HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The US Fish and Wildlife Service may add seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees under the Endangered Species Act. The service will begin a 12-month review on the species' standing on the Islands.
The petitioners are saying the bees habitats are threatened by damaged coastal and lowland areas on the major Hawaiian Islands. Their habitats are being destroyed by land management procedures such as agriculture, grazing, urban expansion, recreational activities, non-native plants and animals, and sometimes fire.
"As pollinators of native plant communities, bees fulfill an essential role in the health of our native ecosystems," said Loyal Mehroff, field supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office. "These species are likely critical pollinators of one or more native Hawaiian plant species; their continued decline or eventual extinction may negatively impact native plant species."
The seven species are part of the Hawaiian Hylaeus genus, a small bee with 60 native species here in Hawaii and 20 that are found only on single islands. They are known as yellow-faced or masked bees because of their yellow to white facial markings.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking information from the public regarding an array of issues dealing with the species, for more information visit http://www.regulations.gov.
Photo source: Karl Magnacca - University of Hawaii.