CNDDB News Blog

  • October 6, 2021

Two bumble bees nectaring on small white flowers
Bombus occidentalis photograph by iNaturalist user @johnccnd (CC BY-NC 4.0) from Plumas County, California

The California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) tracks 6 bumble bees (Bombus sp.) that are identified as species of greatest conservation need. Four of these bumble bees were petitioned to the State of California in 2018 and the Fish and Game Commission advanced them to candidacy in June 2019 (B. franklini, B. crotchii, B. occidentalis, B. suckleyi). This was challenged in court and in November 2020 the Superior Court ruled that insects are not eligible for listing under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). Pending ongoing litigation, no bumble bees have legal status under CESA and none are currently considered candidates for listing by the State.

However, effective 23 September 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed Franklin’s bumble bee (Bombus franklini) as federally Endangered. Franklin’s bumble bee has one of the smallest ranges of Bombus spp. worldwide, only known from the Klamath Mountains region of northern California and southern Oregon. Franklin’s bumble bee has faced precipitous decline. The last known detection of Franklin’s bumble bee in California was in 1998 and the last known detection in Oregon was in 2006, the latter despite regular survey efforts to historic sites. Some fear this species may already be extinct.

Common Name Scientific Name State
State Rank
Other Status
Franklin's bumble bee B. franklini None Endangered S1 IUCN Critical
Crotch bumble bee B. crotchii None None S1S2 IUCN Endangered
western bumble bee B. occidentalis None None S1 IUCN Vulnerable
Suckley's cuckoo
bumble bee
B. suckleyi None None S1 IUCN Critical
obscure bumble bee B. caliginosus None None S1S2 IUCN Vulnerable
Morrison bumble bee B. morrisoni None None S1S2 IUCN Vulnerable

Additional resources:

Categories: Education and Awareness
  • October 4, 2021

The following CNDDB documents have been updated:

Links to the T&E and Special Plants/Animals lists can be found on the CNDDB Plants and Animals web page. More information about state listing can be found at the California Fish and Game Commission CESA website and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife CESA website. If you have any questions about these lists, please email us at

Categories: Quarterly Updates
  • August 26, 2021

CNDDB recently celebrated the creation of our 100,000th element occurrence! For those of you who don’t know, element occurrences are summaries of all we know about a species in an area. An element occurrence could be a single detection, or a summary of 100 years’ worth of data.

While this milestone could not be achieved without the dedicated staff who have sifted through data and organized it all, we need to give the real credit where it is due. To all our contributors, thank you! The CNDDB is a testament to your passion and dogged efforts to protect California’s wild species.

We will continue to collect, aggregate, and distribute rare species data that biologists all over California have contributed to assist in better conservation and species management. Join our effort by submitting your detections of rare species through our Online Field Survey Form. Let’s reach that next milestone together!

Categories: General