Hawaiian Bees added to endangered species list in the U.S. for the first time
Federal authorities on Friday added seven yellow-faced bee species, Hawaii’s only native bees, for protection under the Endangered Species Act, a first for any bees in the United States.
Yellow-faced bees can be found elsewhere in the world, but these particular species are native only to Hawaii and pollinate plant species indigenous to the islands.
The bees face a variety of threats including feral pigs, invasive ants, loss of native habitat due to invasive plants, fire, as well as development, especially in some for the coastal areas.
The bees can be found in a wide variety of habitats in Hawaii, from coastal environments to high-elevation shrub lands, she said. The yellow-faced bees pollinate some of Hawaii’s endangered native plant species. While other bees could potentially pollinate those species, many could become extinct if these bees were to die off entirely.
World unites to save the Pangolin
After months of vociferous lobbying, conservationists succeeded in eliciting the support of 19 countries to totally ban all trade, except for scientific research, of the endangered pangolin – an animal that has earned the unfortunate label of “the most trafficked mammal” in the world.
Unlike the high-profile marketing drives undertaken on behalf of elephants, rhinos, tigers, leopards and lions, pangolins remained under the radar of mainstream conservation campaigns.
In July, Hong Kong customs officers seized more than 4 000kg of pangolin scales, which were hidden in a container labelled “sliced plastics” from Cameroon. This represents up to 6 000 pangolins – the largest seizure of pangolin scales in five years.
Pangolin body parts have been used for centuries in both traditional Asian and African medicine. But it is evident that in Asia, especially China and Vietnam, pangolin scales are now being exploited for everything from fashion items to status symbols and the species is being eaten to extinction.