The Whisker Chronicles

Whiskers are also known as vibrissa, from the latin vibrare "to vibrate". Vibrissa are the specialized hairs on mammals and the bristlelike feathers near the mouths of many birds. Their resonant design is symbolic of the energies, good and bad, that are reverberating throughout the natural world. Every living thing is connected and, by birthright, deserves to exist.

Celebrating Forty Years of the Endangered Species Act: American Burying Beetle

Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Scientific Name:   Nicrophorus americanus

Year Listed on the Endangered Species List:  1989

Endangered Species Listing Status:  Endangered

Conservation Efforts and Partners:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began capturing American Burying Beetles in the early 1990s for the purpose of beginning a captive breeding program and later reintroducing captive bred beetles back to the wild.  In 1994, Roger Williams Park Zoo joined the project and later became a breeding facility.  Since then, more than 5,000 American Burying Beetles have been bred there and over 2,800 have been released in Nantucket, Massachusetts.  In 2006, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums created a Species Survival Plan for the ABB, the first for a terrestrial invertebrate.       

The Saint Louis Zoo is also heavily involved in surveying for beetles and returning them to their former range in Southwest Missouri while working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and The Nature Conservancy.

Where American Burying Beetles Live:   

Historically, thought to have ranged throughout United States and Canada.  Now only found in Arkansa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Texas.


What American Burying Beetles Eat:   

Carrion. These little bugs are very important in recycling decaying material. 

How Long American Burying Beetles Live:  1 year 

How We Can All Help American Burying Beetles:   

Tell President Obama that you are against the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would possibly destroy not only part of the American Burying Beetle range, but also negatively affect dozens of other plant and animal species.

Saving the American Burying Beetle is dirty work, as this video demonstrates.  Thank you to all the beetle champions who are working hard to save them!

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This entry was posted on February 19, 2014 by in Endangered Species, Insects, Maymie Higgins, Wildlife and tagged , .
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