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Stories from the Home Page

Puerto Rico harlequin butterfly. Credit: USFWS
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Federal Agencies Propose Revisions to CCAA Policy under the ESA

May 3, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries today proposed revisions to the Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs) policy under the Endangered Species Act. The revisions, which do not change requirements of participating landowners, will simplify the process of developing and approving CCAAs, which provide incentives for the public to implement specific conservation measures for declining species before they are listed under the ESA. The Service is also proposing changes to its CCAA regulations to make them consistent with the proposed changes to the policy.

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Puerto Rico harlequin butterfly. Credit: USFWS
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From Left to Right: Ricardo Romo, president of the University of Texas at San Antonio; Cheryl Jefferson, U.S. Forest Service; Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director of the Service’s Southwest Region; and Ivy Taylor, Mayor of San Antonio. Credit: Katie Latta/USFWS
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City of San Antonio Steps It Up For Monarchs

May 2, 2016

Mayors of towns and cities across America are pitching in to help save the monarch butterfly from possible extinction. One of our partners, The National Wildlife Federation, has created the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge that helps cities take specific actions to benefit this species. Last week, Mayor Ivy Taylor of San Antonio, Texas, received accolades from Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director of the Service’s Southwest Region, for being the first mayor to agree to take all 24 actions outlined in the pledge. In addition, Ricardo Romo, president of the University of Texas at San Antonio, signed the Monarch Pledge. 

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Mayors' Monarch Pledge »»

From Left to Right: Ricardo Romo, president of the University of Texas at San Antonio; Cheryl Jefferson, U.S. Forest Service; Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director of the Service’s Southwest Region; and Ivy Taylor, Mayor of San Antonio. Credit: Katie Latta/USFWS
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Exelon will jump start fish restoration by trapping American shad (pictured) and river herring at Conowingo and transporting them upstream of all dams on the river to their spawning grounds. Credit: USFWS
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Landmark agreement with Exelon uses cutting-edge science to drive fishes' return to Susquehanna River

May 2, 2016

Exelon Generation and the Service have agreed to restore American shad and river herring to the Susquehanna River, the East Coast’s largest river, over the next 50 years. Shad and river herring are returning to their spawning grounds on the Susquehanna at their lowest numbers since the 1980s. Exelon will improve fish passage facilities at Conowingo Dam and transport up to 100,000 American shad and 100,000 river herring annually to their spawning grounds above all four dams.

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Exelon will jump start fish restoration by trapping American shad (pictured) and river herring at Conowingo and transporting them upstream of all dams on the river to their spawning grounds. Credit: USFWS
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Brown pelicans. Credit: David Pereksta for USFWS
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Citizen Scientists, Partners to Document California Brown Pelicans

April 29, 2016

The Fish and Wildlife Service is partnering with the Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology to launch the first ever citizen science survey for California brown pelicans across the Pacific coast. The California Brown Pelican subspecies was removed from the Endangered Species list in 2009. But in recent years, brown pelican productivity across the range has been poor.

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Brown pelicans. Credit: David Pereksta for USFWS
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Pangolins, or scaly anteaters, are covered with overlapping scales made of keratin, the same protein that forms human hair and finger nails. Credit: Tikki Hywood Trust
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U.S. to Fight for Pangolins, African Grey Parrot, More at CITES

April 28, 2016

The United States has released a list of proposals it will submit or co-sponsor at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, this fall. Proposals gaining support include ones that would end commercial trade in pangolins and wild African grey parrots. 

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Pangolins, or scaly anteaters, are covered with overlapping scales made of keratin, the same protein that forms human hair and finger nails. Credit: Tikki Hywood Trust
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An orangutan skull. Credit: USFWS
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Operation Pongo Puts 2 Wildlife Smugglers Behind Bars

April 28, 2016

Two Malaysian nationals pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle wildlife after they smuggled five orangutan skulls and parts of nine other protected species into Oregon. They were sentenced to six months in prison, one year of probation, community service and fines totaling $25,000. The investigation revealed that the two co-owned an online business that had smuggled approximately $95,000 worth of imperiled wildlife into the U.S. since 2004. Pongo is the orangutan genus. 

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An orangutan skull. Credit: USFWS
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The turtles are expected to complete their rehabilitation at SeaWorld San Diego in preparation for release later this summer. Credit: USFWS
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Two Sick Sea Turtles Take Huge Step in Quest to Return to Wild

April 27, 2016

A team of partners, including the Fish and Wildlife Service, recently helped two distressed sea turtles rescued on the Northwest coast after winter storms on their journey back to the ocean. Last week, they caught a flight in Seattle aboard a U.S. Coast Guard plane to finish their rehabilitation at Sea World San Diego before release to their home waters in the Pacific Ocean.

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The turtles are expected to complete their rehabilitation at SeaWorld San Diego in preparation for release later this summer. Credit: USFWS
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2016-2017 Federal Junior Duck Stamp winning art. Credit: USFWS
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California Youth Wins National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest

April 22, 2016

Stacy Shen, 16, of Fremont, Calif., took top honors today at the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest for her colored-pencil rendition of a pair of snow geese. The image will appear on the 2016-2017 Junior Duck Stamp, which sells for $5 and raises money for conservation education. The entry, which won the California State Junior Duck Stamp Contest, was selected from among 27,192 best-of-show entries from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

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2016-2017 Federal Junior Duck Stamp winning art. Credit: USFWS
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A changing climate could hurt ecologically important mangrove forests. Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
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Sending a Strong Message on Climate Change for Earth Day

April 21, 2016

Earth Day has, for 46 years, been an event to call the world to action on major environmental issues and there is no greater issue today than our changing climate. On this Earth Day, Friday, the United States will become one of the first signatories to the Paris Agreement, a historic pact to address climate change and cut greenhouse gases.

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Earth Day with the Fish and Wildlife Service »»

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A changing climate could hurt ecologically important mangrove forests. Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
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Video snapshot of the Newest Class of Four Wildlife Detector Dogs. Credit: USFWS
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Nosing Out the Bad Guys

April 20, 2016

The newest class of four Wildlife Detector Dogs -- Dock, Dutton, Hanna and Smokey – and their human partners just graduated and are ready to spread out across the nation to some of the busiest ports of entry for wildlife trade. There, the dogs will put their noses to work, sniffing out illegal wildlife products being shipped into or out of the country.

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Video snapshot of the Newest Class of Four Wildlife Detector Dogs. Credit: USFWS
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Wood ducks will benefit from wetland protection in Arkansas. Credit: USFWS
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Nearly $49 Million in Grants Will Help Protect Waterfowl, Other Bird Species in United States, Canada and Mexico

April 20, 2016

Nearly $49 million in grants were approved today by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, which provides the Service and its partners the ability to purchase, lease or otherwise conserve more than 275,000 acres of wetland and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds across North America. The grants, made through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, will be matched by $86 million in partner funds. The commission also approved expenditures of $10.8 million from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to conserve 7,200 acres for six national wildlife refuges.

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Wood ducks will benefit from wetland protection in Arkansas. Credit: USFWS
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Whooping cranes. Credit: Diane Nunley / USFWS
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Record Year for Whooping Crane Survey!

April 19, 2016

The Service has completed analysis of aerial surveys of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo whooping crane population, the only surviving wild population of whooping cranes in the world. Preliminary survey data indicated 329 whooping cranes, including 38 juveniles, centered on Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. The survey shows an upward trend in whooping crane abundance over the last five years and the highest ever documented for this population. Whooping cranes are one of the rarest birds in North America. 

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Whooping cranes. Credit: Diane Nunley / USFWS
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Some turtles were smuggled inside socks. Credit: USFWS
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Turtle Smuggler Sent to Prison

April 18, 2016

A judge sentenced a Canadian man to nearly five years in prison and ordered him to pay almost $20,000 after he admitted smuggling live turtles from the United States to Canada and China, sometimes in violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Once, he taped 51 live turtles to his legs and groin, and returned to Canada. 

News Release (DOJ) »»

Some turtles were smuggled inside socks. Credit: USFWS
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A 33-person Brother International Corporation volunteer team visited Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey for the fourth year in a row to clear a trail and pull invasive plants. Credit: USFWS
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When Business Teams Volunteer on National Wildlife Refuges, Everyone Benefits

April 14, 2016

When your company suggests you and your coworkers volunteer for a day at a nearby national wildlife refuge, you may be surprised where that leads: from clearing a trail to planting host plants for a rare butterfly. And what you may not expect is falling in love with the place…or taking a personal stake in wildlife conservation.

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A 33-person Brother International Corporation volunteer team visited Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey for the fourth year in a row to clear a trail and pull invasive plants. Credit: USFWS
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Watch how the Service's Lahontan National Fish Hatchery Complex and Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe work together to restore the ancient Pilot Peak strain of Lahontan cutthroat trout. Credit: USFWS
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'Monster' Trout Swimming One Step Closer to Native Spawning Home

April 13, 2016

Increased precipitation throughout the Sierra Nevada range this spring is enabling the migrating Pilot Peak strain of threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout to travel farther up the Truckee River to spawn in their native habitat than the fish has been able to do on its own in nearly a century. The fish is one of the most unique species of inland trout and has been brought back from the brink of extinction thanks to conservation efforts involving the Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife and Pyramid Lake Piaute Tribe.

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Watch how the Service's Lahontan National Fish Hatchery Complex and Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe work together to restore the ancient Pilot Peak strain of Lahontan cutthroat trout. Credit: USFWS
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