Bee Species Thought To Be Extinct For 100 Years Is Rediscovered In Australia

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Bee Species Thought To Be Extinct For 100 Years Is Rediscovered In Australia

A species of bee thought to be extinct for almost 100 years has been rediscovered in Queensland, Australia. Known as Pharohylaeus lactiferous the species was last recorded alive in 1923.

Researchers from Flinders University in Adeleide, discovered the bees while undertaking a huge survey of local wildlife, with a particular focus on the insect and bee populations. The researchers had begun to believe that the Pharohylaeus lactiferous may have still been alive after a few unconfirmed sightings in the area.

The team believes that the bee is most likely still struggling to survive as a species due to habitat erosion.

James Dorey, who was part of the research team, said:

"Three populations of P lactiferous were found by sampling bees visiting their favoured plant species along much of the Australian east coast, suggesting population isolation. My geographical analyses used to explore habitat destruction in the Wet Tropics and Central Mackay Coast bioregions indicate susceptibility of Queensland rainforests and P lactiferus populations to bushfires, particularly in the context of a fragmented landscape."

He added:

"Future research should aim to increase our understanding of the biology, ecology and population genetics of P lactiferus,. If we are to understand and protect these wonderful Australian species, we really need to increase biomonitoring and conservation efforts, along with funding for the museum curation and digitisation of their collections and other initiatives."

Many Australian animal species have come under huge pressure in recent decades due to habitat loss and climate change. These difficulties were compounded last year by the intense bushfires that engulfed much of the nation. The fires, the worst seen for generations, are thought to have killed billions of animals.

While Australia does have a large number of native bee species, it also has European and Asian bee populations that were introduced to the country by farmers. This has itself resulted in competition between bee species over resources, it is not unheard of for different species of bee to attack one another in full-in battles.

Since Europeans began colonising Australia as much as 60% of the forest and woodland, that many species call home, have been cleared for logging, and to make space for human habitations and farmland.

[h/t: The Independent]

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Thinking Humanity: Bee Species Thought To Be Extinct For 100 Years Is Rediscovered In Australia
Bee Species Thought To Be Extinct For 100 Years Is Rediscovered In Australia
A species of bee thought to be extinct for almost 100 years has been rediscovered in Queensland, Australia. Known as Pharohylaeus lactiferous the spec
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