Franklin’s Bumble Bee
Franklin’s Bumble Bee, Bombus franklini, is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Known only from southern Oregon and northern California, between the Coast and Sierra-Cascade Ranges in the USA, Franklin’s Bumble Bee has the most restricted range of any bumble bee in the world. Like other bumble bees, it is an important pollinator of native flowering plants.
Populations of Franklin’s Bumble Bee have declined precipitously since 1998 and this species is in imminent danger of extinction. Surveys over more than a decade have illustrated how rapidly this bumble bee has disappeared. In 1998, 94 individuals were found at 8 sites, whereas in the past four years, only one individual has been observed in surveys.
Threats to this species include: exotic diseases introduced via trafficking in commercial bumble bee queens and colonies for greenhouse pollination of tomatoes; habitat loss due to destruction, degradation, conversion; and pesticides and habitat change.