Caddo Lake, Texas, the 13th Ramsar site designated in the U.S. Credit: Caddo Lake Institute
Caddo Lake, Texas, the 13th Ramsar site designated in the U.S. Credit: Caddo Lake Institute

Celebrate World Wetlands Day!

January 31, 2014
World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on February 2 to promote the global appreciation and protection of wetlands. It marks the anniversary of the 1971 signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in Ramsar, Iran. The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2014 is Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners in Growth. There are 35 "Ramsar sites" in the United States.
Learn More »
Ramsar Convention »
Mexican wolf sedated during the 2013 population survey. Credit: Interagency Field Team
Mexican wolf sedated during the 2013 population survey. Credit: Interagency Field Team

Mexican Wolf Population Numbers Up From 2012

January 31, 2014
The Mexican wolf population in Arizona and New Mexico grew 10 percent last year, according to an annual survey just released. Now standing at 83 wolves, the wild population has nearly doubled in the past four years, marking important progress the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and its partners have achieved in bringing the species back from the brink of extinction.
News Release »

Allen Cay Iguana (Cyclura cychlura inornata). Credit: Caribbean Iguanas ©Aurora Alifano, Island Conservation-6 by Island Conservation
Allen Cay Iguana (Cyclura cychlura inornata). Credit: Caribbean Iguanas ©Aurora Alifano, Island Conservation-6 by Island Conservation

Saving the World's Most Endangered Lizards

January 29, 2014
The Fish and Wildlife Service, Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative, San Diego Zoo Global, and Island Conservation are collaborating to help save Caribbean island iguanas. The region-wide effort stemmed from a workshop held in Puerto Rico this past December which brought together 61 participants from 16 nations to identify the most critical issues facing these imperiled species.
News Release »
News Release (in Spanish) »
Flickr »
Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle. Photo credit: Mark Capone, USFWS

Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle. Photo credit: Mark Capone, USFWS

Betting on a Beetle

January 27, 2014
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 learn about efforts to protect the Coral Pink Sand Dunes tiger beetle in Utah. By working with our partners, we were able to protect the beetle and its habitat, preventing further decline and the need to list it as an endangered species.
ESA 40th Anniversary »
Get to Know Your Species »
Illegal ivory that was recently destroyed by the U.S. Photo credit: Gavin Shire, USFWS

Illegal ivory that was recently destroyed by the U.S.
Photo credit: Gavin Shire, USFWS

Hong Kong to Destroy Illegal Ivory

January 23, 2014
The Service congratulates Hong Kong for its decision to destroy 28 metric tons (61,730 pounds) of elephant ivory. This step is yet another sign of the mounting efforts within the international community to fight global wildlife trafficking and save elephants and other iconic species. The United States, Kenya, the Philippines, Gabon and the People's Republic of China have already destroyed illegal ivory stockpiles, and France has also announced its intention to do so.
Director's Statement »
Press Release from the Government of Hong Kong »
Learn more about the U.S. #ivorycrush »
King rail at the Lillian Swamp Wetlands, one of the 2014 grant projects, which is located in Alabama. Credit: John Trent / Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
King rail at the Lillian Swamp Wetlands, one of the 2014 grant projects, which is located in Alabama. Credit: John Trent / Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Major Grants to Conserve Coastal Wetlands Announced by Interior Department, FWS

January 23, 2014
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced $16.5 million in grants to support 21 critical coastal wetland projects in 12 states and Puerto Rico under the National Coastal Grants Wetlands Conservation Grants Program. State and local governments, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute an additional $18.2 million to these projects.
News Release »
2014 Grants »
Wind farm near Montfort, Wisconsin. Credit: Todd Spink, National Renewable Energy Lab
Wind farm near Montfort, Wisconsin. Credit: Todd Spink, National Renewable Energy Lab

Service to Host Training Broadcast on Wind Energy Guidelines

January 23, 2014
The fourth training broadcast in a series of five covering the voluntary Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines and related topics will be held Wednesday, January 29 at 2 p.m. EST. The broadcast will focus on distributed wind energy, coordination with state government, and species of habitat fragmentation concern.
Register and learn more »
Puerto Rican crested toad. Photo by Carlos Pacheco, USFWS
Puerto Rican crested toad. Photo by Carlos Pacheco, USFWS

The Puerto Rican Crested Toad: Once Thought Extinct, Now Recovering

January 22, 2014
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 the Puerto Rican crested toad, called “sapo concho puertorriqueño” in Spanish. Thanks to the work of our partners over the last 20 years, the crested toad is returning to areas where it had once disappeared. 
ESA 40th Anniversary »
Get to Know Your Species »
Photo of a bautiful sunset over the ocean with a quote by Doctor Martin Luther King Junior superimposed on it. The quote is: Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Photo of a bautiful sunset over the ocean with a quote by Doctor Martin Luther King Junior superimposed on it. The quote is: Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Fee-Free at Refuges

January 17, 2014
America's national wildlife refuges will offer free admission to visitors in honor of Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 20, 2014. Refuges protect vital areas of habitat for many iconic species, from alligators and bison to 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.
Learn More »
Find a Refuge »
Service biologists provide tribal youth in northern California and southern Oregon with a unique opportunity to combine their cultural knowledge about the local ecology with the high-tech capabilities of NASA, the Service and other federal agencies. Credit: USFWS
Service biologists provide tribal youth in northern California and southern Oregon with a unique opportunity to combine their cultural knowledge about the local ecology with the high-tech capabilities of NASA, the Service and other federal agencies. Credit: USFWS

Interior Secretary Honors Four FWS Conservation Partnership Projects with National Award

January 16, 2014
At a ceremony held today in Washington, DC, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell presented the Department's 2013 Partners in Conservation awards. Among the 20 projects recognized for their high degree of public-private cooperation and natural resource conservation or education value were four Service projects, which together partnered with about sixty individuals and organizations in California, Oregon, Kansas and Texas.
Service News Release »
DOI News Release »
Learn more about the FWS honorees »
Event Program »
Director's Blog »
Cliff swallows often build their intricate mud nests on walls beneath bridges and overpasses Credit: USFWS
Cliff swallows often build their intricate mud nests on walls beneath bridges and overpasses Credit: Photo © Louise Whitehead

Company Pays More than $370,000 for Destroying Bird Eggs, Nests; Funds Go to Bird Habitat Conservation

January 15, 2014

A Kansas construction company will pay $372,750 to the Service-managed North American Wetlands Conservation Fund in a non-prosecutorial agreement following the destruction of 818 cliff swallow eggs and 1,491 nests at a bridge repair project in Harper County, Oklahoma. Swallows, their eggs and nests are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
News Release »

A lesser long-nosed bat visiting a hummingbird feeder in Tucson, AZ.  These bats will often empty an entire feeder in one night.  Photo courtesy of Richard Spitzer.
A lesser long-nosed bat visiting a hummingbird feeder in Tucson, AZ. These bats will often empty an entire feeder in one night. Photo courtesy of Richard Spitzer.

Tucson Residents Help Monitor Lesser Long-Nosed Bats

January 14, 2014

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 learn how Arizona residents are helping lesser long-nosed bats. Following a widespread failure in the agave bloom, these bats were forced to use hummingbird feeders. Luckily for them, Tucson citizens embraced their new visitors.
ESA 40th Anniversary »
Get to Know Your Species »

Flock of sandhill cranes flying over water.
See thousands of wintering sandhill cranes during the Festival of the Cranes at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama. Credit: USFWS

Great Bird Festivals at National Wildlife Refuges

January 10, 2014

For a jaw-dropping natural spectacle, it's hard to beat a bird festival. National wildlife refuges make great bird festival locales because they're bird magnets and many protect important bird habitat along the country's major flyways.
Bulletin »

Narwhals are protected from commercial exploitation under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Credit: Glenn Williams/Wikimedia Commons
Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management cover. Credit: USFWS

Latest Edition of Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management Available Online Now

January 9, 2014

From sage-grouse to coyotes and bats, the December 2013 edition of this peer-reviewed, online scientific journal contains current research and papers on a variety of wildlife species and habitat concerns.
Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management Portal »

Narwhals are protected from commercial exploitation under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Credit: Glenn Williams/Wikimedia Commons
Narwhals are protected from commercial exploitation under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Credit: Glenn Williams/Wikimedia Commons

Two Plead Guilty to Trafficking Narwhal Tusks

January 8, 2014

Two Tennessee residents who bought and sold illegally imported narwhal tusks worth at least $1.5 million have pleaded guilty to federal felony charges of conspiracy and wildlife trafficking. Special agents from the Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration teamed with wildlife investigators from Environment Canada to document this trafficking.
News Release »

The Cheat Mountain salamander is unique to West Virginia. It was listed as threatened in 1989 after much of its red spruce forest habitat was lost to logging and forest fire. Credit: Kent Mason
The Cheat Mountain salamander is unique to West Virginia. It was listed as threatened in 1989 after much of its red spruce forest habitat was lost to logging and forest fire. Credit: Kent Mason

Helping Cheat Mountain Salamanders in West Virginia’s Canaan Valley

January 7, 2014

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 learn about work on Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia to monitor and restore the mountain red spruce habitat of the Cheat Mountain salamander.
ESA 40th Anniversary »
Get to Know Your Species »

China crushes illegal elephant ivory, January 6, 2014, in Guangdong Province. Credit: Courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society
China crushes illegal elephant ivory, January 6, 2014, in Guangdong Province. Credit: Courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society

China Crushes Illegal Ivory

January 6, 2014

The Service commends the government of the People's Republic of China for destroying more than six tons of illegal elephant ivory in the city of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. China today joins the United States, Kenya, Gabon and the Philippines, which have destroyed their illegal ivory, in this fight to save African elephants from poachers and the illegal ivory trade. France also plans to destroy its illegal elephant ivory this year.
Director's Statement »
U.S. Dept.of State Press Statement »
More information »
Learn more about the U.S. ivory crush »

A statue of Paul Kroegel on Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida overlooks the Indian River Lagoon. Credit: Kevin J. Lowry / USFWS.
A statue of Paul Kroegel on Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida overlooks the Indian River Lagoon. Credit: Kevin J. Lowry / USFWS.

Celebrating Paul Kroegel – the Nation’s First Refuge Manager

January 3, 2014
In 1903, Paul Kroegel became the first volunteer, game warden and refuge manager of the first unit of what is now the National Wildlife Refuge System. What started with Paul and the small five-acre Pelican Island has grown to a nationwide network of more than 560 refuges totaling over 150 million acres. Read this and other stories in the January/February issue of Refuge Update.
Learn More »