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Stories from the Home Page

Black skimmer at Breton Island NWR. Credit: Greg Thompson / USFWS
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Migratory Bird Conservation Commission Approves $28 Million to Conserve Waterfowl, Shorebirds in 16 States

November 14, 2014

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $28 million for the Service and its partners to conserve more than 128,000 acres of wetland habitats for ducks, bitterns, sandpipers and other birds in the United States. The commission also recognized the contributions of Rep. John Dingell, who is retiring after an unprecedented 45 years of service as a council member.

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Black skimmer at Breton Island NWR. Credit: Greg Thompson / USFWS
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Thumbnail of the Ivory Crush PSA video. Credit: USFWS
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By Crushing Ivory, Service Builds Hope for Africa’s Elephants

November 14, 2014

Exactly one year ago, the United States sparked the imagination and conscience of the world when the Service crushed more than six tons of seized illegal elephant ivory. With the Ivory Crush, the United States assumed a leadership role in efforts to fight poaching and wildlife trafficking.

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Thumbnail of the Ivory Crush PSA video. Credit: USFWS
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The Gunnison sage-grouse is a ground-dwelling bird found only in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. Credit: ary Kramer / USFWS
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Service Determines Gunnison Sage-Grouse is Threatened

November 12, 2014

Efforts by Colorado and Utah, as well as tribes, local communities, private landowners and other stakeholders, to conserve the Gunnison Sage-Grouse and its habitat have reduced threats to the bird enough that the Service has determined that it requires the more flexibly protected status of "threatened," not "endangered," under the Endangered Species Act.

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The Gunnison sage-grouse is a ground-dwelling bird found only in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah. Credit: ary Kramer / USFWS
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Jane Chorazy, a Public Affairs Specialist, served in the U.S. Navy from 1980 to 1986 as a Cryptologist/Communications Specialist stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, and the Naval Communications Station in Wahiawa, Hawaii. Jane is "proud of my military service and enjoyed the opportunity to serve my country and gain valuable experience." Here, she is receiving an award from Rear Admiral Felt in 1982. Credit: USFWS
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Fish and Wildlife Service Thanks Our Veterans

November 10, 2014

We remember and thank all veterans for their sacrifices, but most especially, the more than 1,400 who now dedicate their lives to conserving the nature of America as employees of the Fish and Wildlife Service. One of these employees, Will Tucker, says he is privileged to protect the ideals of this country as a member of the Army Reserve and the country's natural resources as a wildlife biologist for the Service.

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Jane Chorazy, a Public Affairs Specialist, served in the U.S. Navy from 1980 to 1986 as a Cryptologist/Communications Specialist stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, and the Naval Communications Station in Wahiawa, Hawaii. Jane is "proud of my military service and enjoyed the opportunity to serve my country and gain valuable experience." Here, she is receiving an award from Rear Admiral Felt in 1982. Credit: USFWS
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Video of Secretary Sally Jewell discussing the Urban Wildlife Refuge Program. Credit: USFWS
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Secretary Jewell: Urban Wildlife Refuges Can Help Kids Be Kids

November 5, 2014

"We have to let people know that we exist," Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell says about urban national wildlife refuges in a November/December Refuge Update interview. "We need to make sure that urban wildlife refuges are on the radar." The interview centers on the Service's Urban Wildlife Refuge Program, part of a nationwide effort to connect residents of major cities with nature.

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Video of Secretary Sally Jewell discussing the Urban Wildlife Refuge Program. Credit: USFWS
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Karner blue buttlerfly. Credit: Melanie Cota / USFWS
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Service Seeks Grant Proposals from States for Conservation Projects

October 30, 2014

The Service is asking states to submit grant proposals for conservation projects that aid our most imperiled species. The grants are distributed under the Service’s Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, authorized under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act, which provides grants to help conserve listed species and species that are candidates for listing under the act. For fiscal year 2015, the President’s budget requests $50 million in grant funding.  

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Karner blue buttlerfly. Credit: Melanie Cota / USFWS
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Schoolchildren test their binoculars for bird watching at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Ridgefield, Washington. Credit: eghan Kearney / USFW
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Where Do You Go to Watch Birds?

October 29, 2014

About 47 million people spent time watching birds in 2011. Spring and fall are some of the best times to see some of their amazing feats of migration. USA Today takes advantage of the fall migration to ask readers to choose their favorite bird-watching spot. National wildlife refuges figure prominently in the nominations.
 

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Schoolchildren test their binoculars for bird watching at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Ridgefield, Washington. Credit: eghan Kearney / USFW
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Rhinos are killed for their horns, which are made of the same stuff as fingernails. Credit: Karl Stromayer / USFWS
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Safari Company Owners Charged in Rhino Hunt Scam

October 29, 2014

The owners of Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris today were charged with selling illegal rhino hunts to unsuspecting American hunters. The defendants allegedly failed to get required permits and later sold rhino horns on the black market. Demand for rhino horn is soaring: In 2007, 13 rhinos were poached in South Africa. In 2013, poachers killed more than 1,000. Today's announcement and investigation are part of Operation Crash, an ongoing nationwide effort to halt unlawful trafficking of rhino horns. Since the initial arrest of eight in February 2012, there have been more than two dozen arrests and a dozen convictions.

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Rhinos are killed for their horns, which are made of the same stuff as fingernails. Credit: Karl Stromayer / USFWS
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Florida softshell turtle. Credit: Gabriel Kamener / Creative Commons
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Service Proposes Trade Protections for Four Native Freshwater Turtles

October 29, 2014

A booming international trade in turtles has put pressure on populations across the country and has led to concern about the long-term survival of several species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a proposed rule to address the growing threat of illegal take and trade in native turtles. If finalized, this action will bring four native freshwater turtle species – the common snapping turtle, the Florida softshell turtle, the smooth softshell turtle and the spiny softshell turtle – under the protection of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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Florida softshell turtle. Credit: Gabriel Kamener / Creative Commons
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A #StrongAfterSandy Featured Community: The Communities of Great Marsh Video. Credit: USFWS
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Service Helps Make Atlantic Coast Stronger After Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2014

Two years ago today, Hurricane Sandy made landfall, devastating communities along the Atlantic Coast. With $167 million in federal recovery funding, the Fish and Wildlife Service is cleaning up and repairing damaged wildlife refuges, strengthening and restoring beaches, marshes and other natural defenses that sustain wildlife and protect communities, and developing science to better understand and predict impacts to these natural areas.

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A #StrongAfterSandy Featured Community: The Communities of Great Marsh Video. Credit: USFWS
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An inspector from the Elizabeth, New Jersey, Office of Law Enforcement checks a shipment of dried frogs. Credit: Bill Butcher / USFWS
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Fighting the Odds to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade

October 27, 2014

Darryl Fears of The Washington Post details the struggles of the Service's wildlife Inspectors and special agents as they work to stop illegal wildlife trade. His story points out that the number of Service employees on the ground intercepting illegal trafficking is almost unchanged from 30 years ago, but the job is much harder.

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An inspector from the Elizabeth, New Jersey, Office of Law Enforcement checks a shipment of dried frogs. Credit: Bill Butcher / USFWS
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Pair of male African lions. Credit: Heidi Ruffler / USFWS
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Service Proposes Endangered Species Act Protection for the African Lion

October 27, 2014

Following a review of the best available scientific information, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed listing the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The agency’s analysis found that lions are in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future. African lions are still found across a large range in Africa, but about 70 percent of the current African lion population exists in only 10 major strongholds. “The African lion – a symbol of majesty, courage and strength – faces serious threats to its long-term survival. Listing it as a threatened species will bring the full protections of U.S. law to lion conservation, allowing us to strengthen enforcement and monitoring of imports and international trade,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “It is up to all of us, not just the people of Africa, to ensure that healthy, wild populations continue to roam the savannah for generations to come.”

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Director's Blog - The African Lion Needs Our Help »»

Pair of male African lions. Credit: Heidi Ruffler / USFWS
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Wilderness offers soul-stirring adventures. A hiker celebrates a breathtaking wilderness view atop Chupadera Peak at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: USFWS
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New Vision Will Ensure Future Generations Can Enjoy Wilderness

October 23, 2014

The Service and its federal partner agencies that make up the National Wilderness Preservation System have a new vision that will guide interagency collaboration to ensure the continued preservation of nearly 110 million acres of the most primitive of public lands. The 758 wilderness areas in 44 states and Puerto Rico protect large expanses of habitat that are home to hundreds of native species. The vision will help federal land management agencies protect and expand the benefits of our wilderness areas for people and wildlife at a landscape scale.

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Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary »»

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Wilderness offers soul-stirring adventures. A hiker celebrates a breathtaking wilderness view atop Chupadera Peak at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: USFWS
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Regional Director Tom Melius and White Earth Nation Tribal Chairwoman Erma Vizenor, along with tribal and refuge architects. Credit: USFWS
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Service, Tribe Collaborate on Law Enforcement

October 23, 2014

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge and the White Earth Nation have signed an agreement to work together on conservation law enforcement activities occurring on Tamarac Refuge. The agreement is a unique collaboration between a Native American tribe and Service law enforcement.

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Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge » »»

Regional Director Tom Melius and White Earth Nation Tribal Chairwoman Erma Vizenor, along with tribal and refuge architects. Credit: USFWS
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More than 25 million stamps were sold in its first two years raising more than $2.5 million for the Multinational Species Conservation Funds. Credit: USFWS
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Buy a Stamp; Save a Tiger, an Elephant and Other Imperiled Species

October 21, 2014

After almost a year, the public can again purchase the Save Vanishing Species Stamp at post offices and online. The stamp functions as a regular postal mail stamp that sells at a small premium. The additional money goes to the Service's Multinational Species Conservation Funds, directly funding conservation of elephants, rhinoceros, tigers, great apes and marine turtles.

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More than 25 million stamps were sold in its first two years raising more than $2.5 million for the Multinational Species Conservation Funds. Credit: USFWS
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