The US Fish and Wildlife Service contacted Beaver Island with a request to be on the look out for a rusty-patched bumble bee which is listed as an endangered species. It was last seen in Michigan in 2006. Where the species remains elsewhere is often in natural areas within an urban/suburban settings–essentially natural habitat islands, isolated from other natural areas. Disease is one suspect for the decline of the species, so perhaps isolation whether man-made or natural might be important. Great Lakes islands may be the last refuge to find a rusty-patched bumble bee thus the agency is asking for your observations. Below is a bumble bee watch program for those who are interested to help find rare bumble bees in Michigan.
The Beaver Island Archipelago is known by state and federal agencies for its high quality natural areas hosting threatened and endangered species. These islands support an unusual number of plants and animals under state and/or federal protection for their size. Piping Plover, Hines emerald dragonfly, Michigan monkey-flower, Dwarf Lake iris, Pitcher’s thistle, Houghton’s goldenrod, Lake Huron tansy, various orchids and grasses are enjoyed by many residents, biologists, and visitors.
There is one record already on the bumble bee watch site for Beaver Island for a Tri-colored bumble bee. It would be great to have more eyes looking for bumble bees and sending photos into the web site. Perhaps, your observation will add another unique species to the island’s list?
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