Volume 25, Number 6 ● March 23, 2017
Virginia Range for Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Revised
On January 10, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued their Final Rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as endangered. At the time of the listing, the Virginia Field Office of the USFWS indicated that the current range of the rusty patched bumble bee included Fauquier, Montgomery, Page, and Rockingham Counties. The field office has since revised this to include ONLY Fauquier County in the current range. The Fish and Wildlife Service delayed the original effective date, thus this listing went into effect on March 21, 2017. See our Field Notes Article regarding the listing for more details.
If you have a project in Montgomery, Page, or Rockingham County and already submitted an Official Species List which included the rusty patched bumble bee to USFWS, you are encouraged to resubmit your project with a new Official Species List (IPaC has been updated, so new searches in these counties should exclude the rusty patched bumble bee). USFWS also noted that they are working on recommendations to improve pollinator habitat, which should be released soon.