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Stories from the Home Page

The long-billed curlew is one of many species to benefit from a NAWCA grant. Credit: Robert Burton
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Commission Approves $58 Million to Protect Waterfowl, Other Bird Species in North America

April 28, 2015

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $58 million in funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners to purchase, lease or otherwise conserve more than 200,000 acres of wetland and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds across North America. 

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The long-billed curlew is one of many species to benefit from a NAWCA grant. Credit: Robert Burton
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A red-cockaded woodpecker with an insect perches near a nest in a tree cavity. Credit: USFWS
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A New Home for Endangered Woodpeckers

April 27, 2015

A plan to reintroduce red-cockaded woodpeckers at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, where they have not been seen since 1974, aims to boost the nationwide population, making it the state's second population and the only one on public land. This project is one of 14 across 18 states being funded through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Cooperative Recovery Initiative to help recover threatened or endangered species on or near national wildlife refuges. Since 2013, the CRI has funded 38 projects totaling $16.4 million. These projects also provide other conservation benefits to other imperiled species and encourage a diversity of partnerships.

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A red-cockaded woodpecker with an insect perches near a nest in a tree cavity. Credit: USFWS
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April 27, 2015

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Sigmas tour Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Emile Pitre
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A Vital Partnership Takes Root, And Urban Kids Will Benefit

April 23, 2015

One year ago today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began a historic partnership with Phi Beta Sigma, one of the nation's oldest and most prominent African-American fraternities. It is one of the Service' many efforts to help urban youth across the nation both experience the natural world and explore future careers in wildlife conservation.

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Sigmas tour Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Emile Pitre
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The lushness of summer at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Portland-Vancouver Refuges Will Receive $1 Million for Community Engagement

April 22, 2015

The Portland-Vancouver National Wildlife Refuges will receive $1 million in funding to engage urban communities and youth in conservation and outdoor recreation announced U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. The four refuges – Tualatin River, Ridgefield, Steigerwald Lake, and Wapato Lake – have formed the Portland-Vancouver Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, and teamed up with the regional Intertwine Alliance, a coalition of private firms, public agencies and nonprofit organizations. Together they will offer new outdoor opportunities for area residents.

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The lushness of summer at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Trout lily blooming at the new Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge. Credit:Gary Peeples / USFWS Credit: Peeples / USFWS
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New National Wildlife Refuge Established to Protect Some of Appalachia's Rarest Places

April 22, 2015

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Jim Kurth announced the establishment of America's 563rd refuge – Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. The new refuge is devoted to the conservation of southern Appalachian Mountain bogs, one of the rarest and most imperiled habitats in the United States. The Nature Conservancy donated an easement on a 39-acre parcel in Ashe County, which formally establishes the refuge.

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Trout lily blooming at the new Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge. Credit:Gary Peeples / USFWS Credit: Peeples / USFWS
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Male greater sage-grouse struts for female at a mating ground or "lek" near Bodie, California. Credit: Jeannie Stafford / USFWS
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Unprecedented Conservation Partnership Keeps Bi-State Sage-Grouse Off Endangered Species list

April 21, 2015

Thanks to the successful efforts of local, state and federal stakeholders, today Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse in Nevada and California has a bright future and does not require listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 

Secretary Jewell joined USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, California Natural Resources Director John Laird and other partners to celebrate the success of proactive efforts to conserve key habitat and reduce many of the long-term threats to the bird.

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Male greater sage-grouse struts for female at a mating ground or "lek" near Bodie, California. Credit: Jeannie Stafford / USFWS
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This year's Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest grand prize winner, Kentucky arrow darter. Credit: by David Starovoytov.
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Winners Announced for 2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest

April 20, 2015

Art of a Kentucky arrow darter by a sixth-grader from California received the Grand Prize in the 2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest. The contest engages school children grades K–12 in expressing their appreciation for our nation's most imperiled wildlife, and is an integral part of the 10th annual national Endangered Species Day.

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This year's Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest grand prize winner, Kentucky arrow darter. Credit: by David Starovoytov.
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Conservation leaders from Canada, Mexico and the United States sign the historic bat conservation Letter of Intent. Credit: Chris Tollefson / USFWS
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Bats to Benefit from Historic North American Agreement

April 17, 2015

For the first time in history, North American nations have formalized their shared interest in bat conservation. Last night, wildlife leaders representing Canada, Mexico and the United States signed a Letter of Intent that will promote monitoring, research and environmentally sustainable policies and practices that support bats and their habitats. The signing was a highlight of this week's annual meeting of the Canada/Mexico/U.S. Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management and comes at a time when bat populations across North America are increasingly threatened by the disease white-nose syndrome.

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Conservation leaders from Canada, Mexico and the United States sign the historic bat conservation Letter of Intent. Credit: Chris Tollefson / USFWS
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Winning 2015 Junior Duck Stamp art. Credit: Andrew Kneeland
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Wyoming Youth Wins Junior Duck Stamp Contest

April 17, 2015

Andrew Kneeland, 17, of Rock Springs, WY, won the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest today with his acrylic painting of a pair of wood ducks. The entry was among 24,000 submitted to the 53 state Junior Duck Stamp contests, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Proceeds from sales of the $5 Junior Duck Stamp support environmental education.

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Winning 2015 Junior Duck Stamp art. Credit: Andrew Kneeland
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Girl Scouts and conservation leaders celebrate monarchs at the San Diego Bay NWR. Credit: Kayt Jonsson / USFWS
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North American Conservation Leaders Plant Milkweed, Grow Conservation Strategies for Saving Monarch Butterfly

April 16, 2015

With help from two Girl Scout troops, conservation leaders from the United States, Canada and Mexico’s wildlife agencies yesterday planted 80 native milkweed plants at the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, creating habitat for monarch butterflies. The 20th annual meeting of the Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management brought representatives from the three nations to San Diego, CA, to discuss multiple conservation issues, highlighting the importance of the monarch butterfly and efforts to protect the species and its habitat.

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Director's Blog: A Small Step for the Monarch – a Giant Leap for Conservation »»

Girl Scouts and conservation leaders celebrate monarchs at the San Diego Bay NWR. Credit: Kayt Jonsson / USFWS
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Biological Science Technician Tiffany Opalka-Myers helps out with a sea lamprey treatment on the St. Mary's River in upper Michigan. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS
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Service Prepares to Battle Sea Lampreys

April 13, 2015

Sea lampreys are a voracious invasive species that found their way to the Great Lakes many years ago and cause problems for important fish species, such as lake trout and pacific salmon. To restore the Great Lakes ecosystem and revive the fisheries, the United States and Canada have reduced sea lampreys by about 90 percent from historic highs, and the Service's Sea Lamprey Control Program is getting ready for another year.

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Biological Science Technician Tiffany Opalka-Myers helps out with a sea lamprey treatment on the St. Mary's River in upper Michigan. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS
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Fort Huachuca in Arizona and Naval Air Station Patuxent River-Atlantic Test Ranges in Maryland. Credit: Huachuca photo by Michael Wystrach. Credit: Courtesy of Arizona Land and Water Trust and Patuxent photo by NAS Patuxent River Air Operations
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Sentinel Landscape Partnership to Protect Habitat, Ensure Military Readiness at Arizona, Maryland Bases

April 8, 2015

The Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Interior today designated as Sentinel Landscapes Fort Huachuca (Arizona) and Naval Air Station Patuxent River-Atlantic Test Ranges (Maryland). These Sentinel Landscape Partnerships support efforts to promote working lands, protect wildlife habitat and ensure readiness at military bases across the country.

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Fort Huachuca in Arizona and Naval Air Station Patuxent River-Atlantic Test Ranges in Maryland. Credit: Huachuca photo by Michael Wystrach. Credit: Courtesy of Arizona Land and Water Trust and Patuxent photo by NAS Patuxent River Air Operations
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Ms. Laske's class watches the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory webcast. Credit: Courtesy Letitia Laske.
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High-Schoolers, Teacher Learn about Wildlife Forensics

April 6, 2015

Last Month, the Service's Forensics Laboratory held a live, behind-the-scenes webcast to give people a look at wildlife forensics, a key weapon in the war against wildlife crime. The webcast was of particular benefit to Minnesota biology teacher Letitia Laske who is in her first year of teaching wildlife forensics to juniors and seniors.

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Ms. Laske's class watches the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory webcast. Credit: Courtesy Letitia Laske.
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Gray wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer / USFWS
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Wolf Population in Northern Rocky Mountains Holds Steady

April 3, 2015

As of December 31, 2014, there were at least 1,657 wolves in 282 packs (including 85 breeding pairs) in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. An additional 145 wolves in 31 packs (including 13 breeding pairs) were estimated in Oregon and Washington. Wolf numbers continue to be robust, stable and self-sustaining in the Northern Rocky Mountains. The annual population report is conducted as part of the Service's work to monitor the wolf population to ensure that it continues to exceed recovery goals under professional state management.

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Gray wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer / USFWS
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