Climate change is shrinking the geographic range of many bumblebee species in North America and Europe, putting them in danger of future extinction, scientists say.
In a study of 67 species, researchers found that a geographic squeeze occurred on both continents over the past 40 years – While the northern borders of each species’ territory remained about the same on average, the southern borders generally moved northward.
That shift, by more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) in some cases, was most pronounced for species in the southern parts of the study areas. In North America, the study extended from the southern United States to northern Alaska.
The range loss implies that populations have declined and are on the road to disappearing, said study leader Jeremy Kerr, of the University of Ottawa in Canada. Results were released Thursday by the journal Science.