The rusty patched bumble bee’s placement on the United States' endangered species list has been delayed by President Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 memo halting any government regulations that have been passed but not yet implemented.
Trump instituted the freeze to give time to review the new regulations and ensure his administration agreed with the plans, NBC News reported, but environmentalists see the move as potentially leading to the rusty patched bumble bee’s extinction.
“The Trump administration has put the rusty patched bumble bee back on the path to extinction,” Natural Resources Defense Council attorney Rebecca Riley said, NBC News reported. “This bee is one of the most critically endangered species in the country and we can save it — but not if the White House stands in the way.”
The Xerces Society, which partnered with NRDC to get the rusty patched bumble bee labeled under the Endangered Species Act, said to NBC, “Delays to protecting this already vulnerable pollinator may prove catastrophic.”
The bee may be placed on the list in March at the end of the 60-day review period, but some feel that may be too long to be any help in stopping the population decline.
Others oppose the move to list the rusty patched bumblebee as endangered.
The American Farm Bureau Federation said that the Endangered Species Act “imposes far-reaching regulatory burdens” on the agricultural industry,” NBC reported.
Scientists don’t know what is making the bees die off, but worry that loss of the pollinators may hamper the food supply. Although bees pollinate many food crops, Upworthy notes that bats, butterflies, and other species also pollinate crops and vegetation as well.
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