecosystems that make California such a remarkable and productive state.

Keeping the Lights Burning: The Status of Fireflies in the United States and Canada

Fireflies are well loved, but they may be in trouble. Xerces will continue to seek a better understanding of these enchanting animals and how best to protect them.

Keep Monarchs Wild: Why Captive Rearing Isn’t the Way to Help Monarchs

Instead of rearing—which is risky and unproven in helping monarchs—we should focus on more effective, science-backed ways to conserve these glorious wild animals.

The Endangered Species Act needs your help!

The Endangered Species Act is our nation’s most effective law for protecting animals and plants in danger of extinction, and it has prevented 99% of listed species from going extinct. We need your voice to help defend this crucial law.

Connecticut’s Sand Plains Need Protection

Sand plains have been subjected to mining, development, and fragmentation, resulting in a loss of up to 95% of this habitat type. But these unusual environments are home to a number of rare plants and insects.

Managing for Monarchs in the West

A new guide to protecting the monarch butterfly from the Pacific to the Rockies presents a holistic approach to monarch conservation.

Tropical Milkweed—a No-Grow

Milkweed is in demand, and that demand has been filled in recent years by tropical milkweed, a non-native species. But is planting tropical milkweed potentially doing more harm than good?

Scientists Urge Action to Protect Waters from Neonicotinoid Insecticides

Will California’s regulators take steps to curtail neonicotinoid water pollution? If they take the advice of scientists, they will.

Second New Year's Count Supports Monarchs' Movement Between Sites

The Xerces Society's Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count provides a long-running record of the number of monarchs overwintering in California-including the steep decline of recent decades.

How to Host a Facebook Fundraiser

We would be honored if you’d consider doing a fundraiser for Xerces. Such efforts help support the work we do, build awareness about the importance of invertebrates, and allow you to share your enthusiasm for improving the world for these vital animals.

Community Science Data Aids in Expert Testimony on Regulation of Commercially Bred Bumble Bees

Observations from Bumble Bee Watch show the common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) far outside of its native range.

1.3 Billion Stems of Milkweed Needed in Midwest to Recover Monarch Population

A new study from the USGS, Univ. of Arizona, and partner organizations finds 1.3 additional milkweed stems are needed in the Midwestern U.S. to recover monarch butterfly populations.

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Deserves Protection, Not Delay

On February 10, 2017, the rusty patched bumble bee was slated to receive the federal protection it so clearly deserves. Unfortunately, the Executive Order signed by the president on Inauguration Day freezing all new regulations while the new administration reviews “questions of fact, law, and policy” has unnecessarily delayed the implementation of this rule.

2017 Monarch Numbers Are Down, Lengthening a Worrying Trend

A documented 74% decline in the California overwintering population since the late 1990s mirrors the steep decline, estimated at 80–90%, of the number of butterflies in Michoacán over the same period.

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee: The First Bee in the Continental U.S. to be Protected Under the Endangered Species Act

This news comes after more than a decade of work by the Xerces Society and our partners: Scientists, farmers and land managers, filmmakers, advocates, and community members who all care about native bees and their plight.

Western Freshwater Mussels: Unobtrusive, Invaluable—and on the Red List

In their second update for the year, the IUCN has added four species of western freshwater mussel to the Red List.

Five Lesser-Known Places to See Monarchs Overwintering in California

While you may be familiar with the impressive monarch clusters, family-friendly amenities, and helpful docents at Pismo Beach, Pacific Grove, Natural Bridges, and Ardenwood Historic Farm, there are many more places monarchs overwinter along the coast.

In a rapidly warming climate, imperiled species may have nowhere to run.

Making their home in the aquatic alpine ecosystem in the highest elevations of Glacier National Park, Montana, the western glacier stonefly depends upon rapidly disappearing glaciers for its survival. Will it be the first species to go extinct as a direct result of climate change?

ID Dragonflies and Locate Hotspots with the Dragonfly ID App!

Calling all nature enthusiasts! Do you have a smartphone and want to use it to explore, identify, and marvel at the diversity of dragonfly and damselfly fauna in your backyard, local wetland, or favorite trout stream? Well, now you can!

Hawai‘ian Yellow-Faced Bees: The First U.S. Bees Proposed for ESA Protection

Meet the first bees to be proposed for Endangered Species Act protection

Climate Change Driving, Not the Only Passenger; Bumble Bee Conservation in Context

Interpreting recent research about the impacts of climate change on bumble bees, providing context for the results, and examining how they may affect conservation efforts.