Prairie bush clover.  Credit: Phil Delphey / USFWS.
Prairie bush clover. Credit: Phil Delphey / USFWS.

Iowa's Disappearing Prairie Species

December 31, 2013
To commemorate the Endangered Species Act’s 40th Anniversary, each week we feature a different state and its unique story to highlight our continued success in recovering threatened and endangered species. This week, we spotlight work with our partners to conserve 14 threatened and endangered species in the remaining pockets of Iowa's prairies.
ESA 40th Anniversary »

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2013 grand prize winner, American Burying Beetle by Ava Bribiesco from Missouri. prize winner, American Burying Beetle by Ava Bribiesco from Missouri.
2013 grand prize prize winner, American Burying Beetle by Ava Bribiesco from Missouri.

Calling All Kids: Participate in the 2014 Saving Endangered Species Art Contest

December 30, 2013
Children around the nation are invited to put their creative skills to work for the 2014 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest. The contest, part of the ninth annual national Endangered Species Day celebration on May 16, encourages kids in grades K through 12 to express appreciation for our country’s most imperiled wildlife, including their place in native ecosystems.
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The black-footed ferret, once thought to be extinct, benefits from ESA protection that is aiding its recovery. Credit: USFWS
The black-footed ferret, once thought to be extinct, benefits from ESA protection that is aiding its recovery. Credit: USFWS

Endangered Species Act Turns 40!

December 27, 2013
On December 28, 1973, the Endangered Species Act was signed into law, beginning a new era in the fight to prevent the extinction and recover some of our most imperiled wildlife. In its 40 years, it has helped save countless species, around the globe, including iconic American species such as the bald eagle, grizzly bear, American alligator, California condor, and Steller sea lion. Today it protects more than 2,100 species of animals and plants.
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Snow cave at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. Credit: Tina Shaw / USFWS
Snow cave at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. Credit: Tina Shaw / USFWS

Where to Make Tracks this Winter at a National Wildlife Refuge

December 26, 2013
Don’t sit out winter. Get into it at a national wildlife refuge. Explore miles of scenic trails by snowshoe, ski or sled; some refuges lend you the equipment free! Join a planned event – or go when it suits you. There is a host of great refuges for your favorite winter activity.
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Waterfowl fly over wetlands at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. The refuge will waive its usual entrance fee on seven dates in 2014. All 460 refuges open to the public in the Refuge System will also admit visitors free of charge on those days. Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
Waterfowl fly over wetlands at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. The refuge will waive its usual entrance fee on seven dates in 2014. All 460 refuges open to the public in the Refuge System will also admit visitors free of charge on those days. Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS

National Wildlife Refuges Announce Fee-Free Days for 2014

December 23, 2013
America's national wildlife refuges will offer free admission to visitors on designated days in 2014. Refuges protect many iconic species, such as alligators and bison, whooping cranes, moose and puffins. There's at least one national wildlife refuge in every state – and one within an hour's drive of most major metropolitan areas.
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Find a refuge »
Skyrocketing demand for rhino horn in Asian markets is further imperiling the already endangered black rhino. Credit: Matthew Field / Wikimedia Commons
Skyrocketing demand for rhino horn in Asian markets is further imperiling the already endangered black rhino. Credit: Matthew Field / Wikimedia Commons

Rhino Horn Smuggling Kingpin Pleads Guilty to Wildlife Trafficking

December 19, 2013
A Chinese antiques dealer who orchestrated the smuggling of more than $4.5 million worth of rhino horn and elephant ivory from the United States to China pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts in federal court in New Jersey. Service special agents arrested Li earlier this year while he was in Miami on business -- business that included buying two black rhino horns from an undercover officer for $59,000.
News Release »
More about Operation Crash »
Bald eagle. Credit: George Gentry / USFWS
Bald eagle. Credit: George Gentry / USFWS

See Eagles This Winter on National Wildlife Refuges

December 20, 2013
America's majestic bald eagle is a wildlife conservation success story – and a thrill to see. Following 40 years of recovery efforts and the banning of DDT, eagles have rebounded and the bird has been removed from the federal endangered species list.
Bulletin »
Save Vanishing Species Stamp.  Credit: USFWS
Save Vanishing Species Stamp. Credit: USFWS

Sales of Save Vanishing Species Stamp Help Conserve Elephants, Rhinos and Other Imperiled Species

December 20, 2013
The Save Vanishing Species Stamp continues to provide support to the Service's efforts to fight global wildlife trafficking and poaching. Millions of Americans have purchased the stamps – issued by the Post Office ­– in the past two years, generating more than $2.5 million for conservation of elephants, rhinoceros, tigers and other imperiled species in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
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A cotton-top tamarin in Colombia. Credit: Chase Pickering
A cotton-top tamarin in Colombia. Credit: Chase Pickering

Service Partner Plays Important Role in Designation of Cotton-Top Tamarin Protected Area in Colombia

December 20, 2013
More than 1,000 acres of dry forests essential to survival of the critically endangered cotton-top tamarin have been declared a protected area by the Regional Environmental Authority in Colombia (CARDIQUE). Fundación Proyecto Tití, one of the Service's grantees, played a critical role in the designation of the Parque Natural Regional Bosque Seco El Ceibal-Mono Tití. The grantee has worked to promote cotton- top tamarin conservation while increasing sustainable economic activities for rural communities and reducing dependence on income from the illegal pet trade.  
Learn more about the Parque Natural Regional Bosque Seco El Ceibal-Mono Tití (in Spanish) »

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Black-footed ferret. Credit: Ryan Hagerty / USFWS
Black-footed ferret. Credit: Ryan Hagerty / USFWS

Working with Tribes to Recover Black-Footed Ferrets

December 17, 2013
As part of the Service’s commemoration of the Endangered Species Act’s 40th Anniversary, each week we feature a different state and its unique story to highlight our continued success in recovering threatened and endangered species. This week, we learn about working with our Tribal partners in South Dakota to recover the black-footed ferret in its historic range. 
ESA 40th Anniversary »

Get to Know Your Species »
Gerald Vickers, fire program specialist for the Service's Northeast region, conducts a prescribed fire on The Nature Conservancy's Warm Springs Mountain Preserve in Virginia. Credit: The Nature Conservancy
Gerald Vickers, fire program specialist for the Service's Northeast region, conducts a prescribed fire on The Nature Conservancy's Warm Springs Mountain Preserve in Virginia. Credit: The Nature Conservancy

New National Agreement Established for Controlled Burning

December 11, 2013
A new partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Service will increase and better coordinate controlled burn activities, also known as prescribed fire, to enhance wildlife values on their respective lands. The agreement will encourage more efficient use of personnel and equipment while treating lands that might otherwise not get the benefit of controlled burning. Planned, controlled burns are a critical tool to help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, often termed mega-fires, which have become more common in the past decade.
News Release »
Robbins' cinquefoil. Credit: USFWS
Robbins' cinquefoil. Credit: USFWS

Setting the Precedent for Plant Recovery

December 11, 2013
To recognize the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) 40th Anniversary, each week we feature a different state and its unique story to highlight our continued success in recovering threatened and endangered species. This week, we learn about the conservation success story of the Robbins' cinquefoil in New Hampshire, the first plant species to fully recover and be removed from ESA protection.
ESA 40th Anniversary »

Get to Know Your Species »
llegal ivory that was recently destroyed by the U.S. #ivorycrush
llegal ivory that was recently destroyed by the U.S. #ivorycrush

France to Destroy its Ivory Stockpile

December 09, 2013
We congratulate France for its decision to destroy its elephant ivory stockpile. This step will send a powerful message to wildlife traffickers that the international community will not tolerate wildlife crime that threatens to wipe out the African elephant and other species around the globe. France now joins the United States, Kenya, the Philippines and Gabon, which have already destroyed their illegal ivory stockpiles, in this fight to stop trafficking and save elephants.
More information »

Learn more about the U.S. ivory crush »
Twitter #ivorycrush »
Geoffrey Haskett (on right), U.S. Head of Delegation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director, Alaska Region, meets with (from left) Sergey Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment the Russian Federation; Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Canada; Karl Lyberth, Minister of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture of Greenland; and, Lars Andreas Lunde, State Secretary Minister of the Climate and the Environment of Norway, in Moscow, Russia, as part of the 40th Anniversary of the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears.
Representatives of polar bear range states, including Geoff Haskett (on right), U.S. Head of Delegation and Service Regional Director, Alaska. Credit: Photo Courtesy of Geoff York

Polar Bear Range States Meet in Moscow, Russia Award

December 09, 2013
A meeting of the polar bear range states – United States, Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russian Federation – under the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears concluded December 6. The two-day meeting brought together scientists, wildlife managers, technical experts, and representatives of native peoples of the Arctic, including Alaska Natives, to discuss current and future challenges faced by the polar bear.
News Release »
2014 Diversity Leader logo.
2014 Diversity Leader logo.

Service Receives 2014 Diversity Leader Award

December 05, 2013
The Diversity Journal recognized the Service with the 2014 Diversity Leader Award for the agency's work in fostering partnerships. The Service established the Nontraditional Stakeholders Engagement Platform (NSEP) to engage non-traditional and underrepresented constituencies as partners to help build capacity in those communities and organizations so they can more effectively partner with the Service to meet America's varied conservation challenges.
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Wind Turbines. Credit: Joshua Winchell / USFWS
Wind Turbines. Credit: Joshua Winchell / USFWS

Revised Interior Permit Rule Ensures Long-Term Eagle Protection While Facilitating Wind Energy Projects

December 06, 2013

The Department of the Interior today announced changes to regulations enabling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to better monitor and address the long-term impacts of renewable energy projects and other activities on federally-protected eagles. In addition to these immediate changes, the Service will continue its comprehensive review of all eagle permitting regulations to determine if other modifications are necessary to increase their efficiency and effectiveness.
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Rhino horn libation cup seized by Service agents. Credit: USFWS
Rhino horn libation cup seized by Service agents. Credit: USFWS

Antiques Dealer Sentenced for Wildlife Trafficking

December 06, 2013
The Service’s efforts to halt the illegal trade in endangered species that is threatening some animals with extinction received a boost today when a New York antiques dealer was sentenced to 37 months in prison for smuggling items made from rhino horn and elephant ivory. He is one of 15 individuals arrested to date as part of Operation Crash – the Service’s ongoing investigation of rhino horn trafficking, and his sentence sends a strong message that the U.S. will not tolerate wildlife trafficking.
News Release »
Gooty sapphire ornamental tree spider (Poecilotheria metallica), a species native to India. Credit: William Foster
Gooty sapphire ornamental tree spider (Poecilotheria metallica), a species native to India. Credit: William Foster

Service Initiates Status Review of 11 Foreign Tarantula Species

December 03, 2013
The Service today announced a status review of 11 foreign tarantula species under provisions of the Endangered Species Act. The review involves six species native to India and five species native to Sri Lanka. This determination indicates there may be substantial information to support listing the species as threatened or endangered.
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Piping plover. Credit: Gene Nieminen/USFWS
Piping plover. Credit: Gene Nieminen/USFWS

South Carolina's Safe Havens

December 03, 2013
To recognize the Endangered Species Act's 40th anniversary, each week we feature a different state and its unique story. This week we learn about work with our conservation partners to protect important wintering habitat for piping plovers along the coast of South Carolina. This work is helping these small birds get a big jump on the road to recovery.
ESA 40th Anniversary »

Get to Know Your Species »