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Feds urged to protect wild bees


Feds urged to protect wild bees

TORONTO - Five environmental groups are pressing the federal Minister of the Environment to list four wild bee species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Listing these bees is the crucial — and overdue — first step in protecting them from threats to their survival and recovery, including the use of harmful neonicotinoid pesticides.



The plight of the honeybees is well known but the plight of the wild bees and other pollinators is not. All around us the Sixth Extinction proceeds apace from many causes (all of them due to man) and yet we barely notice what is happening in our own backyards.

It would help if there were an informal observer program (website) where people could make observations about changes they see but which aren't recorded or mentioned in the overall picture being assembled by scientists.

For example when I was a boy, after a rain up in the summer vacation mountains, orange newts would appear by the thousands to the delight of us children. That really doesn't happen anymore. You only see one or two where once you could see dozens. Several people told me that they never see them at all anymore.

When my kids were little, at the seashore they'd go around catching these tiny toads that were everywhere. They are ALL gone. None remain. It is eerie.

People could volunteer to be scientific observers, follow reporting guidelines available on the website for how to do it and they could be online assistants to scientists as to local conditions. Students especially could participate through science classes and biology lab programs.