WASHINGTON (CN) – Seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees may soon gain protection under the Endangered Species Act, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that petitions supporting the listing of the bees have sufficient merit to warrant a full, year long, status review.
According to the petitions, degradation and loss of coastal and lowland habitat used by Hylaeus bees on all of the main Hawaiian Islands is the primary threat to these seven species. The petitioners argue the degradation has been caused by increased housing density and expansion of urban boundaries.
The Hylaeus species appear to have no taste for the nectar and pollen of non-native flowers and as invasive plants take over the habitat not lost to urbanization, bee populations have.
The agency is asking for public comment on the taxonomy, life history and habitat of the species, and any factors that may have a negative, or mitigating effect on the viability of the bees.