Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 65–74 | Cite as

Monitoring the conservation status of bumble bee populations across an elevation gradient in the Front Range of Colorado

  • Carol Ann KearnsEmail author
  • Diana M. Oliveras
  • Claire R. Lay


Bumble bees are important pollinators of native flowers and crop plants. Consequently, declines in bumble bee populations in many regions around the globe are cause for concern. We monitored abundance of 22 bumble bee species at multiple elevations over 5 years in Boulder County, Colorado. While no declines in abundance of any species were apparent over the course of the study, such a finding does not preclude prior declines in abundance. This study provides current baseline abundance data that can be used for future monitoring projects.


Bumble bees BombuPollinators Pollinator declines Pollinator monitoring 



We would like to thank the following people and organizations for their roles in this research: Virginia Scott and Adrian Carper, University of Colorado Museum Collections; University of Colorado student research assistants Reese Beeler, Jared Blandel, Ben Bruffey, Sam Canter, Erin Collier-Zans, Rita DiTommaso, Arianna Efram, Brooke Goodspeed, Sydney Hawkins, Noah Herreid, Andrew Lombardi, Sarah Niemeyer, Zoe Praggastis, Cole Steinmetz, Rebecca Stubbs, Summer Sugg; Dr. Jeff Mitton, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado; Audubon Society of the Greater Denver Area; Baker Residential Academic Program at the University of Colorado; Boulder County Nature Association; Bioscience Undergraduate Research Skills and Training (BURST) University of Colorado undergraduate funding; University of Colorado Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program; Dean’s Fund for Excellence, University of Colorado; Boulder County Parks and Open Space; City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks; University of Colorado’s Mountain Research Station; United States Forest Service.

Supplementary material

10841_2017_9954_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (520 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 520 KB)
10841_2017_9954_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (138 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 137 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baker Residential Academic ProgramUCB 176, University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Stratus ConsultingBoulderUSA

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