Efforts to preserve the endangered rusty patched bumble bee were delayed by the recent executive order issued by President Donald Trump to freeze new federal regulations.
Trump's order took effect one day before the embattled bee was to be formally listed as an endangered species. The listing had been scheduled to take effect Feb. 10, but now is delayed until at least March 21.
The listing has been championed by the Portland-based Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, which works with scientists around the world to protect important pollinators and other species.
Xerces enlisted more than 128,000 people to sign a petition on change.org to encourage the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the bee under the Endangered Species Act. The federal agency received nearly 100,000 comments on the proposed listing, mostly in favor.
"Now that the Trump administration has intervened, the future of one of America's most endangered pollinators is far from certain," Xerces stated in a news release.