HONOLULU, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added seven species of bees to the endangered list, a first for bees in the country, which have seen declining populations over recent years.
The bee species, all native to Hawaii, are protected under the Endangered Species Act, which will allow officials to fund recovery programs for the flying insects.
The federal agency issued the protection order for the Hawaiian species of yellow-faced bees, which are critical in the pollination of specific plants found only on the Hawaiian islands.
Thirty-nine plant species and three other animal species -- the band-rumped storm-petrel, the orangeblack Hawaiian damselfly, and the anchialine pool shrimp -- have also been added to the list.
The order of protection goes into effect on Oct. 31.