Skip to main content
x

Migratory western monarchs are being reported at their overwintering sites in coastal California in greater numbers than last year, with hundreds at some sites and thousands at others, giving hope for the struggling population. These reports are particularly welcome after the population reached an all-time low of 1,914 butterflies last year.
Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society and Dr. Robbin Thorp, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will list Franklin’s bumble bee, as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), making it the first bee in the western continental U.S. to be officially recognized under the ESA.
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.
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.
The Xerces Society today announced that only 1,914 monarch butterflies were recorded overwintering on the California coast this year. This critically low number follows two years with fewer than 30,000 butterflies—the previous record lows—indicating that the western monarch butterfly migration is nearing collapse. In only a few decades, a migration of millions has been reduced to less than two thousand butterflies.
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.
Early count numbers from the Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count suggest that the western migratory population is at an all-time low. With roughly 25% of the data in, only 1,182 monarchs have been reported. If this early data reflects monitoring at the rest of the sites, we may see fewer than 10,000 monarchs overwintering in California this year.
A project to better understand the status of Missouri’s bumble bees is being launched this month thanks to a new conservation partnership. The Missouri Bumble Bee Atlas will combine the efforts of the Missouri Department of Conservation; the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; two nonprofit organizations, Quail and Pheasants Forever and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; and volunteers spread throughout the state.
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.
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.