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Stories from the Home Page

Rhino horn destroyed by Mozambique. Credit: David Chambal / Wildlife Conservation Society
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Service Commends Mozambique’s Destruction of Elephant Ivory, Rhino Horn

July 20, 2015

The Service today commended Mozambique for taking a public stand against illegal wildlife trade by destroying 2.4 tons of elephant ivory and 86 pieces of rhino horn weighing more than 420 pounds. Rampant poaching is taking its toll within Mozambique, which has lost 48 percent of its elephants in just the past five years. It is the 10th country to destroy confiscated illegal ivory since the Service held its first ivory crush in November 2013.

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Rhino horn destroyed by Mozambique. Credit: David Chambal / Wildlife Conservation Society
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Service biologist Leslie Ellwood prepares to release Greenback cutthroat trout into Zimmerman Lake. Credit: Theo Stein / USFWS
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Service Fish Hatchery Helping Bring Back Colorado’s State Fish

July 20, 2015

The Service's Leadville National Fish Hatchery is one of two hatcheries spawning Colorado’s native greenback cutthroat trout in the hopes of restoring the state fish to its native range.

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Service biologist Leslie Ellwood prepares to release Greenback cutthroat trout into Zimmerman Lake. Credit: Theo Stein / USFWS
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Milkweed and other native flower species now grow at Koobs Preserve. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Volunteers Bring Back the Pollinators

July 20, 2015

John Cleckler, of the Service’s Sacramento Field Office, was excited to learn his daughter’s school in urbanized Carmichael, California, is next door to Koobs Nature Preserve. But invasive trees and weeds were taking over the four-acre site and crowding out native plants and animals. So Cleckler began organizing volunteers to maintain and improve the site. The preserve is now a home to native pollinators and birds, and provides urban school children a rare opportunity to connect with nature.

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Milkweed and other native flower species now grow at Koobs Preserve. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Puddles, the National Wildlife Refuge System mascot, attends the Conclave. Credit: USFWS
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Service Joins Phi Beta Sigma at Fraternity’s Conference

July 17, 2015

The Service is proud to sponsor and participate in the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., “I Am My Brother’s Keeper” Conclave this week in Little Rock, Arkansas. Service Director Dan Ashe welcomed Sigmas to their Conclave on Wednesday; Assistant Director for Migratory Birds Jerome Ford speaks Friday and Saturday; and the Service is maintaining an active presence throughout the week. The Service has partnered with this prominent African American fraternity to reach new constituencies and make nature relevant to their lives.
 

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Puddles, the National Wildlife Refuge System mascot, attends the Conclave. Credit: USFWS
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Paddlefish caviar has gained popularity and value as beluga and other sturgeon sources for this delicacy have been depleted. Credit: Missouri Department of Conservation
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Operation Roadhouse Nabs Paddlefish Traffickers

July 14, 2015

Three men pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally trafficking in paddlefish caviar after being caught in an undercover operation in Missouri set up by the Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Missouri law prohibits the sale or purchase of paddlefish eggs. Paddlefish were once common in waters throughout the Midwest, but the global decline in other caviar sources has increased demand for paddlefish caviar and led to over-fishing of paddlefish.

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Paddlefish caviar has gained popularity and value as beluga and other sturgeon sources for this delicacy have been depleted. Credit: Missouri Department of Conservation
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Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and Service Sign Historic Agreement

July 10, 2015

Leading African American sorority Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today signed a historic memorandum of understanding in Washington, D.C., to work cooperatively to engage urban youth in outdoor recreation, biological sciences and healthful activity in nature. The partnership unites Zeta members and the Service in engaging youth in recreation on national wildlife refuges and helping them understand how such activity promotes healthful living.

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Members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and family explore Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Credit: Stephanie Martinez / USFWS

A non-native smallmouth bass eats a native sucker. Credit: UDWR
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Managing Non-natives to Save Colorado's Native Endangered Fish

July 9, 2015

Predation and competition by more than 50 non-native fish species is the primary threat to native fish populations in the upper Colorado River, including four species that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Through the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program­, the Service is working with local, state and federal agencies, water and power interests and environmental groups to protect and restore native fish populations while also facilitating important water development projects.

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A non-native smallmouth bass eats a native sucker. Credit: UDWR
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In the late 19th century, Longstreet Cabin at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada was built into a mound above an underground spring. Credit: USFWS
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Learn History on a National Wildlife Refuge

July 7, 2015

There are cultural, historical and archaeological resources galore at national wildlife refuges. That includes 10 National Historic Landmarks, 110 National Register-listed properties, 384 paleontological sites, 1,815 historic structures and 15,441 archaeological sites. 

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In the late 19th century, Longstreet Cabin at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada was built into a mound above an underground spring. Credit: USFWS
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Temminck's ground pangolin. Credit: Maria Diekmann / Rare and Endangered Species Trust
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Pangolins Benefit as United States, Range States Gather to Plan Critical Conservation

July 2, 2015

Delegates came away from the first Pangolin Range States Meeting with growing hope that their efforts will conserve imperiled pangolins, thought to be among the most trafficked mammals in the world. The meeting was co-hosted by Vietnam and the United States and organized by Humane Society International. 

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Temminck's ground pangolin. Credit: Maria Diekmann / Rare and Endangered Species Trust
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Blue-winged teal brood. Credit: USFWS
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Service Releases 60th Annual Report on Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Trends

July 2, 2015

The Trends in Duck Breeding Populations report summarizes information about the status of duck populations and wetland habitats during spring 2015, focusing on areas encompassed by the Service and Canadian Wildlife Services’ Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey. The total duck population estimate was 49.5 million in the traditional survey area, an estimate similar to the 2014 and is 43 percent higher than the long-term average.

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Blue-winged teal brood. Credit: USFWS
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Elephant meat seized in June crackdown on wildlife traffickers. Credit: © U.S. ICE
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Service Joins International Action Against Wildlife Traffickers

July 1, 2015

A 10-day international crackdown on wildlife trafficking recently netted about 30 seizures of illegal wildlife at airports and international mail facilities in Miami and Los Angeles. Service Law Enforcement teamed with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to conduct inspections during the World Customs Organization led Operation FLYAWAY. Items seized during the operation included queen conch shell meat, sea turtle shells and skulls, elephant meat, tiger teeth and ivory pendants. Many of the confiscated goods are regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and some items are prohibited under the Endangered Species Act.

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Elephant meat seized in June crackdown on wildlife traffickers. Credit: © U.S. ICE
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Gray wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer/USFWS
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Service Announces Finding on Gray Wolf Petition

June 30, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that a petition to reclassify all gray wolves in the conterminous United States, except for the Mexican wolf in the Southwest, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) does not present substantial information indicating that reclassification may be warranted. The Service’s review concluded that the petition did not provide information to indicate that the population petitioned for listing, which does not correspond to any currently listed gray wolf population, may qualify as a listable entity under the ESA.

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Gray wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer/USFWS
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2015-16 Federal Duck Stamp. Artist: Jennifer Miller. Credit: USFWS
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New Federal Duck Stamps Go On Sale

June 26, 2015

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe bought the first 2015-16 federal Duck Stamp today in Memphis, as the new issue of the conservation stamp went on sale for the first time. The 82nd Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, chosen from among 186 entries, depicts a pair of ruddy ducks painted by Jennifer Miller of Olean, N.Y. Proceeds from Duck Stamp sales fund wetland acquisition and conservation easements for the National Wildlife Refuge System. The $25 stamps can be purchased online, at many sporting goods and retail stores, and at some post offices and national wildlife refuges. 

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2015-16 Federal Duck Stamp. Artist: Jennifer Miller. Credit: USFWS
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Some of the illegal ivory came from walruses. Credit: USFWS
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Investigation Leads to Wildlife Trafficking Charges

June 25, 2015

Hawaiian Accessories Inc. and five individuals were recently indicted on charges of conspiracy, smuggling and violations of the Lacey Act for the illegal sale and transportation of multiple types of ivory, whale bone/teeth and black coral. The indictments come after an investigation by Service Law Enforcement, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security.

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Some of the illegal ivory came from walruses. Credit: USFWS
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Credit: Bruce Hallman / USFWS
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Youngsters Learn about Fish and Butterflies

June 23, 2015

Fresh off Friday's Ivory Crush, Service Director Dan Ashe on Saturday joined Urban American Outdoors and Kansas City Parks at their 10th Annual Urban Kids Fishing Derby in Kansas City, Missouri. Staff from Neosho National Fish Hatchery were among those introducing the kids to angling. But before the first cast, some young people helped plant a butterfly garden by the fishing derby pond to conserve monarch butterflies. 

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Credit: Bruce Hallman / USFWS
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