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DNR releases draft list of endangered, threatened species

american bumblebee lands on a flower
Andrew Cannizzaro
/
Flickr
The American bumblebee is now considered an endangered species in Michigan, according to the draft list.

Last month, the monarch butterfly was announced as an internationally endangered species. In Michigan, it’s still considered safe.

But 58 new species are being added to the state’s endangered and threatened species list.

Jennifer Kleitch is an endangered species specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. She said the list helps raise awareness and makes certain species more eligible for conservation resources.

“Part of the effort that goes into conservation is public education and outreach and teaching people about these species,” Kleitch said. “I have some good success stories, but I also have some species that are becoming more rare.”

Kleitch said the changes, including delisting 36 species, are in line with past updates. The list was last reviewed in 2009 and now has 407 species on it.

“A lot of the species that are being added or uplisted, meaning they’re going from threatened or endangered, are having habitat impacts by things like human development or fragmentation of their habitats,” Kleitch said.

The list is reviewed periodically by seven advisory committees made up of DNR staff, biologists and researchers, who focus on different species groups.

Kleitch said public feedback is a required part of the process, but also allows the DNR to communicate conservation efforts and gauge people’s understand of the list.

The DNR is accepting public comment on the proposed changes until September 30th. To comment on the list and learn more about changes, visit the DNR website here.

Teresa Homsi is an environmental reporter and Report for America Corp Member based in northern Michigan for WCMU. She is covering rural environmental issues, public health and Michigan commerce. Homsi has a bachelor’s from Central Michigan University in environmental studies, journalism and anthropology. During her undergraduate, she was a beat reporter for CMU’s student newspaper Central Michigan Life and interned for the Huron Daily Tribune. She has also interned for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy in the superfund section. *Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms, more info at https://www.reportforamerica.org/