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Flights of wintering sandhill cranes arrive daily to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: Photo courtesy of Marvin DeJong
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National Wildlife Refuge Week Kicks Off With First Day Fee-Free!

October 15, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites America to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week (October 12-18, 2014) with a visit to a national wildlife refuge! While there, you can fish, hunt, hike or just immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. As if you needed another good reason to share in America’s natural heritage, Sunday, October 12, is a fee-free day. Admission fees at wildlife refuges are waived on that day. Learn how wildlife refuges conserve your wildlife heritage and enrich your life, find one by you!

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Flights of wintering sandhill cranes arrive daily to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: Photo courtesy of Marvin DeJong
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Straight-horned markhor. Credit: Peter Hopper / Creative Commons
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Successful Conservation Efforts Result in Reclassification of Rare Pakistani Mountain Goat Under the ESA

October 14, 2014

Thanks to a thirty-year community conservation program in the remote mountains of Pakistan, a key population of the straight-horned markhor, a type of wild mountain goat, has made a remarkable recovery to the point where the subspecies’ status is being reduced from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the Service announced today in a final rule. Today, the population numbers in excess of 3,500 as a result of the Torghar Conservation Project that uses limited trophy hunting as a means to raise critically needed funds for markhor conservation, while improving habitat for both markhor and domestic livestock and improving the economic conditions for the local tribal community.

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Straight-horned markhor. Credit: Peter Hopper / Creative Commons
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New sand is deposited onto badly eroded beaches on New Jersey's Delaware Bay. Credit: Eric Schrading / USFWS
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Two Year Later: Projects After Sandy Make Coastal Areas More Resilient to Future Storms

October 14, 2014

Since Hurricane Sandy roared ashore in 2012, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior have worked with partners to restore and strengthen coastal areas to help local communities as well as wildlife better withstand future storms. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today toured restoration projects at Reed's Beach and Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. Overall, the Department of the Interior is investing $787 million on recovery and resiliency projects up and down the Atlantic Coast in the aftermath of Sandy. 

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Photos of New Jersey Beach Restoration »»

New sand is deposited onto badly eroded beaches on New Jersey's Delaware Bay. Credit: Eric Schrading / USFWS
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Thousands of walruses gather to rest on the shore in September 2013. Credit: Ryan Kingsbery / USGS
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Massive Number of Walruses Haul Out on Shore as Sea Ice Melts

October 10, 2014

Retreating summer sea ice in the Chuchki Sea has caused thousands of Pacific walruses to amass on one Alaska beach. This so-called “haul-out” phenomenon is becoming more common as global temperatures rise and walruses are forced to seek out land to rest, leaving them vulnerable to human-caused disturbances that can result in stampedes deadly to walruses. The Service works on outreach, so the public knows the danger of disturbing the walruses and asks that pilots keep their distance as walruses can be distressed by engine noise.

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Thousands of walruses gather to rest on the shore in September 2013. Credit: Ryan Kingsbery / USGS
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A patrol dog, handler and ranger demonstrate their abilities to track a mock poacher in Ol Jogi, Kenya. Credit: USFWS
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In Dogged Pursuit of Poachers: Canines Combat Wildlife Crime in Africa

October 7, 2014

Since 1999, the Service has supported conservation dog projects in five African countries to combat wildlife poaching and trafficking.

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A patrol dog, handler and ranger demonstrate their abilities to track a mock poacher in Ol Jogi, Kenya. Credit: USFWS
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Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Jim Maragos / USFWS
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Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument Grows

October 6, 2014

Protecting vital marine habitat in the Pacific Ocean, President Obama has expanded the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which has seven national wildlife refuges at its core. Service Director Dan Ashe recalls the “small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” who envisioned the protection of this pristine haven for wildlife.

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Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Jim Maragos / USFWS
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A milkweed pod opens in fall at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia to reveal its silk and seeds. Collecting and planting the seeds can help monarch butterflies. Credit: Marvin DeJong
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Monarch Butterflies are in Trouble, so Plant Milkweed

October 3, 2014

Monarch butterflies are struggling. Counts of the familiar orange-and-black insects, admired for their flights of up to thousands of miles a year, are trending down so sharply that their migration is now under threat. That means fewer monarchs to inspire wonder, feed invertebrates and warn of habitat changes that may imperil other pollinators. So how can we help? One simple way is to collect and sow milkweed seeds.

 

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A milkweed pod opens in fall at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia to reveal its silk and seeds. Collecting and planting the seeds can help monarch butterflies. Credit: Marvin DeJong
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The projects in the Taking Action progress report “represent real progress,” Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould says. Credit: USFWS
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Agencies ‘Taking Action’ on Climate Change; Read How

September 26, 2014

A new report tells how state, federal and tribal agencies are rising to the challenge of climate change. The Taking Action progress report highlights 50 projects throughout the country that address the natural resource impacts of climate change.

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The projects in the Taking Action progress report “represent real progress,” Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould says. Credit: USFWS
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The stamp has already brought in millions of dollars for conservation. Credit: USFWS
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Save Vanishing Species Stamp Returning Soon to a Post Office Near You

September 26, 2014

President Obama has signed the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act into law, meaning once again, Americans will be able to help conserve some of the world’s most well-known and threatened species by purchasing the Save Vanishing Species Stamp at post offices and online. 

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The stamp has already brought in millions of dollars for conservation. Credit: USFWS
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2014 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest Winner. Credit: Jennifer Miller
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New York Artist Wins 2014 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest with Ruddy Ducks Painting

September 24, 2014

Jennifer Miller, an artist from Olean, N.Y., is the winner of the 2014 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. Miller’s acrylic painting of a pair of ruddy ducks will be made into the 2015-2016 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or Duck Stamp, which goes on sale in late June 2015. Of 186 entries in this year’s competition, 17 entries made it to the final round of judging today. Eligible species for this year’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest were the brant, Canada goose, northern shoveler, red-breasted merganser and ruddy duck.

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2014 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest Winner. Credit: Jennifer Miller
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Landowners replace native prairie cordgrass on their properties in the Midwest. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Public Asked for Comment on Proposal Regarding Voluntary Prelisting Conservation Actions

September 22, 2014

The Service has extended the comment period on a proposed policy that would give landowners credits for efforts that benefit declining species. These conservation credits could later be redeemed to offset actions that are detrimental to a species or they may be sold to a third party.

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Landowners replace native prairie cordgrass on their properties in the Midwest. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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At twice the size of the common gray squirrel, and with a much fluffier tail, this critter is not your average squirrel. Credit: Guy Willey
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Partnerships Lead Recovery of Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel

September 22, 2014

Conservation efforts by private landowners and many other partners have brought the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel, included on the first list of endangered species in 1967, back from the edge of extinction, and the Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove it from the Endangered Species List.

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At twice the size of the common gray squirrel, and with a much fluffier tail, this critter is not your average squirrel. Credit: Guy Willey
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The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge will host HawkWatch events for Refuge Week, such as banding raptors and waterfowl, live raptor presentations and kids’ activities. In the fall, you can spot diving duck species at the refuge like the pictured common merganser. Credit: Photo courtesy of Stan Bousson
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National Wildlife Refuge Week is October 12-18, 2014!

September 20, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites America to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week (October 12-18, 2014) with a visit to a national wildlife refuge! National wildlife refuges help conserve wildlife, support regional economies, teach children about nature and offer protected places to be outdoors. A resolution commemorating the week was passed by the Senate to raise awareness about the importance of the Refuge System to wildlife conservation and available recreational opportunities. Learn how wildlife refuges conserve your wildlife heritage and enrich your life, find one by you!

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Refuge Week Senate Resolution »»

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The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge will host HawkWatch events for Refuge Week, such as banding raptors and waterfowl, live raptor presentations and kids’ activities. In the fall, you can spot diving duck species at the refuge like the pictured common merganser. Credit: Photo courtesy of Stan Bousson
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Ivory Challenge PSA video. Credit: USFWS
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Calling All Artists: Elephants Need Your Skills

September 19, 2014

In November 2013, the Fish and Wildlife Service crushed six tons of seized elephant ivory. Now we are asking you to design a way to display the crushed ivory so that it raises awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and reduces demand for illegal ivory. Visit www.fws.gov/ivorychallenge for all the challenge details.

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Ivory Challenge PSA video. Credit: USFWS
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Jennifer Owen-White shares her love of wildlife with members of the Youth Conservation Corps. Credit: USFWS
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Service Brings Nature to the Cities

September 19, 2014

With 80 percent of Americans living in cities, the Fish and Wildlife Service has made it a priority to forge a connection between nature and those in urban communities. The Service's Open Spaces blog asked five questions of some of our staff members in a series we are calling “Meet your Fish and Wildlife Service,” which this week focuses on how these wildlife educators maintain ties to the natural world and help foster them in others in the context of city living.

Meet Your Fish and Wildlife Service: Kim Strassburg »»

Meet Your Fish and Wildlife Service: Jennifer Owen-White »»

Meet Your Fish and Wildlife Service: Akimi King »»

Meet Your Fish and Wildlife Service: Tamara Johnson »»

Jennifer Owen-White shares her love of wildlife with members of the Youth Conservation Corps. Credit: USFWS
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