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Tigers are endangered throughout their range. Credit: Harshawardhan Dhanwatey, Tiger Research and Conservation Trust
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Presidential Taskforce Releases Implementation Plan for Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking

February 11, 2015

Recognizing that wildlife trafficking is an urgent conservation and national security threat, the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Justice and State have released the implementation plan for the U.S. National Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking. Says U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell: "We have reached a pivotal moment where we must take effective action or risk seeing iconic species go extinct in the wild. With this national strategy, we are taking the steps needed to both shut down illegal trade, including raising awareness and support through our trade agreements, while helping source countries crack down on poaching." 

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Director's Blog: A Coordinated Federal Approach to Combating Wildlife Trafficking »»

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Implementation Plan »»

Tigers are endangered throughout their range. Credit: Harshawardhan Dhanwatey, Tiger Research and Conservation Trust
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Monarch on Sunflower Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Tom Koerner / USFWS Credit: Monarch on Sunflower Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge.
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Service Teams with Conservation Partners to Launch Campaign to Save Beleaguered Monarch Butterfly, Engage Millions of Americans

February 9, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today launched a major new campaign aimed at saving the declining monarch butterfly. The Service signed a cooperative agreement with the National Wildlife Federation announced a major new funding initiative with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and pledged an additional $2 million in immediate funding for on-the-ground conservation projects around the country. While monarchs are found across the United States their numbers have declined by approximately 90 percent in recent years, a result of numerous threats particularly loss of habitat due to agricultural practices, development and cropland conversion. To directly tackle these challenges, the new cooperative effort will build a network of diverse conservation partners and stakeholders to protect and restore important monarch habitat, while also reaching out to Americans of all ages who can play a central role.

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Monarch on Sunflower Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Tom Koerner / USFWS Credit: Monarch on Sunflower Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge.
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Ahklun Mountains Glacial Decline. Credit: USFWS
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Southwestern Alaska Glaciers Rapidly Disappearing

February 6, 2015

Researchers from the Service and Northern Arizona University recently reported that 10 of 109 glaciers of the Ahklun Mountains that were originally mapped by the U.S Geological Survey in the 1970s have completely disappeared. Comparison of aerial photographs and satellite images from 1957, 1984 and 2009 found that the glaciers have lost about 50 percent of their area. Glaciers respond sensitively to climate and often provide the most striking and irrefutable evidence of climatic change. At this rate of melting all of the glaciers in the Ahklun Mountains will be gone by the end of this century. 

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Ahklun Mountains Glacial Decline. Credit: USFWS
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Asian carp jump in the presence of a motor boat. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
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New Report Details Efforts to Control Asian Carp

February 4, 2015

Significant portions of America's interior river systems are now occupied by one or more Asian carp species that challenge native species and cost the nation millions of dollars. Today the Service released to Congress the first annual report of efforts to manage the threat of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins.

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Report »»

Asian carp jump in the presence of a motor boat. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
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Enjoying family time on a National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
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Where Do You Find Refuge?

February 3, 2015

More and more our lives are filled with computers, social media, smart phones, and other electronic devices that seem to dictate our daily activities. We are so "plugged in" that we are often out of touch. How do we refuel our souls and reconnect with the world around us? Many people are turning to America's national wildlife refuges to un-plug, un-wind and re-connect. Here is one journey that begins, and continues, on a national wildlife refuge. 

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Discover a National Wildlife Refuge near you »»

Enjoying family time on a National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
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America’s Great Outdoors, a Service priority, seeks to empower all Americans to share the benefits of the outdoors, and leave a healthy, vibrant outdoor legacy for generations to come. Fields of golden colored wildflowers bloom with the Teton Range in the background at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming. Credit: Barbara Hayton, volunteer / USFWS
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President Requests $1.6 Billion for the Service in Fiscal Year 2016

February 2, 2015

budget request supports $1.6 billion in programs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an increase of $135.7 million over the 2015 enacted level to fund the agency's high-priority needs. This budget invests in the science-based conservation and restoration of land, water and native species on a landscape scale, considering the impacts of a changing climate; expansion and improvement of recreational opportunities — such as hunting, fishing and wildlife watching — for all Americans, including urban populations; increased efforts to combat illegal wildlife trafficking, which is an international crisis; and the operation and maintenance of public lands.

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DOI News Release »»

America’s Great Outdoors, a Service priority, seeks to empower all Americans to share the benefits of the outdoors, and leave a healthy, vibrant outdoor legacy for generations to come. Fields of golden colored wildflowers bloom with the Teton Range in the background at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming. Credit: Barbara Hayton, volunteer / USFWS
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Last year's grand prize winner, Southern Sea Otter. Credit: Amy Feng
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Service Announces Annual Endangered Species Youth Art Contest

January 30, 2015

Youth across the nation are encouraged to apply to the 2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest. The contest encourages kids to express their knowledge and support of conservation efforts through creative and original artwork. The contest also promotes national awareness of the importance of saving endangered species while recognizing conservation initiatives across the country. The deadline for entries is March 1st. 

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Blog: Saving Species with Art »»

Last year's grand prize winner, Southern Sea Otter. Credit: Amy Feng
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Naimah Aziz inspects a legal shipment of wildlife products. Credit: Catherine J. Hibbard / USFWS
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Service Wildlife Inspectors, Wildlife Repository Featured on NPR Morning Edition

January 30, 2015

In December, National Public Radio foreign affairs correspondent Jackie Northam visited Service Law Enforcement Operations as part of a story she was covering on the Trans-Pacific Partnership international trade agreement. She shadowed supervisory wildlife inspector Naimah Aziz on a visit to the international mail facility at John F. Kennedy Airport and visited the National Wildlife Property Repository on the outskirts of Denver. The story aired today on Morning Edition.

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Naimah Aziz inspects a legal shipment of wildlife products. Credit: Catherine J. Hibbard / USFWS
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Summer sun warms Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Obama Administration Moves to Protect Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

January 25, 2015

President Eisenhower established what later became Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 1960 "for the purpose of preserving unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values." Now, 55 years later, President Obama is recommending that Congress add nearly 12.3 million acres of refuge land to the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Protection of this spectacular, pristine and wildlife-rich landscape will ensure that land managers can address the growing challenges faced by the refuge and keep fulfilling Eisenhower’s vision. The Service recommended the wilderness designation in a revised plan for the refuge released today. If Congress acts, it will be the largest ever designation in the Wilderness Act’s 50-year history.

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Read the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan »

Visit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge site »

Federal Register Notice »

Summer sun warms Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Summer sun warms Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Ready for an Adventure?

January 22, 2015

Low-cost cabins ($45 a night) at Kodiak or Kenai National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska are now available for rent. But don’t delay. The cabins typically book up as soon as they become available online. If you’re willing to rough it without indoor plumbing and gas heat, you can enjoy hunting, fishing or wildlife watching in a storied wilderness setting.

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Summer sun warms Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Service botanist Gina Glenne enters GPS coordinates as Duane Atwood heads to a survey spot. Credit: USFWS
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Service Botanist Discovers Native Colorado Flower

January 20, 2015

Genetics testing recently confirmed that a Colorado flower discovered by a Service botanist and colleagues was a previously unnamed native plant.

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Read this story and more in Fish & Wildlife News » »»

Service botanist Gina Glenne enters GPS coordinates as Duane Atwood heads to a survey spot. Credit: USFWS
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Thanks to local partners, the Service now protects this spectacular 102.5-acre coastal peninsula as part of the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Credit: © Bergman Photography
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Service Charts Course for Growth of the National Wildlife Refuge System

January 16, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today the final strategic growth policy for the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Refuge System is the nation’s largest and most diverse collection of public lands and waters dedicated to wildlife conservation. It also offers visitors unparalleled opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation.

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Thanks to local partners, the Service now protects this spectacular 102.5-acre coastal peninsula as part of the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Credit: © Bergman Photography
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If you have never visited a national wildlife refuge before, one of the fee-free days would be the perfect opportunity to see what you’ve been missing, like this sunset at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: Photo courtesy of Al Hoffacker
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Get Outside for the First Refuge System Fee-Free Day of 2015!

January 16, 2015

Get outside and enjoy some of the country’s most magical places – America’s national wildlife refuges will offer free admission in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 19. The fee holidays are scheduled each year to encourage Americans to visit their public lands and enjoy firsthand the natural and cultural experiences they have to offer. There’s at least one refuge in every state…and one within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas.

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If you have never visited a national wildlife refuge before, one of the fee-free days would be the perfect opportunity to see what you’ve been missing, like this sunset at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: Photo courtesy of Al Hoffacker
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Northern long-eared bat Credit: Ann Froschauer / USFWS
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Service Proposes Special Rule Focusing Protection for Northern Long-Eared Bat

January 15, 2015

The rapid and severe decline of the northern long-eared bat – a species important for crop pest control – prompted today's announcement proposing a special rule under the Endangered Species Act that would benefit the species while limiting the regulatory burden on the public. If finalized, the rule would apply only if the Service lists the bat as "threatened." The proposal opens a 60-day public comment period.

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Northern long-eared bat Credit: Ann Froschauer / USFWS
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Between 1970 and 1992, rhino populations declined 96%. Credit: USFWS
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Another Win for Operation Crash: Auction House, Owner Plead Guilty to Wildlife Trafficking

January 14, 2015

Elite Decorative Arts and the company's president and owner pleaded guilty to wildlife trafficking and being part of a smuggling conspiracy that sold rhinoceros horns and objects made from rhino horn, elephant ivory and coral. "As this guilty plea demonstrates, ivory and rhino horn trafficking is not just a problem for other countries to solve," says Service Director Dan Ashe, noting that U.S. citizens are contributing to the problem. Operation Crash is a continuing effort, led by the Service, to find and stop those engaged in the illegal killing of rhinoceros and the unlawful trafficking of rhinoceros horns.

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Between 1970 and 1992, rhino populations declined 96%. Credit: USFWS
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