Quebec biologists are sounding the alarmÂ after a United Nations report stated that up to one million species of plants and animals are threatened with extinction globally.
The biodiversity report found that on landÂ more than half a million speciesÂ “have insufficient habitat for long-term survival” and are likely to go extinct, many within decades, unless their habitats are restored.
“My initial reaction was, ‘Finally they’re talking about it,'” said biologist Pierre-Alexandre Bourgeois.
“It’s good for people to learn about this stuff, even if it’s sad.”
Bourgeois is both a researcher and conservationist at theÂ EcomuseumÂ inÂ Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.Â
“It’s not just happening around the world, outside Canada, it happens here in front of our own eyes,” he said.
Bourgeois is currently working with Pointe-Claire toÂ confirm the presence of amphibians in its Terra-Cotta Park.
“If ever we do find amphibians and important habitats for them, the city will manage to better protect those sites,” he said.
Bourgeois said Pointe-Claire is being proactive in this case and hopes other cities and towns in Quebec will consider it too.
From bumble bees to snakesÂ
The rusty-patched bumble bee is an example of a species that was once prevalent in Quebec and is now considered extinct in the province.
“You used to go in a pasture in southern Quebec and you may not have noticed it because it was a bumble bee, but it was around you,” said MaximÂ LarrivÃ©e, the head of research and collection at Montreal’s Insectarium.
“Now, it’s extinct in Quebec. And it’s not because we aren’t looking, we are.”
Other species are in danger:Â the brown snake, the monarch butterfly, swallows, even some bugs.
“You can just look at your windshield or your bumper. It’s a lot cleaner than it used to be in the 80s and 70s,” saidÂ LarrivÃ©e.
What can you do to help?
Both biologists said governmentsÂ need to take the risk to biodiversity seriously, but citizens can also help.
“I think every citizen can make a difference.” saidÂ LarrivÃ©e.
LarrivÃ©eÂ said citizen science programs such as the Insectarium’s Mission Monarch are a good start â€”Â it has participants monitor the monarch’s reproductive success.
Volunteers for the EcomuseumÂ monitor frog calls across the provinceÂ in an effort to survey which frogs are where and whether they are declining.
“It’s not just important for the species, who have a right to exist in this world, but for people,” saidÂ Bourgeois.
He said the diverse speciesÂ ensure humans have access to the water they needÂ and freshÂ air.
Article source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/rusty-patched-bumble-bee-quebec-1.5126947?cmp=rss