The Source of Hope and Wonder Comes in Small Packages
Published on September 10, 2019
One of our senior endangered species conservation biologists 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
Published on September 4, 2019
Sarah Nizzi, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner and NRCS Partner Biologist, along with two other natural resource professionals from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recently taught more than 50 fellow natural resource practitioners about the biology, ecology, and identification of Iowa’s bumble bees, as well as specifics on the federally endangered rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis).
Insects Lose as Trump Administration Weakens the Endangered Species Act
Published on August 29, 2019
Who really wants to live in and pass on a world without a diversity of butterflies to fill the sky, bees to pollinate our food and flowers, and fireflies to light up the night? Clearly, those who wrote and support these new rules think that is an acceptable future.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes Endangered Species Act protection for Franklin’s bumble bee
Published on August 12, 2019
Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society and the late Dr. Robbin Thorp, Professor Emeritus at University of California–Davis, tomorrow the United States Fish and Wildlife Service will propose to list Franklin’s bumble bee (Bombus franklini) as an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), making it the first bee in the western U.S. to be officially recognized under the ESA.
Community Science Powers New Western Monarch Studies
Published on July 30, 2019
Western monarch researchers and community scientists have been busy, contributing information vital to understanding the situation facing this imperiled population of America’s most well-known butterfly.
Native Horticultural Symposium – Los Altos Hills, CA
Published on July 26, 2019
September 21st, 2019
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Los Altos Hills, CA
Join Angela Laws, Monarch and Pollinator Ecologist with the Xerces Society, at this symposium that will feature keynote speaker Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, and Bart O’Brien, Director of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden and the co-author of Reimagining the California Lawn. Angela will give a talk on declining insect biodiversity and climate change.
Click here for more information and to register.
Celebrate World Firefly Day by Keeping Nights Dark
Published on July 5, 2019
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. This is the theme of this year’s World Firefly Day; read on for information on how to support the conservation of these beloved beetles!
Let’s Make Every Week Pollinator Week!
Published on June 23, 2019
Without a doubt, every week is Pollinator Week here at the Xerces Society. Our staff are consistently working with farmers, public land managers, suburban park managers, and gardeners, providing guidance on planning and creating habitat. Here are a variety of ways to support our efforts to conserve these vital invertebrates throughout the year—no matter where you live!
Working to Conserve Monarchs from Coast to Coast
Published on June 21, 2019
The migration of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus plexippus) is an awe-inspiring sight that heralds the changing seasons across much of North America. Sadly, these inspiring migrations have experienced significant declines in the past few decades. 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
Published on June 18, 2019
To help further our understanding of, and conservation efforts for, bumble bees, the Xerces Society has launched the Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas. This community science project offers locals the opportunity to work alongside researchers to collect data that will shed light on the distribution, status, and habitat needs of Nebraska’s bumble bees.
New iNaturalist Project Makes it Easier to Submit Data to the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper
Published on June 7, 2019
Now you can submit data to the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper using the iNaturalist app on a smartphone or tablet (iOS and Android are both supported). This new way of submitting data makes it easier to share photos and locality data—and we need all hands on deck this season, to better understand the hurdles facing the imperiled western monarch population!
Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – May 2019
Published on May 30, 2019
May’s featured staff share stories of building pollinator habitat that will also support monarchs—one project on a farm in Iowa, and the other in a park in Missouri.
Taking a Stand for Firefly Species Facing Extinction
Published on May 15, 2019
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)—with a request for the concurrent designation of critical habitat—under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Five Ways Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Bumble Bee Recovery & Conservation Initiatives are Benefitting from the Success of Bumble Bee Watch
Published on May 2, 2019
Since its launch in 2014, and thanks to its growing popularity each year, Bumble Bee Watch has generated an enormous dataset devoted to cataloging North America’s bumble bee fauna, and the information it contains has enabled us to tackle important questions in bumble bee ecology.
How to Support Monarch Butterfly Conservation—During Earth Week and Beyond!
Published on April 27, 2019
Helping the monarch back to full health isn’t going to be easy or quick, but we can’t stand by and do nothing. If we all plant a small patch of milkweed and nectar plants, and all think about how we can change our actions to make things better for monarchs, 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
Published on April 24, 2019
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. As such, it is fitting to recognize this living legend of North American bumble bee conservation during Earth Week.
Announcing the 2019 DeWind Awardees
Published on April 3, 2019
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.
Community Scientists Can Help Support Imperiled Western Monarchs
Published on March 12, 2019
We encourage everyone to take some time while hiking in the California coast range, California Central Valley, and the rest of the West, to 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
Published on March 7, 2019
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
Published on February 15, 2019
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
Published on February 5, 2019
Overall, the count data revealed an average decrease of 38% between the Thanksgiving and New Year’s counts.
Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – January 2019
Published on January 28, 2019
January’s featured staff have been working on establishing pollinator habitat with a multi-year hedgerow project in California’s Central Valley; and, in Maine, collaborating with a diverse array of partners and stakeholders to both facilitate habitat restoration for native bees and navigate the ins and outs of the Endangered Species Act.
Monarch Butterflies in Western North America in Jeopardy
Published on January 17, 2019
Population of monarchs overwintering in California at lowest level ever recorded Media Contacts: Emma Pelton, Endangered Species Conservation Biologist; [email protected], (971) 533-7245 Sarina Jepsen, Endangered Species Program Director; [email protected], (971) 244-3727 PORTLAND, Ore.; Thursday, 1/17/19—The population of monarch butterflies overwintering in California has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded. Surveys done by volunteers with Read more …
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
Published on January 10, 2019
Although we did not get everything we wanted in the 2018 Farm Bill, the very good news is that pollinators are still a priority for the USDA and the Natural Resource Conservation Service—and formal commitments to support conservation efforts are now in effect for at least the next five years.
Climate News Round-Up: January 2019
Published on January 3, 2019
Climate change is an unprecedented global challenge. The magnitude of the problem and the consequences of inaction can be overwhelming, but there is still time to act. While the federal government is rolling back some of the progress that has been made in reducing carbon emissions, many cities, states, and businesses around the country remain committed to climate action. We can build on this momentum and support further action.
Businesses Aligning with the Life that Sustains Us
Published on December 20, 2018
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.
Are Freshwater Mussels in Hot Water?
Published on December 13, 2018
Conservation efforts for freshwater mussels, already challenging because of the demands upon fresh water from farming, industry, and human settlements, must now also contend with the threats posed by the warming climate. The impacts will result both from the changing environment and from our response to those changes, including our choices for managing water bodies and associated habitat.
Early Thanksgiving Counts Show a Critically Low Monarch Population in California
Published on November 29, 2018
The California overwintering population has been reduced to less than 0.5% of its historical size, and has declined by 86% compared to 2017. While western monarchs are facing unprecedented challenges right now, there is still hope that we can recover the population if we work quickly, strategically, and together.
Western Monarch Numbers Expected to Be Low this Year
Published on November 15, 2018
You may be asking “What can I do to help the monarch?” Besides protecting habitat, avoiding pesticide use, and planting gardens, another way is to contribute monarch and milkweed data to Xerces-led citizen science efforts—namely, the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count and the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper.
The Xerces Society Seeks Endangered Species Protections for California Bumble Bees
Published on October 16, 2018
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.
The Endangered Species Act needs your help!
Published on August 29, 2018
We need your voice to help defend one of our most important wildlife protection laws. Since 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been at the forefront of species protection, placing the United States as a world leader in science-based conservation. The ESA is our nation’s most effective law for protecting animals and plants in Read more …
Connecticut’s Sandplains Need Protection
Published on May 11, 2018
Sandplains are one of New England’s rarest ecosystems. Areas of dry sandy soil left by glacial outwash, sandplains support sparse vegetation and bare ground. At first glance, a sandplain looks like a scruffy wasteland, hardly something worth standing up for—and typically, no one has. Sandplains have been subjected to mining, development, and fragmentation resulting in Read more …
Newly released monarch overwintering site management plan provides blueprint for protecting and managing monarch groves
Published on March 2, 2018
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Groundswell Coastal Ecology, California Department of Parks and Recreation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have developed a western monarch butterfly overwintering site management plan that also serves as a template for land managers at other overwintering sites. The Monarch Butterfly Overwintering Site Management Plan for Lighthouse Field Read more …
Searching for Skippers on Oregon’s Wild Southwest Coast
Published on October 18, 2017
The Southern Oregon coast is a wild place. Situated at the convergence of the Coast Range and the Klamath-Siskiyous, this corner of the state is widely regarded as one of the country’s biodiversity hotspots. Puffin-dotted sea stacks and agate beaches quickly give way to a tangle of madrone, hemlock, and oak marching upward into thick Read more …
Rusty patched bumble bee deserves protection, not delay
Published on March 2, 2017
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 until Read more …
2017 Monarch Numbers Are Down, Lengthening a Worrying Trend
Published on February 9, 2017
The number of monarch butterflies overwintering was down this winter in both coastal California and in Michoacán, Mexico, according to recent announcements by the Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count and World Wildlife Fund–Mexico. In California, the Xerces Society’s Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count reported a total of 298,464 monarchs—a fraction of the 1.2 million reported Read more …
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee: The First Bee in the Continental US to be Protected Under the Endangered Species Act
Published on January 11, 2017
In response to a petition from the Xerces Society, on Wednesday, January 11, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a final rule to list the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, making it the first bee in the continental U.S. to be federally protected. This Read more …
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Protected as an Endangered Species
Published on January 10, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Sarina Jepsen, Director of Endangered Species Program, Xerces; (971) 244-3727; [email protected] Rich Hatfield, Senior Conservation Biologist, Xerces; (503) 468-8405; [email protected] Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Protected as an Endangered Species First bee in the continental U.S. is listed under the Endangered Species Act PORTLAND, Ore., January 10, 2017—Responding to a petition from Read more …
Western Freshwater Mussels: Unobtrusive, Invaluable—and on the Red List
Published on December 9, 2016
This week, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published the second update this year to the Red List of Threatened Species. The Red List is an important tool for biologists and policymakers because it highlights which species are at greatest risk of going extinct and can be used to set priorities for conservation. Read more …
Putting Mussels on Your Mind
Published on October 31, 2016
While marine life and pollinators are the focus of a lot of media and conservation attention, and deservedly so, freshwater mussels in the U.S. are also in trouble – in fact, they are amongst the most at-risk animals in the U.S. More than seventy percent of all species of North American freshwater mussels are considered Read more …
In a rapidly warming climate, imperiled species may have nowhere to run.
Published on September 30, 2016
The western glacier stonefly (Zapada glacier) takes the real estate mantra “location, location, location” seriously. In fact, their life depends on it. Making their home in the aquatic alpine ecosystem in the highest elevations of Glacier National Park, Montana, the species is uniquely adapted to thrive in the very cold, low-oxygen, nutrient poor environment provided Read more …
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes ESA protection for the rusty patched bumble bee
Published on September 21, 2016
In 2013 the Xerces Society petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as an endangered species. Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it is proposing to list the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. This is Read more …
Two Rare Species Spotted During Minn. Bumble Bee Survey
Published on July 31, 2016
Known to Dakota people as Oheyawahi, “the hill much visited,” Pilot Knob Hill in Mendota Heights, MN, lived up to its name when citizen scientists and eager volunteers gathered recently on the hill to hunt for some rare Minnesota species. Sarah Foltz Jordan of the Xerces Society, Elaine Evans of the University of MN Bee Read more …
2000 Mussels Cross the Road
Published on July 25, 2016
As two culverts are replaced to improve fish passage in Crystal Springs Creek (Westmoreland Park, Portland, Ore.), 25 citizen-scientist volunteers and watershed specialists gathered to rescue freshwater mussels and relocate them upstream, out of the project area and out of harm’s way. Members of the Crystal Springs Partnership with guidance from the Xerces Society prepared Read more …
Island Marble Butterfly: Slipping Towards Extinction
Published on April 5, 2016
On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that the island marble butterfly (Euchloe ausonides insulanus) is in danger of extinction but that protection under the Endangered Species Act is “precluded by higher priority listing actions.” The Service declined to grant this butterfly protection through an emergency listing process, Read more …
Surprises in the Field: Discovering a New Population of a Bog-Associated Butterfly
Published on December 22, 2015
One of the greatest thrills of fieldwork is finding an unexpected or undescribed species at a field site. As a conservation biologist who studies invertebrates, I probably get more than my fair share of new encounters. The numbers are certainly in my favor: invertebrates make up over 90 percent of all known animal species on Read more …
The Crystal Skipper: North Carolina’s Newest Butterfly Species
Published on December 3, 2015
The beautiful beaches of the central North Carolina coast, known as the Crystal Coast in tourist brochures, are well known to beachgoers, birdwatchers, and shell hunters. Less well known is a small brown butterfly living amongst the sand dunes which, until last week, had no official name; it has now been formally described in the Read more …
Hawai‘ian Yellow-Faced Bees: The First U.S. Bees Proposed for ESA Protection
Published on September 30, 2015
This summer, I had the pleasure of visiting Hawai‘i with my family. What a wonderful vacation! Beautiful beaches, kayaking, sea turtles, fresh pineapple, fabulous tropical gardens, volcanoes—but I also went in hunt of bees. I found bees in the gardens of the first place we stayed. But the carpenter bees and honey bees were not Read more …
Good News for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee
Published on September 21, 2015
Friday was a good day for the rusty patched bumble bee. After decades of declining populations and a nearly 90% contraction in range, it was given a glimmer of hope for a future: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a positive 90-day finding in response to an Endangered Species Act petition requesting listed as Read more …
Red Listing North America’s bumblebees
Published on July 22, 2015
This blog was originally posted on the IUCN Red List’s website This spring has been busy for bumblebee conservation in North America. Over the last several months I have been working with other IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group members to complete the IUCN Red List assessments of all North American bumblebees. In April, I also Read more …
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