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Director's Corner

Meet Service Director Dan Ashe.

Going the Distance for Pollinators

This week (June 15 – 21) we are celebrating National Pollinator Week, and those amazing birds, bats, butterflies, beetles and more that mean so much to the food we eat and the land we live on. Cynthia Martinez, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, talks about pollinator gardens.

When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service moved its Headquarters to a new building last summer, pollinators benefited.

Employees helped plan a native pollinator garden in front of our new Headquarters building with beautiful flowering plants to nourish native pollinators such as butterflies, bees, beetles and hummingbirds. We were careful to select plants that flower at different times of the year to provide nectar and pollen sources throughout the growing season 

The pollinator garden at our HQ building. Photo by Rachel Sullivan/USFWS

Almost immediately, amid the hustle and bustle of Northern Virginia, pollinators showed up seeking food and habitat. Some people even got to see a monarch butterfly stopping by the garden! 


Trip to Africa Steels Resolve

Photo by Dan Ashe/USFWS

I had the tremendous good fortune to travel to Gabon last month to meet with partners and witness some of the impressive on-the-ground conservation efforts there to protect a stunning diversity of wildlife. The men and women in Gabon “get” that extinct means extinct, gone forever. They are hard at work to keep the natural treasures of the country alive and well, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is privileged to help support their efforts.

Here is my journal from the trip. Be sure to check the Flickr album with some photos of the trip:


Protecting the Chimpanzee Here and Abroad

I recently returned from Africa, where I saw firsthand the threats facing many of the continent’s most beloved wildlife species. Meeting with dedicated people and organizations working on the ground to protect wild populations of elephants, rhinos, and great apes helped me understand just how much the support and leadership of the United States means in this fight.

But it was the wild chimpanzees I didn’t see, actually, that reinforced what the Fish and Wildlife Service’s exhaustive, two year-long review of the status of the chimpanzee has found. Our recent review confirms that the chimpanzee is in trouble, and needs strong Endangered Species Act protections both in the wild and in captivity.

Mother and baby chimp climbing in tree. The baby is touching its mother's chin.
Chimpanzees Bahati and her baby Baroza at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Credit: © the Jane Goodall Institute

That’s why we’ve taken action to protect all chimpanzees as endangered. 


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