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Pollinators including bumblebees have been having a tough time lately with their population declining by billions over the course of last few years owing to which authorities across the world are talking about conservation efforts to ensure that we humans do not face food scarcity because of decline in numbers of these pollinators.

One such bumblebee is rusty patched bumblebee that has seen a population decline of 87% over the course of last few years and because of this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is mulling over the option of categorising these bees as endangered so as to channel more conservation efforts towards them. As is the case with wildlife, some of the major causes behind decline in numbers of these rusty patched bumblebee are habitat loss, climate change, disease, farming and pesticides.

Native to is native to North America and has been named because of a distinctive colored patch on the abdomens of worker bees. These bees are known to pollinate cranberries, plums, alfalfa, onion seed and apples.

The US FWS is mulling over the categorisation after the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation filed a formal petition in 2013 with the goal of getting the rusty patched bumblebee placed on the endangered list. It was this conservation organisation who first reported of the decline in the number of these pollinators. According to Xerces, initially found across at least 26 states in the Midwest and Northeast US, the rusty patched bumblebees are now being seen in just a few states.

Government agencies, members of the public, and scientists now have a period of 60-days within which they have to put forward their opinions and other inputs until November 21 and post that the US FWS will be announcing the decision whether the bumblebees are to be added in the endangered list or not.

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