U.S. Puts Seven Bee Types on Endangered Species List for First Time

Reports say the United States of America has historically added seven types of bees to the federal list of endangered and threatened species, according to U.S. wildlife managers. The listing decision, published on Friday in the Federal Register, classifies seven varieties of yellow-faced or masked bees as endangered, due to such factors as habitat loss, wildfires and the invasion of non-native plants and insects. These bees once crowded Hawaii and Maui but recent surveys found their populations have fallen in the same fashion as other types of wild bees and some commercial ones elsewhere in the United States. It should be noted this decision of placing yellow-faced bees under federal safeguards comes just over a week since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed adding the imperiled rusty patched bumble bee, a prized but vanishing pollinator once found in the upper Midwest and Northeastern United States, to the endangered and threatened species list.

New cases of maternal cannibalism found amongst DRC Bonobos

Recent reports say scientists have recorded on video new cases of maternal cannibalism in wild bonobos (Pan paniscus) from two different field sites, Wamba and Kokolopori, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to reports published in the Primate Research InstituteUniversity of KyotoInuyama Japan, at Kokolopori, although the mother did eat part of the carcass, it was held and shared by another dominant female. At Wamba, the mother was a dominant female within the community and was the primary consumer of the carcass. In both cases, cannibalism was like any other meat-eating events, with the dominant female controlling the meat consumption. In either case, it was observed that infanticide was not the case, but its occurrence could not be ruled out. Although rare, the occurrence of maternal cannibalism at three different study sites suggests that this may represent part of the behavioral repertoire of bonobos, rather than an aberrant behavior. One of the authors, Nahoko Tokuyama of Kyoto University in Japan, says the behaviour has only been observed once before, which suggests it is extremely rare. She explained does not know why the behaviour occurred. “It may be explained by nutritional benefit. However, the number of cases is too small to find biological reasons.” She says she was shocked when she saw an older brother of one of the dead babies appearing to look happy when he was eating his dead younger sibling. She says they treated the dead infants as they would any other meat.