Skip to main content
x

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that protection may be warranted for the western ridged mussel and that it is initiating a status review of the species. This action came in response to an Endangered Species Act petition submitted by the Xerces Society.
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is soliciting contract bids for spraying more than 2.6 million acres of Montana grasslands to suppress native species of grasshoppers. Spraying puts at risk organic farms and a national wildlife refuge adjacent to the proposed spray areas, as well beneficial insects within the spray blocks.
Proposal by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to spray insecticide by aircraft across 30,000 acres of public lands in Oregon will impact protected Wilderness Study Areas and be near recreational and biodiversity hotspots such as Steens Mountain, the Alvord Desert and the Pueblo Mountains.
In a major victory for local residents and wildlife, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) issued an emergency order to stop wastewater discharge by an ethanol plant that is processing pesticide-treated seed. For over two years, residents of Mead have reported mysterious odors and strange illnesses in people and pets. Bees and other wildlife have also suffered. This has been linked to high levels of pesticide contamination from the ethanol plant.
The Xerces Society, Center for Food Safety, and Defenders of Wildlife, represented by Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, announced they are appealing a November 2020 decision by the Sacramento County Superior Court that determined that the California Fish and Game Commission lacks authority to list four threatened bumble bee species as candidate species under the California Endangered Species Act.
On Tuesday, 12/15/20, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that listing the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act is warranted, but precluded by other priorities. This decision does not provide the protection that monarchs, and especially the western population, so desperately need to recover.
A group of health and environmental organizations filed a legal petition today, calling upon the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to regulate the planting of crop seeds coated with neurotoxic neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) and close a loophole that allows the unchecked use of neonic-treated seeds in California’s farms. The petition follows a scientific report released today finding these seeds may result in the use of over half a million pounds of unregulated pesticides per year in the state. 
As the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to determine whether to renew dicamba product registrations for the 2021 growing season, a new report details how the herbicides pose serious threats to wild plants and the wildlife that depend upon them. The report from the National Wildlife Federation, Prairie Rivers Network and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Drifting Toward Disaster: How Dicamba Herbicides are Harming Cultivated and Wild Landscapes, reviews the state of the science on the potential far-reaching impacts of dicamba use.
More than 15 years after the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation initially submitted a petition asking for federal protection for the island marble, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced today that the butterfly warrants protection as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
Today, protection of the rusty patched bumble bee under the Endangered Species Act takes effect, making this the first bee in the continental United States to be federally protected. This historic moment comes as a result of a listing petition filed by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Steps can now be taken to work toward the recovery of this species, which previously was common from Minnesota to the Atlantic.
January 10, 2017—Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will list the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, making it the first bee in the continental United States to receive such protection. The decision will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, January 11.
Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed listing the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The decision will be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, September 22. Once finalized, the rusty patched bumble bee will be the first bee in the continental U.S. to receive Endangered Species Act protection.
Today, Day’s Edge Productions releases A Ghost In the Making: Searching for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, an enchanting short film about the disappearance of the rusty patched bumble bee and one man’s journey to find out what’s happened to it. After being received with acclaim at film festivals this spring, the film is now available for anyone to view online.
Last night, with a vote of 4 to 1, the City Council of Milwaukie, Oregon, passed a resolution to help protect and restore bees and other pollinators. The resolution will halt the use of neonicotinoids and other like insecticides on public property within city limits. Clackamas County’s integrated pest management plan will mirror the resolution, meaning the suspension of use will extend beyond city limits.
Today, a group of ten monarch researchers and conservationists from across the U.S. issued a statement highlighting concerns with the release of commercially raised and other mass-reared monarch butterflies and recommended against the practice. Wild monarch butterfly populations have declined by an estimated 90% in the past two decades, due to habitat loss primarily in the Midwestern U.S., where these migratory butterflies spend the summer months. Monarch butterflies are routinely purchased from commercial growers for release at weddings, funerals, and other celebrations, and to raise in classrooms and exhibits for educational purposes. Out of concern for monarch conservation, some private citizens are also rearing hundreds to thousands of monarchs in backyard operations for release into the wild.
In response to petitions from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposed today that seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees be listed as endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. When the proposed rule is finalized, these will be the first bees to gain federal protection in the United States.
Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) today issued a positive 90-day finding for the rusty patched bumble bee, determining that protection under the Endangered Species Act may be warranted and initiating a status review of the species. This action resulted from a settlement agreement between the Xerces Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council and USFWS.
The Xerces Society applauds the White House for the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators released today. Pollinators are an essential part of both productive agriculture and a healthy environment and the White House’s action places their protection squarely on the national stage. Protecting, restoring, and enhancing habitat for bees and butterflies, including the monarch, is a major focus of this national strategy.
Today Portland City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to halt the use and purchase of neonicotinoids, and other like systemic insecticides, on city property. The ordinance also amends the city’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies, phases out the purchase of neonicotinoid-treated plants and nursery stock by the city, and urges local retailers to label plants containing neonicotinoids.
In response to a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said today that Endangered Species Act protection may be warranted for monarch butterflies. The agency will now conduct a one-year status review on monarchs, which have declined by 90 percent in the past 20 years.
On Wednesday, a special Task Force on Pollinator Health delivered a series of recommendations to the Oregon legislature on how to help the state’s honey bees, native bees and other pollinators. The task force’s recommendations have the potential to make improvements for pollinators, but fall short of meaningful policy solutions to address the clear threat that neonicotinoid insecticides pose to pollinators.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety as co-lead petitioners joined by the Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower filed a legal petition today to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for monarch butterflies, which have declined by more than 90 percent in under 20 years. During the same period it is estimated that these once-common iconic orange and black butterflies may have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat — an area about the size of Texas — including nearly a third of their summer breeding grounds.
Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has issued a positive 90-day finding for the island marble butterfly, to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, August 19, determining that protection may be warranted and initiating a status review of the species. This action resulted from a settlement agreement between the Xerces Society and USFWS.
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation together with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a complaint today against the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asking them to take action on a petition to grant Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection to the rusty patched bumble bee. The rusty patched bumble bee is not only an important pollinator of prairie wildflowers, but also of cranberries, blueberries, apples, alfalfa, and numerous other crops. This bee was previously common across the Upper Midwest and Eastern Seaboard, but in recent years it has been lost from 87% of its historic range.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that it will manage mosquitoes on the approximately 300 acres of the Ni-les’tun Unit of the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge using only the biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) to kill mosquito larvae, until the breeding habitat created inadvertently during a restoration project in 2011 has been remediated.
Scott Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, attended the White House Pollinator Initiative Stakeholder meeting Wednesday, and provided oral and written comments on how the White House can protect the diverse array of pollinators.
In a letter delivered to the White House on Monday, leading monarch scientists, farmers, and educators asked President Obama and the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to direct five federal agencies, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, Farm Service Agency and Bureau of Land Management, to establish a monarch butterfly recovery initiative to restore habitat for this species on both public and private lands.
The Xerces Society and partners provide comprehensive comments on the proposed use of insecticides to control native burrowing shrimp in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. The comments are in response to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s proposal to develop an Environmental Impact Statement for use of the toxic neonicotinoid imidacloprid for the control of two species of native burrowing shrimp, Neotrypaea californiensis and Upogebia pugettensis, on commercial shellfish beds in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.
On February 13, 2014, the Xerces Society and NRDC filed a notice of intent to sue the Secretary of the Interior for failure to respond to a petition to list the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The rusty patched bumble bee is an important pollinator of cranberries, plums, apples, alfalfa, and numerous other crops and wildflowers. Historically, it was found across the Upper Midwest and Eastern Seaboard, but in recent years it has been lost from 87% of its historic range and its abundance relative to other bumble bees has declined by 95%.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) today released a report outlining their findings that several bumble bee kills in 2013 were caused by two neonicotinoid insecticides, dinotefuran and imidacloprid. ODA has levied fines because of negligence on the part of applicators totaling $2,886 for bee kills in Wilsonville, downtown Portland and West Linn. No fines were levied in an incident in Hillsboro.
Leading conservation and science voices renewed their call today for a key federal agency to protect bumble bees in light of numerous threats contributing to population declines. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Defenders of Wildlife and Dr. Robbin Thorp asked the Secretary of Agriculture to take action on a petition to regulate the movement of commercial bumble bees in order to help control the spread of parasites and pathogens to wild bumble bees—at least one species of which may have already been driven to extinction.
oday, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) joined Representative John Conyers (MI-13) in introducing The Save America’s Pollinators Act. The legislation suspends certain uses of neonicotinoids, a particular type of pesticide that is suspected to play a role in the bee die-offs happening in Oregon and around the world, until the Environmental Protection Agency reviews these chemicals and makes a new determination about their proper application and safe use. Dinotefuran, the neonicotinoid ingredient found in Safari insecticide, is blamed for last month’s mass die-off of an estimated 50,000 bumble bees in Wilsonville, OR – the largest such die-off ever recorded. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is investigating the die-off and is temporarily restricting the use of 18 pesticide products containing dinotefuran.
After the mass poisoning of over 50,000 bumble bees last week in Wilsonville, Oregon and other incidents now being reported in neighboring Washington County, scientists are calling on local officials to ban the cosmetic use of insecticides on city- and county-owned lands. The mass poisoning is the largest event of its kind ever documented, with an estimated impact on more than 300 wild bumble bee colonies.
Scientists investigating the mass death of bumble bees in Wilsonville, Oregon say that pesticides are the most likely cause. The incident first came to light on Saturday when shoppers at a Target store reported finding tens of thousands of dead bees in the store’s parking lot. News quickly spread to the Portland-based Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a group known for their international bee conservation work, who launched an investigation.
On October 11, 2012, in response to a petition from the Xerces Society and partners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori) as an endangered species and designate critical habitat. This butterfly’s native prairie habitat is one of the rarest ecosystems in the U.S., with 90 to 95 percent of it lost over the past 150 years.
An extensive review of bumble bee studies and surveys from across the U.S. show that three formerly common bumble bee species are experiencing steep declines. The report compiled information from more than three dozen scientists and citizen monitors and found that populations of the rusty-patched, yellowbanded and western bumble bee have all sharply dropped in the last decade.
A new report details how the island marble butterfly is languishing without protection even though it may be on the brink of extinction.  The new report lists the island marble as one of ten species that have been named the most in-need of protection under the Endangered Species Act.  With a population of less than 2,000 individuals and multiple threats to its survival the island marble is one of the most imperiled butterflies in the U.S.
Susan’s purse-making caddisfly is only one of the many unique species found nowhere but in Western springs, and carefully targeted management of these habitats is essential to maintain their biological integrity and sustain the diverse species they support. Endangered Species Act protection for the caddisfly would mean that their habitat would be protected and restored.
Once common throughout the northern and central Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming, the Black Hills mountainsnail has experienced significant declines over the years. Only 32 colonies are known to exist today and at over half of these colonies, the snail is considered rare. Experts agree that the snail is now considered to be critically imperiled and at risk of extinction.
Once widely distributed across the midwestern United States and south-central Canada, the Dakota skipper butterfly has experienced significant declines in the last 150 years. The butterfly has been wiped out of much of its range in Minnesota and North and South Dakota and has disappeared altogether from Iowa or Illinois. Scientific experts, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have all concluded the species is at great risk and may soon become extinct.
The Xerces Society is dedicated to the smallest of the creatures that run our world: invertebrates. Invertebrates are an overlooked segment of the animals that inhabit this earth, for while they comprise over 94% of the known animal species, they receive little public recognition and support. Many people can identify an endangered Bengal tiger, but few can identify an endangered Sand Creek tiger beetle. We want to change that. Since 1971, we have promoted projects to increase public understanding of invertebrates, while at the same working towards their protection and conservation.
In keeping with a legal agreement the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listed the Carson wandering skipper butterfly as an endangered species on August 7, 2002. The species was listed on a temporary, emergency basis in November 2001. The Carson wandering skipper received Endangered Species status because of a listing petition by the Xerces Society, and a negotiated settlement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Center for Biological Diversity.