The number of bumblebee species in Massachusetts is declining even as the abundance of one species, Bombus impatiens, is skyrocketing. This slideshow features the work of the Beecology Project and one of its most productive citizen scientists, Norman Levey of Lincoln, who has personally identified and confirmed seven species of bumblebee in his local area. Norman is also a veteran birdwatcher and compiler of the annual Concord Circle Christmas Count.
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Over 40 percent of the world’s insect species are under imminent threat of extinction. Other studies in Germany and Puerto Rico have revealed steep declines in abundance and diversity in just the last few decades. According to Dr. Anne Averill, professor of entomology at UMass, Amherst, “Loss of diversity has ripple effects. Insects are foundational to almost all of our functioning ecosystems.” It’s happening here, too.
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Excerpted from the Cricket, November 8, 1985: Leased Since 1948, Guy and Laura Bailey of Hig… Read more