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Stories from the Home Page

Jim Kurth, Deputy Director for Operations. Credit: USFWS
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Veteran Refuge Chief Jim Kurth Appointed As Service's New Deputy Director for Operations

January 7, 2015

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced the appointment of Jim Kurth as the agency's new Deputy Director for Operations. Kurth, a 35-year veteran of the Fish and Wildlife Service, will assist Director Ashe in managing day-to-day operations and provide additional key executive leadership for the agency.

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Jim Kurth, Deputy Director for Operations. Credit: USFWS
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In the winter, bald eagles – sometimes numbering in the hundreds – can be seen at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Credit: Courtesy of Stan Bousson
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Winter is Prime Time for Viewing Eagles on National Wildlife Refuges

January 6, 2015

Few birds match America’s majestic bald eagle for inspiring awe. Winter is prime viewing season for these incredible raptors, which often are more visible against the backdrop of the season’s sparse landscape. Head to a national wildlife refuge to try to spot an eagle on your own or, better still, head to one of these refuges for an organized tour.

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In the winter, bald eagles – sometimes numbering in the hundreds – can be seen at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Credit: Courtesy of Stan Bousson
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Approximately 20,000 people per year enjoy the unique experience of viewing elk from a sleigh on the National Elk Refuge .Credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS. Credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS.
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Where to Ski, Tromp or Glide this Winter at a National Wildlife Refuge!

December 29, 2014

Wander a real winter wonderland. Find thrills exploring scenic nature trails by snowshoe, ski or sled at a national wildlife refuge. Some refuges lend you the equipment free! Here are some favorite winter activities and some great refuges to do them in.

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Approximately 20,000 people per year enjoy the unique experience of viewing elk from a sleigh on the National Elk Refuge .Credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS. Credit: Lori Iverson / USFWS.
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Monarch butterfly on New England Aster at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Greg Thompson/USFWS Credit: Greg Thompson/USFWS
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Service Initiates Status Review of Monarch Butterfly under the Endangered Species Act

December 27, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it will be conducting a status review of the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. Monarch butterflies migrate vast distances, a journey becoming more perilous for many because of threats along their migratory paths and on their breeding and wintering grounds. The Service is requesting scientific and commercial data and other information through a 60-day public information period until March 2, 2015.

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Monarch butterfly on New England Aster at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Greg Thompson/USFWS Credit: Greg Thompson/USFWS
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The new maps affect parts of Rhode Island, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. Credit: USFWS
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New Maps Help Protect Coastal Areas

December 23, 2014

The Service has added 11 maps to the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System, which helps save taxpayer dollars and reduce the intensity of development within hazard-prone and ecologically sensitive coastal areas.  The new maps correct errors affecting property owners and add eligible undeveloped areas to the system. 

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The new maps affect parts of Rhode Island, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. Credit: USFWS
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Sales of the stamp have raised more than $2.5 million for conservation. Credit: USFWS
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Sending Holiday Cards this Year? Choose a Stamp that Supports Wildlife Conservation

December 23, 2014

Still working on your cards? You have a unique opportunity to contribute to the conservation of endangered species around the globe by purchasing the Save Vanishing Species Stamp for your holiday mailings. The stamps are available for sale at post offices and online, with funds going to help conserve some of the world's most threatened species. Even if you’re a real go-getter and your cards were done weeks ago, the Save Vanishing Species Stamp is a wonderful way to mail other cards, letters, even bills.

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Sales of the stamp have raised more than $2.5 million for conservation. Credit: USFWS
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Duck Stamp dollars have been used to acquire and permanently protect more than 6 million acres of vital National Wildlife Refuge System habitat. Credit: USFWS
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Increasing the Price of the Duck Stamp Benefits All Americans

December 19, 2014

President Obama approved bipartisan legislation yesterday that raised the price of the Federal Duck Stamp. This new law, supported by hunters, will enable the Service to conserve tens of thousands of acres of important wildlife habitat every year. Service Director Dan Ashe says it shows “we’re still capable of great things as a nation.”

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Duck Stamp dollars have been used to acquire and permanently protect more than 6 million acres of vital National Wildlife Refuge System habitat. Credit: USFWS
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A greater sage-grouse male struts at a lek (dancing or mating ground) to attract a mate. Credit: Jeannie Stafford / USFWS.
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Sage-Grouse Rider Won’t Stop Unprecedented Conservation Effort to Save Greater Sage-Grouse

December 17, 2014

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said today that while disappointing, the sage-grouse rider in the FY15 Omnibus Bill will not stop the Service’s efforts “to conserve the sagebrush landscape and the Western way of life.” Rather, the Service and its many partners will continue work to avert the need to list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

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A greater sage-grouse male struts at a lek (dancing or mating ground) to attract a mate. Credit: Jeannie Stafford / USFWS.
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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 these pelicans at sunset from J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: Photo courtesy of Al Hoffacker. Credit: Photo courtesy of Al Hoffacker.
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National Wildlife Refuges Announce Fee-Free Days for 2015!

December 15, 2014

Get outside and enjoy some of the country's most magical places – America's national wildlife refuges will offer free admission on these days in 2015. 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 these pelicans at sunset from J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: Photo courtesy of Al Hoffacker. Credit: Photo courtesy of Al Hoffacker.
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Ducks fill the sky at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, which hosts the annual Festival of the Cranes in November. Credit: Marvin DeJong
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Great Bird Festivals at National Wildlife Refuges

December 10, 2014

Surprise. You don’t have to be a serious birder to get a kick out of a refuge bird festival. All you need is a wish to see skies suddenly fill with more birds than you’ve ever seen before.National wildlife refuges make great festival sites because they’re bird magnets and many protect important bird habitat along the country’s major flyways.

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Ducks fill the sky at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, which hosts the annual Festival of the Cranes in November. Credit: Marvin DeJong
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A tagged rufa red knot in Mispillion Harbor, DE. Credit: Gregory Breese / USFWS
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Service Protects Red Knot as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act

December 9, 2014

The rufa subspecies of the red knot now will receive protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, the Service announced today. "Unfortunately, this hearty shorebird is no match for the widespread effects of emerging challenges like climate change and coastal development, coupled with the historic impacts of horseshoe crab overharvesting, which have sharply reduced its population in recent decades," said Service Director Dan Ashe.

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A tagged rufa red knot in Mispillion Harbor, DE. Credit: Gregory Breese / USFWS
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Being added to the list are 18 flowering plants and four ferns found on one or more of the Hawaiian Islands. Credit: H. Oppenheimer / Plant Extinction Prevention Program
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List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act Protection Revised

December 5, 2014

Each year, the Service releases its Candidate Notice of Review, a revised list of plants and animals that merit protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) but are precluded from listing due to other, higher priorities. In 2014, 23 species are being added to the candidate list, which helps landowners and natural resource managers work to conserve these species and remove the need for greater protection. There are now 146 species recognized by the Service as candidates for listing under the ESA.

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Being added to the list are 18 flowering plants and four ferns found on one or more of the Hawaiian Islands. Credit: H. Oppenheimer / Plant Extinction Prevention Program
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A tigress strolls through Tadoba National Park. Credit: Harshawardhan Dhanwatey, Tiger Research and Conservation Trust
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Teaching People to Live More Safely Among Big Cats

December 3, 2014

The Service provides funds for conservation projects throughout the world through the Wildlife Without Borders Program. One of the projects in India helps people deal with tigers that roam into their village.

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A tigress strolls through Tadoba National Park. Credit: Harshawardhan Dhanwatey, Tiger Research and Conservation Trust
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Fishing, hunting and wildlife watching in the Great Lakes generate almost $18 billion in annual revenue. Credit: USFWS
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The Great Lakes Restoration Journey Continues

December 2, 2014

In partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service invested more than $49 million to restore habitat ansd more throughout the Great Lakes. The latest edition of Restoring the Great Lakes focuses on current progress but also highlights a few new projects. Even those who live far the Great Lakes benefit from projects there. For instance, the songbird chirping by your window or waterfowl swimming in your local pond is a testament to migratory bird habitat work in the Great Lakes.

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Fishing, hunting and wildlife watching in the Great Lakes generate almost $18 billion in annual revenue. Credit: USFWS
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Fishing, hunting and wildlife watching in the Great Lakes generate almost $18 billion in annual revenue. Credit: USFWS
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Senate Vote to Increase Duck Stamp Fee is a Win for Wildlife

December 2, 2014

The U.S. Senate today passed a bipartisan bill to raise the price of a federal Duck Stamp from $15 to $25. The stamp, required annually to hunt migratory waterfowl, has not had a price increase since 1991. The legislation will help the Service work with thousands of additional landowners to maintain vital habitat for waterfowl, grassland birds and hundreds of other native species.

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Fishing, hunting and wildlife watching in the Great Lakes generate almost $18 billion in annual revenue. Credit: USFWS
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