Colorado’s native pollinators at risk

One in five native bumblebee species are imperiled

A recent report found that many of Colorado’s native pollinator populations are plummeting, and several bumblebee species are particularly at risk.

 Published by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, the report is the first comprehensive look at pollinators in the state. Researchers found that in the last 35 years, populations of some pollinator species in the state have dropped by more than half. About 20% of Colorado’s 24 native bumblebee species are currently seeking federal protection by the Endangered Species Act due to a significant population declines.

“That’s a huge alarm call, and that’s only for species we have good data for,” said Adrian Carper, an entomologist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder and the CU Museum of Natural History.

Researchers found  habitat loss, pesticides, climate change and nonnative species—including honeybees—are the main threats to native pollinators.

Read more from the University of Colorado.

Header Image: The high country (Bombus kirbiellus) bumble bee is an uncommon, high-elevation species native to Colorado. Credit: Adrian Carper