Florida’s Long-Lost Blue Bee Has Been Rediscovered – Awareness Act

awarenessact.com

By Gerald Sinclair 5-6 minutes

For those who may not be aware, there is a species of bee known as the Osmia calaminthae. This bee is as you’d expect a bit blue in color unlike your average bee and for a while now has been seemingly gone from anyone’s view.

This kind of bee is so rare to spot that many in the scientific world thought it was gone for good, however, in recent times they’ve popped back up. After being so unsure for a long period about whether or not these interesting little creatures still existed, spotting one is a serious feat. According to Weather.com the plant this kind of bee needs to survive is very rare in Florida as well which means it’s hard for this kind of bee to get by.

This species had for the longest only been recorded in four locations of about a 16 square mile area in Wales Ridge and it seems since Spring a Florida Museum of Natural History has gotten lucky in ‘rediscovering’ these little guys. While it might not sound like much to the average person, this find is remarkable. These been were thought to be gone for good and to begin with we did not know much about them. Now that we know they are still out there we have so much to learn.

Chase Kimmel a postdoctoral researcher told Florida Museum as follows about this find:

“I was open to the possibility that we may not find the bee at all so that first moment when we spotted it in the field was really exciting,”

“We’re trying to fill in a lot of gaps that were not previously known,”

“It shows how little we know about the insect community and how there’s a lot of neat discoveries that can still occur.”

These researchers hope to study this specific kind of bee and get a better understanding of how it interacts with other insects, forages, and things of that nature. Lots of questions are being brought forth and perhaps in time, we will have our answers.

Weather.com wrote as follows about this marvelous find:

On March 9, Kimmel and a volunteer went to put out traps to see if they could find the bees. That’s when “we saw a blue bee bopping its head,” Kimmel said. They caught it and examined it and saw that it met all the qualifications for the ultra-rare blue calamintha bee.

Currently the bee does not have any protection status. It is considered a “species of greatest conservation need,” but has neither state nor federal protection. The main host plant that the bee utilizes, Calamintha ashei, is a state threatened species. In 2015, there was a petition to have the bee included, but it still lacks the status as there is not enough known about it for it to qualify for the endangered species list.

According to Kimmel, it is too early to know if the bee will be registered on the endangered species list, because more research needs to be done. There’s still much to learn about the blue calamintha bee. Not much is known about the bee’s biology. Does it prefer sun or shade? Such information is what Kimmel’s team will be looking into.

Kimmel added that “in an ideal world, it would be great to look at how management choices impact the plant and the population of this bee.” For example, the Florida Scrub Jays are an endangered species, and as such, conservationists and governments have tried to protect them, which includes managing wildlife to enable them to flourish. However, these management methods, which includes burning vegetation including the flowers that support the blue calamintha bees, could be damaging to the bee population, Kimmel explained. “Is the management for that bird the same as the management for this bee?” he poses. Other questions include how quickly does a bee return to an area that’s been burned, and how quickly does a plant regenerate to have the blossoms to support that bee.

The ongoing research is funded by a Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission grant through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This research falls under the grant’s qualifications to conserve important wildlife habitat and/or preventing species extinctions. “There was a lack of scientific information regarding the occurrence and life history of the bee[, and more] information was needed to make an informed determination regarding the classification status for this species under the Endangered Species Act,” according to a spokesperson at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

What do you think about this find? I for one think it is monumental for a number of reasons. It’s always a huge feat when we find something that was previously thought to be gone forever.

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https://awarenessact.com/floridas-long-lost-blue-bee-has-been-rediscovered/?fbclid=IwAR0pDeClHeGa-5CdKv4Ga7SNCfjIeJeNWOHFeDP0j5VA3_BWZz3AitnZLtA

RSPB flooded with reports of birds of prey being killed | RSPB

amp.theguardian.com

5-7 minutes


Hen Harrier

Show captionHen harriers are among the falcons being targeted. Photograph: AlamyRSPB

Charity says lockdown has been seen as green light to target birds in belief there is less chance of getting caught

The RSPB has been “overrun” with reports of birds of prey being illegally killed since lockdown began.

Police have been called out to investigate multiple cases of raptors being shot, trapped or suspected of having been poisoned, with the charity saying most incidents were on or close to sporting estates managed for game bird shooting.

The RSPB has logged at least 56 potential offences – more than one a day on average – since lockdown began on 23 March, including 15 confirmed shot birds of prey and 24 birds submitted for further postmortem analysis after suspected illegal killing.

Birds targeted in the last six weeks include hen harriers, peregrine falcons, red kites, goshawks, buzzards and a barn owl.

On 29 March, a buzzard was found with its wing fractured by gunshot at Shipton, near York. The buzzard was rehabilitated by a local wildlife expert and recovered. Over the Easter weekend, a red kite was found shot dead near Leeds with 12 shotgun pellets in its body.

The following weekend, the naturalist and broadcaster Iolo Williams recovered a red kite in Powys which had been shot dead. Two further red kites were also reported shot in the area.

In Scotland, the police are investigating several raptor persecution cases and reports of the use of illegal traps on grouse moors.

Mark Thomas, head of UK investigations for the RSPB, said: “Since lockdown began, the RSPB has been overrun with reports of birds of prey being targeted. It is clear that criminals on some sporting estates, both in the uplands and lowlands, have used the wider closure of the countryside as an opportunity to ramp up their efforts to kill birds of prey.

“Spring is the time when birds of prey are most visible and therefore vulnerable, as they put on courtship displays, build nests and find food ready to breed. The criminal actions are targeted and malicious in nature, taking out birds before they have the opportunity to breed, often in areas where they have previously faced persecution.”

Supt Nick Lyall, the head of a national police and policy group tasked with tackling raptor persecution, said he was “sickened” by the number of cases in recent weeks.

“Lockdown has been seen as a green light by those involved in raptor persecution offences to continue committing crimes, presumably in the belief that there are fewer people around to catch them doing so,” he said. “I remain grateful to everyone involved in investigating these crimes, and thankfully in the vast majority of the cases I am aware of, it looks like some really good lines of inquiry are taking place which should lead to arrests and interviews.”

Amanda Anderson, director of the Moorland Association, said: “Any confirmed reports of raptor persecution are cause for concern. The incidents specified near Leeds and York … [by the RSPB] are clearly not on grouse moors, while reports we have from our members in the uplands have suggested that many birds of prey are in fact benefiting from the lockdown restrictions and the subsequent reduction in disturbance from members of the public. Estates across the country have reported a number of raptors including peregrine, merlin and hen harriers nesting and living on those landscapes.

“We condemn any illegal activity and Moorland Association members have signed up to a cross-sector zero tolerance approach to wildlife crime.”

Dr Ruth Tingay of Raptor Persecution UK and co-founder of Wild Justice, said: “The reported surge really shouldn’t come as any surprise. Birds of prey have been ruthlessly targeted on many game-shooting estates for decades; lockdown simply provides the criminals with more opportunity to pursue their targets with little fear of detection or consequence.

“The big question remains the same – lockdown or not: when will this government acknowledge the scale and extent of the problem and hold these shooting estates to account? Wilful blindness can no longer be tolerated.”

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https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/15/rspb-flooded-with-reports-of-birds-of-prey-being-killed?CMP=share_btn_fb&__twitter_impression=true

The Darwin Award goes to…

Put your left foot out and shake it all about

Lost and driving in circles for 2 hours he finally found someone to help

Petition · Tim Cadogan: Stop GoFundMe from allowing campaigns on cruelty to animals such as Trophy Hunting. · Change.org

Eleonora Carrara started this petition to Tim Cadogan and 3 others

GoFundMe has helped many needy causes and individuals with legitimate fund raising campaigns throughout the years. It makes fundraising easy and accessible.

However, GoFundMe is now approving fundraisers for Africa Trophy Hunters!

The promotion of senseless killing of “trophy” animals by GoFundMe especially at a time in history when the planet is in an ecological crisis in terms of the environment and its wildlife is reprehensible. GoFundMe should take down this fundraiser immediately. This campaign is regressive and has tarnished the GoFundMe image.

Alternate positive campaigns to create sustainable, cruelty free employment in Africa and elsewhere should be encouraged. Why would GoFundMe promote such a deplorable campaign rather than promoting positive changes benefitting local tourism, the environment and the animals. 

GoFundMe – do the right thing and disassociate yourself from this cruel and deplorable campaign. Take the Africa Trophy Hunters fundraiser down!Start a petition of your ownThis petition starter stood up and took action. Will you do the same?Start a petition

Updates

  1. 7 hours ago1,500 supporters
  2. GoFundMe – Take down the Africa Trophy Hunters fundraiser!Thank you to all the concerned supporters across the worl… Eleonora Carrara16 hours ago
  3. 1 day ago1,000 supporters
  4. 2 days agoEleonora Carrara started this petition

Elke KRAFCZYK·2 days agoit`s a SHAME to see such a organization like gofundme promoting cruelty to animals.You lost quite a few supporters having done this.

https://www.change.org/p/tim-cadogan-stop-gofundme-from-allowing-campaigns-on-cruelty-to-animals-such-as-trophy-hunting?recruiter=326543891&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_abi&utm_term=psf_combo_share_initial&recruited_by_id=5b5f6440-19c8-11e5-9869-c790e7c62e87&fbclid=IwAR0gtX-GyRbamwGTtDjzm5dJPruQil9kB8bP5ZQAfwD4_5iM2e0pnCSf7Ac