Our beloved bumblebee has now officially been added to the list of endangered species along with the grizzly bear, northern spotted owl, and gray wolf.
According to National Geographic:
“The rusty-patched bumblebee (Bombus affinis), once a common sight, is “now balancing precariously on the brink of extinction,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Once thriving in 28 states and the District of Columbia, but over the past two decades, the bee’s population has plummeted nearly 90 percent. There are more than 3,000 bee species in the United States, and about 40 belong to the genus Bombus—the bumblebees.
Advocates for the rusty-patched bumblebee’s listing are abuzz with relief, but it may be the first skirmish in a grueling conflict over the fate of the Endangered Species Act under the Trump administration.”
According to James Stranger, a research entomologist, and Bumblebee ecologist:
“There are a few little spots where we know they are. But only a really few spots.”
Scientifically the bee is referred to as Bombus affinis, named for the red patch on their abdomen. The original listing date as an endangered species was planned for February 2018, but it was not until recently that they were listed.
According to Xerces Society director of endangered species Sarah Jepsen:
“We are thrilled to see one of North America’s most endangered species receive the protection it needs. Now that the Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the rusty-patched bumble bee as endangered, it stands a chance of surviving the many threats it faces — from the use of neonicotinoid pesticides to diseases.”
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
“Bumblebees are among the most important pollinators of crops such as blueberries, cranberries, and clover, and almost the only insect pollinators of tomatoes. The economic value of pollination services provided by native insects (mostly bees) is estimated at $3 billion per year in the United States.”
One of the main factors in the declining trend of its population was the human encroachment which led to the subsequent loss of their natural habitat. Therefore, this classification will protect the grasslands needed by these bees and other pollinators.
Rich Hatfield, a Xerces Society, a senior conservation biologist, says:
“While this listing clearly supports the rusty patched bumble bee, the entire suite of pollinators that share its habitat, and which are so critical to natural ecosystems and agriculture, will also benefit.
This is a positive step towards the conservation of this species, and we now have to roll up our sleeves to begin the actual on-the-ground conservation that will help it move toward recovery.”
Yet, it is a fact that this move brings about new challenges. The petition from American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Home Builders, National Cotton Council of America, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and two entities to the Secretary of the Interior and Acting Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, aims at getting a year’s delay in the listing, since “the implications of this hasty listing decision are difficult to overstate. “
This petition goes on to deem the listing of this bee as “one of the most significant species listings in decades in terms of scope and impact on human activities.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees the law’s implementation, acknowledges that the number of species so far deemed robust enough to be taken off the protected list (close to 40) is “relatively modest.”
However, the law has been nearly 100-percent successful at preventing those species from going extinct altogether, and it has allowed others, such as the gray wolf, bald eagle, and American crocodile, to thrive.
Cow that escaped slaughter on I-80 gives birth at sanctuary
The cow that avoided the slaughterhouse by jumping off a truck in New Jersey is over the moon at her new home, the Skylands Animal Sanctuary Rescue, where she gave birth to a female calf Saturday.
Briana was brought to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage after escaping from a truck driving on Interstate-80 that was delivering her to a slaughterhouse. Little did her rescuers know, she was nine months pregnant.
On the moooove: Cow destined for slaughter escapes truck on I-80
The birth of baby Winter, which Stura said was Brianna’s firstborn, took about 45 minutes; Stura began assisting Brianna before the veterinarian arrived after first trying to let nature take its course.
“She was a first-time mom, I was trying to let her do her thing,” Stura said.
After she was corralled by police and animal control workers, Stura and his crew made a bovine intervention — taking Brianna to his sanctuary in Wantage, NJ, where she got a new lease on life.
“She’s never had freedom, she’d been impregnated about nine months ago, and had already lost her home and her family, but that wasn’t enough, EVERYTHING was about to be stolen from her, her beautiful baby, and her life.”
Skylands Animal Rescue and Sanctuary runs on donations and welcomes the assistance of volunteers and animal sponsors.
California will become 1st state to ban retail sale of dogs and cats
A new California law will soon put a leash on pet store sales, becoming the first state to ban retail sales of cats, dogs and rabbits in an effort to crack down on breeding mills.
A bill signed in October, AB 485, goes into effect January 1. It says pet stores can only sell cats, dogs and rabbits that come from local rescue groups, shelters or animal control agencies.
Starting on Jan 1., California pet shops will only be allowed to offer dogs, cats, and rabbits from local shelters and rescues.
It requires “each pet store to maintain records sufficient to document the source of each dog, cat, or rabbit the pet store sells or provides space for, for at least one year, and to post, in a conspicuous location on the cage or enclosure of each animal, a sign listing the name of the entity from which each dog, cat, or rabbit was obtained.”
CAPS (The Companion Animal Protection Society) President Deborah Howard submitted extensive written testimony and investigative evidence to the Senate and Governor Brown in support of AB 485.
Minutes before K9 cop is put down, radio call breaks in with message
K9 members of the police force do so much for humans in the name of the law. They serve, protect, guide, apprehend, sniff, and give all– until their final breath. When Argo the German Shepherd joined the Hildalgo County Sheriff’s office, little did everyone know the huge impact his life would make on the team.
In August 2009, Argo started working with the sheriff’s office, according to the Facebook post.
The sheriff’s office said: ‘Argo was a Narcotics Detection Dog that certified with the National Narcotics Detector Dog Association on a yearly basis as well as a skilled and relentless Police Tracking Dog.
Credited with taking thousands of pounds of drugs off the streets, the K-9 was a valuable member of the Texas police force.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, located in Edinburg, wrote of the Czech German Shepherd’s death in a Facebook post last week.
It said: ‘Argo was diagnosed with bone cancer, but refused to let it slow him down.
With a terminal diagnosis, LT Francisco Guerrero was forced to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life. He knew that it was in the pup’s best interest to be put down, so a small and intimate ceremony was arranged for the officers to give their four-legged colleague the heroic send-off he deserved.
For his final minutes, Argo was given a fond farewell over the police radio. It is customary to say goodbye and wish an officer well, and this tradition was carried out for Argo. He lifted his head and his ears perked up when he heard his name.
What happened next left the room in tears, as members of Argo’s family and police force gathered to pay their final respects. Keeping with law enforcement tradition, a final call was dispatched over the radio congratulating the sweet dog on his years of bravery and service.
Sheriff’s officials thank the public for the kind words during this time. They say Argo will be publicly honored at the HCSO First Annual South Texas K9 Competition on Nov. 10.
The true story behind the viral photo of dog sleeping in a cemetery
A heartbreaking photo of a German Shepherd in a cemetery went viral in April 2015 and was shared by animal lovers all over the world. The dog, curled up in the crevice, was thought to be a loyal dog grieving for her deceased owner. It turns out, this was not the dog’s story at all. Her story is still a heartbreaking one, but one that has a happy ending!
It was a picture of a German Shepherd who had presumably dug a hole to stay close to her late owner’s grave. The dog looked broken and exhausted.
This brave mother and her babies were spotted by an animal lover who decided to take things into her hands and take them off that place to a safer one.
This unusual event took place at the graveyard of Novi Beograd, Belgrade, Serbia.
The dog and her babies were discovered at the cemetery by animal rescuers.
The mom was a very cute dog that wasn’t afraid of people and was happy to approach the rescuers who offered her some food. It was as though she could sense they were there to lend a helping hand.
The hero who took part in the rescue was a woman named Vesna Mihajloski.
Vesna took the dogs home and immediately began caring for them. No longer were they forced to seek shelter in a graveyard.
With just a little bit of compassion and kindness, this mother and her babies will now live the lives they so deserve.
The sweet pups are now all grown up and healthier and happier than ever. They enjoy their days running around and bonding with each other, their dog mommy, and their human mommy.
Mom looks happy that she and her puppies are in safe and welcoming hands.
We hope that each of the members of this beautiful dog family will find their forever home and will spend the rest of their lives surrounded by people who would love them endlessly. Until then, they have all the time to snuggle and be by each other’s side.