Endangered and threatened species

Here is some information about some of the endangered and threatened species living in Central Park, the Nine Mile Creek Corridor, and in the lake where boardwalk has been proposed to connect the trail along the creek to the trail along the Minnesota River.

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

The rusty patched bumble bee was listed as federally endangered in 2017.

Historically, the rusty patched bumble bee spanned a wide range across the eastern United States and upper Midwest, as well as parts of southern Quebec and Ontario in Canada, and as far south as Georgia.

Prior to its listing as endangered in 2017, the rusty patched bumble bee experienced significant and widespread decline. While the exact causes remain uncertain, evidence suggests a complex interplay between various factors, including pathogens and exposure to pesticides. Additional stressors include habitat loss, the presence of non-native and managed bees, the impacts of climate change, and the biological challenges of small populations.

The construction involved in widening trails, replacing bridges, and adding retaining walls could disrupt the habitat of this endangered bee.

iNaturalist sightings: http://tinyurl.com/inaturalistrustypatched




Butternut Tree

The butternut tree (Juglans cinerea) is related to the black walnut. It was listed as endangered by the Minnesota DNR in 2013 because it is very susceptible to butternut canker, a lethal fungal disease that was first reported in Minnesota in the 1970s.

The main issue facing the butternut tree is not habitat loss, but the butternut canker. However, healthy and presumably resistant trees have been found growing adjacent to diseased trees. These trees, if they are truly resistant, could be extremely valuable in efforts to preserve the species, and they must not be cut down.

Restore the Nine knows of several butternut trees in Central Park, two of them close to trails.

iNaturalist sightings: http://tinyurl.com/inaturalistbutternut


Photos from forestryimages.org, cropped, CC license

Kittentails (Besseya bullii)

The kittentail is listed as threatened by the Minnesota DNR. Its range is the Midwest, and it has been reduced to perilously low numbers because of loss or degradation of habitat, especially savannas.

Bloomington partnered with Hennepin County to restore oak savanna in Central Park, in part to help provide high quality habitat for kittentails. Learn more about that project here.

Other Plants and Animals

The following animals were identified by a DNR Natural Heritage Review as being in the vicinity of the proposed Minnesota Valley State Trail, Bloomington segment. There is locational overlap between this project and the NMCC/Central Park project at the point where a proposed boardwalk would connect the two trails.

Blanding’s turtles, a state-listed threatened species.

The gopher snake, a state-listed species of special concern, and the milk snake, a Species in Greatest Conservation Need.

Blanchard’s cricket frog, state-listed as endangered.

The regal fritillary, a state-listed butterfly species of special concern.

There are multiple observations of trumpeter swans, a state-listed species of special concern, nesting in the vicinity.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/MVSTNHIS

Regal Fritillary photo by Heather Paul, CC license.


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