Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bumble Bees populations declined 96% in U.S.

[Edited from Huffington Post article: Bumble Bees In U.S. Suffer Sharp Decline, Joining Countless Other Species Disappearing Worldwide]

The Guardian reportsthat four common species of U.S. bumble bees have declined 96 percent in recent decades. Honey bees have long been known to be in decline, suffering from the enigmatic colony collapse disorder, and the latest research on U.S. bumble bees only exacerbates concerns over future food production, as bees are responsible for pollinating 90 percent of the world's commercial plants, from fruits and vegetables to coffee and cotton.


-Read blog entry on bee color perception.
-Read blog entry on 21 things you did not know about honey bees.

Unfortunately, insects aren't the only creatures suffering drastic losses to their populations. Tigers could be extinct in 12 years if efforts to protect their habitats and prevent poaching aren't increased. A recent study across three continents showed snakes to be in rapid decline due to climate change. Overfishing and changing weather patterns have left 12 of the world's 17 species of penguins experiencing steep losses in numbers. A recent World Wildlife Fund report found that all animals in the tropics have declined by 60 percent since 1970, with everything from gorillas to fish thinning out.


-Read blog entry on Tigers could be extinct within next 12 years.

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