The bee population on the island has declined due to more evasive species along with habitation loss through urbanization.
The bees of Hawaii can rejoice as, along with 49 other species, they have been added to the endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The yellow-faced bee is native to the Hawaii and is thought to have located to the island independently creating 63 different species of this type of bee. However, numbers have declined so much that only 15 colonies are thought to remain.
The threat to the bees is down to a number of reasons including introduction of non-native plants, destruction of habitats due to urbanization, other non-native species of bees competing for plants, and occurring natural events such as tsunamis, hurricanes and drought. Seven species of the yellow-faced bee are in trouble, all of which have been added to the list.
“These species are all affected by habitat loss and invasive species. Listing these species as endangered will help draw attention to the threats that have brought them so close to extinction, and allow us to begin the process of bringing about recovery,” stated Mary Abrams, FWS field supervisor for the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office.
Thirty-nine species of plant on the island have also been added to the endangered list alongside the orangeblack Hawaiian damselfly, the band-rumped storm-petrel and the anchialine pool shrimp – all of which have seen a decline in the last decade due to habitat loss and the introduction of evasive species.
While 48 of the endangered species are native to Hawaii, a lot must be done to protect the native population of plants and animals including implementing a recovery process, gain funding and counteract the damaging effects of outside species.