Bumble bees could become the first insects protected under California’s Endangered Species Act, but the petition is creating a lot of buzz. The state’s Fish and Game Commission opted in June to list four native bee species as candidates to become endangered species.
Environmental advocates have said the bees are critical to food supply and the decision to list bees on the endangered act is backed up by science. According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the number of bumble bees has declined in recent years and that more than 40 percent of species may even be at risk of extinction. But the agricultural industry has serious concerns about the move, arguing farmers would potentially have to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides. There’s also debate on whether state law can protect insects specifically.
Today on AirTalk, we look at what it could mean for bumble bees to join the state’s endangered list. Do you have thoughts? Call us at 866-893-5722.
Sarina Jepsen, director of the Endangered Species Program at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, an international non profit organization
Paul Weiland, partner at Nossaman, a law firm in Orange County, he’s the chair of the Environment and Land Use Practice Group, he’s representing a group of farming associations objecting to the state’s consideration of adding bumble bees to the endangered species list