By CALEB JONES
HONOLULU (AP) - Federal authorities have added seven yellow-faced bee species, Hawaii's only native bees, for protection under the Endangered Species Act, a first for any bees in the United States.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the listing Friday after years of study and petitions by the conservation group Xerces Society.
The group says their goal is to protect nature's pollinators and invertebrates, which play a vital role in the health of the overall ecosystem.
Friday's listing finalized the protection of 10 animal species in Hawaii, the seven bees along with band-rumped storm-petrel, the orangeblack Hawaiian damselfly and the anchialine pool shrimp. It also added 39 species of plants native to Hawaii.
The rusty-patched bumble bee, found widely across the continental United States, is also being considered for protection.