February 10, 2020
Although the museum was not part of the recent scientific study regarding bumblebee population declines in North America and Europe referenced in this Washington Post article, Dr. Kal Ivanov, associate curator of invertebrate zoology at VMNH, says the study provides another line of evidence for the link between recent climate changes and biodiversity loss.
"The contemporary loss of global biodiversity is driven by a multitude of factors including land use changes, widespread use of pesticides, emerging diseases, and invasive species. The present study adds another line of evidence for the link between recent climate changes and biodiversity loss. The authors convincingly show a large-scale correlation between increased frequency of hotter temperatures and bumblebee population declines in North America and Europe. Moreover, at the scale at which the study was conducted, the effects of climate change appear to be independent of changing land use patterns. Although bumblebees are especially sensitive to temperature changes, this mechanism is unlikely to be limited to this important group of insect pollinators. More detailed studies are needed to improve our understanding of the links between climate change and biodiversity loss. Such knowledge is critical for the development of sound conservation strategies and for improving our chances of protecting the world's vital natural resources." - Dr. Kal Ivanov, associate curator of invertebrate zoology at VMNH