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Environmentalists sue to list bumble bee as endangered

14 / 05 / 2014, Reuters Environment

(Reuters) - A bumble bee once common in the United States is disappearing so quickly it should be listed as an endangered species, environmentalists said in a lawsuit filed against U.S. government agencies on Tuesday.

The rusty patched bumble bee is now found in fewer and fewer areas as urbanization and agriculture reshape their traditional habitat on the Midwestern prairies, said the suit, which was filed in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., against the Interior my dirty Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Scientists ascribe the dwindling population to threats including disease, habitat destruction and pesticides, the environmentalists say.

"The leading hypothesis suggests that disease may be playing a role," said Sarina Jepsen, a program director at the Oregon-based Xerces Society, which brought the lawsuit along with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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