[Ed. – Paul Driessen’s point is well taken. The “endangered species” designation for this bee seems to have been made without sound evidence of habitat locations. In other words, your back yard could turn out to be a rusty patch bumblebee habitat. No one’s decided yet. In its way, this is even worse than the prairie chicken, for which the protected area was to be enormous – but at least was clearly designated in advance.]
The Natural Resources Defense Council has sued the Department of the Interior for failing to designate “critical habitat” for the “endangered” rusty patched bumblebee … an eleventh-hour Obama Administration endangered designation ….
Interior points out that extremely limited knowledge about RPBs makes critical habitat determinations impossible. …
RPBs are likely to be found “in scattered locations that cover only 0.1% of the species’ historical range,” the FWS has said. That doesn’t sound like much. However, 0.1% of the bee’s presumed or asserted historical range is nearly four million acres – equivalent to Connecticut plus Rhode Island.
Even worse, that acreage is widely dispersed in itty-bitty parcels across 13 states where amateur entomologists have supposedly spotted rusty patched bumblebees since 2000. That’s some 380 million acres: 15 times the size of Virginia!
No one knows just where those parcels might be.