PORTLAND, Ore. – A recent survey by the Xerces Society has uncovered Oregon’s westernmost rare bumblebee.
The Oregon Zoo Foundation funded a survey by Xerces Society biologist Rich Hatfield, who spent six weeks identifying bumblebee species in the Mount Hood National Forest this summer. Hatfield discovered a dozen of the rare, western bumblebees near Timberline Lodge.
“In the last 15 years, there have only been about 15 sightings of this bumblebee west of the cascades,” Hatfield said. “This discovery suggests that this species might have a chance to repopulate its range.”
The western is one of five once-common native bumblebees whose populations have plummeted in recent years.
“Pollinators are critically important to the function of many ecosystems,” said David Shepherdson, Oregon Zoo Deputy Conservation Manager. “They provide the seeds and berries that feed our songbirds and mammals. Protecting pollinators helps to protect all wildlife.”
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Photo Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.