Bushfires have pushed 11 bee species to extinction in Australia, World News
According to new research, the 2019-2020 bushfires had a devastating impact on 11 native Australian bee species.
Australian scientists analyzed the effect of the fires on 553 native bee species. Almost a third of all bee species discovered in the country to date.
In the analysis, 11 species are eligible for inclusion on the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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Before the fires, only three Australian bee species were threatened.
Two bee species, Leioproctus nigrofulvus or the solitary bee and Leioproctus carinatifrons, now meet the IUCN criteria for an endangered listing. During the bushfires, large areas of their natural habitat were burned. Nine species of bees were considered âvulnerableâ.
Using publicly available data, the researchers modeled the risk of bee extinction due to forest fires.
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An assistant lecturer at the University of Adelaide, study co-author Stefan Caddy-Retalic, said it was surprising that a single fire had pushed 11 bee species much closer to extinction.
Although there are 1,654 known species of bees in Australia, scientists believe the real number may be higher.
“There are so many native bees that are yet to be discovered – many of these species are in danger of being lost before they are even found, which is an incredible accusation about the impact we are having on the biodiversity of Australia, âsays Caddy-Retalic.
(With contributions from agencies)