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Stories from the Home Page

Rising demand for rhino horn threatens the species existence. Credit: USFWS
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Rhino-Horn Smuggling 'Boss' Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison

June 5, 2014

A judge sentenced Zhifei Li, the owner of an antiques business in China, to almost six years in prison for heading an illegal wildlife smuggling conspiracy in which 30 rhinoceros horns and objects made from rhino horn and elephant ivory were smuggled from the United States to China. Tuesday's sentence was one of the longest sentence ever to be imposed in the United States for a wildlife smuggling crime, and it is the latest victory for Operation Crash, a nationwide effort to investigate and prosecute those involved in the black market trade of rhinoceros horns.

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Rising demand for rhino horn threatens the species existence. Credit: USFWS
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Service Names Robert Dreher as New Associate Director

June 4, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has named former Justice Department Acting Assistant Attorney General Robert G. Dreher as its new Associate Director, beginning May 18. Mr. Dreher has considerable experience in government and for-profit and non-profit sectors, having represented environmental organizations, federal agencies, tribes and businesses in a wide range of environmental matters. As the Service's Associate Director, Mr. Dreher will be the principal advisor to the Director on major policy issues, and will represent the agency's priorities within the Department of Interior and the broader administration.

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Hong Kong seized ivory stockpile (video capture). Credit: Government of Hong Kong
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Hong Kong Burns First Batch of its Ivory Stockpile

June 3, 2014

The Service applauds the destruction by the Government of Hong Kong of some of its seized ivory. The incineration is the first in a series that the country will undertake over the next several months to destroy its nearly 30-ton stockpile, one of the largest in the world, and follows on from the crushing of 6 tons of seized ivory by Service last year.

Hong Kong Government News Release »»

Photos of the even »»

About the Ivory Crush »»

Hong Kong seized ivory stockpile (video capture). Credit: Government of Hong Kong
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African elephant bull in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Credit: Joe Milmoe / USFW
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Service Takes Next Steps in Commercial Elephant Ivory Trade Ban, Eases Restrictions on Musical Instruments and Other Uses

June 3, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced two actions relating to commercial trade in elephant ivory. These actions will help ensure that domestic markets do not contribute to the decline of African elephants in the wild, while also allowing certain activities to continue that we do not believe are contributing to poaching or illegal trade.

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Ivory Ban Q&A »»

National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking »»

Photo Gallery of African Elephants »»

African elephant bull in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Credit: Joe Milmoe / USFW
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Law Enforcement badge Credit: USFWS

Service Special Agent Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

May 20, 2014

Resident Agent in Charge Leo Suazo of the Service’s Office of Law Enforcement was awarded the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s 2014 Guy Bradley Award at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Named after the first wildlife officer killed in the line of duty in 1905, the Guy Bradley Award recognizes individuals for outstanding lifetime contributions to wildlife law enforcement.

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Law Enforcement badge Credit: USFWS

The Nez Perce Tribe will receive a Tribal Wildlife Grant for restoration of bighorn sheep populations and habitats along the Salmon River, Idaho. Credit: Ann Hough / USFWS
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Tribes in 15 States Receive $4.6 Million for Conservation Work

May 15, 2014

Federally recognized tribes in 15 states are receiving a total of $4.6 million in Tribal Wildlife Grants to fund a wide range of fish and wildlife conservation projects. The grants create opportunities for tribes to build conservation capacity and to work with the Service on a variety of issues including species restoration, fish passage, protection of migratory birds and efforts to cope with the long-term effects of a changing climate.

News Release »»

The Nez Perce Tribe will receive a Tribal Wildlife Grant for restoration of bighorn sheep populations and habitats along the Salmon River, Idaho. Credit: Ann Hough / USFWS
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Many groups came together to make this event a success. Left, Cedric McCay and Kevin Davis of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., flank Service Midwest regional director Tom Melius. At center, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is joined by Greencorps volunteers (wearing their signature vests). At right, Service Director Dan Ashe. Credit: USFWS
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Service Joins Partners to Restore Chicago's Burnham Wildlife Corridor

May 15, 2014

On Saturday, May 10, volunteers from around the Chicago area joined together and planted trees to develop the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, a 100-acre ribbon of urban wilderness running through Chicago's south lakefront area.

The project is part of the Service's Chicago Urban Refuge Partnership Initiative. Partners in the initiative include the Chicago Park District, the Nature Conservancy, the Field Museum, Openlands, Wild Indigo, and Mujeres En Accion.

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Many groups came together to make this event a success. Left, Cedric McCay and Kevin Davis of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., flank Service Midwest regional director Tom Melius. At center, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is joined by Greencorps volunteers (wearing their signature vests). At right, Service Director Dan Ashe. Credit: USFWS
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Black-footed ferret. Credit: Ryan Hagerty / USFWS
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Partners Across the U.S. Celebrate Annual Endangered Species Day

May 15, 2014

The 9th annual national Endangered Species Day will be celebrated on May 16, 2014, with special events and programs that recognize our nation's efforts to conserve and protect America's most imperiled species. Started in 2006 by the United States Senate, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of our nation's wildlife and wild places, and is an opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species.

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Black-footed ferret. Credit: Ryan Hagerty / USFWS
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Service Director Dan Ashe (center) and officials from the Fish and Widllife Service, Department of Interior and USAID with representatives from the Philippines government at today's MOU signing ceremony. Credit: Jessica Liao / USFWS
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Forensics Lab to Support Philippine Wildlife Crime Investigations

May 14, 2014

Service Director Dan Ashe today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Philippines Government authorizing the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon, to analyze evidence from wildlife crime investigations in that country. This collaboration between the United States and the Philippines is the latest in a decade-long partnership involving both the Interior Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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Service Director Dan Ashe (center) and officials from the Fish and Widllife Service, Department of Interior and USAID with representatives from the Philippines government at today's MOU signing ceremony. Credit: Jessica Liao / USFWS
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Critical habitat does not create a refuge or sanctuary. Rather it ensures that other federal agencies consult with the Services to ensure that any action they carry out, fund, or authorize is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species. Credit: arah Swenty / USFWS
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Federal Agencies Propose Revised Rules to Improve Implementation of the Endangered Species Act

May 14, 2014

The Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service  – the two federal agencies responsible for administering the ESA – today proposed two rules and a policy to improve the process of designating areas of “critical habitat” and consulting on the effects of federal actions on critical habitat.  These proposals are designed to increase the predictability and transparency of the Services’ actions related to critical habitat under the ESA.

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Critical habitat does not create a refuge or sanctuary. Rather it ensures that other federal agencies consult with the Services to ensure that any action they carry out, fund, or authorize is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species. Credit: arah Swenty / USFWS
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Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould announces the BIG awards at the American Boating Congress in Washington, D.C. Credit: Brian Bohnsack / USFWS
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More than $16 Million in Grants Will Boost Recreational Boating

May 14, 2014

Good news for recreational boaters: The Service awarded more than $14.27 million in Boating Infrastructure Grant program competitive grants to 10 states and the District of Columbia. The Service also will provide approximately $2.48 million to 27 states, commonwealths and territories willing to match smaller, non-competitive grants dedicated to boating infrastructure projects. The funds pay for floating docks, fixed piers, mooring buoys, sewage pump-out stations and other infrastructure that benefits fish and wildlife habitat while providing access for outdoor recreation.

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Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould announces the BIG awards at the American Boating Congress in Washington, D.C. Credit: Brian Bohnsack / USFWS
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Secretary Jewell assists with release of kokanee salmon fry in Lake Sammamish Watershed. Credit: Megan Nagel and Jason Holm / USFWS
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Secretary Jewell Announces Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership to Connect Seattle Communities, Youth to Lake Sammamish Watershed

May 12, 2014

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined local conservation leaders to announce that Lake Sammamish, Washington, has been chosen as one of eight pilot partnerships nationwide under the Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative. The partnership will help connect people in the Seattle metro-area to the great outdoors and restore kokanee salmon runs in the Lake Sammamish Watershed.

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Secretary Jewell assists with release of kokanee salmon fry in Lake Sammamish Watershed. Credit: Megan Nagel and Jason Holm / USFWS
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Many national wildlife refuges are near urban areas, like the John Heinz refuge outside of Philadelphia. Credit: USFWS
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Partners with Rhode Island's Providence Parks to Engage Urban Communities

May 12, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today unveiled the Providence Parks Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership, a collaborative project in Rhode Island. The partnership is one of the first in the country under the Service's urban refuge initiative.

"We must reach out into cities to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to develop a true connection with wild things and wild places. Our urban wildlife refuge partnerships will help us engage communities where we haven't had much of a presence," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.

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Many national wildlife refuges are near urban areas, like the John Heinz refuge outside of Philadelphia. Credit: USFWS
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Students test the water in a tank where tagged salmon are readied for release into the wild. Credit: Meghan Kearney / USFWS
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Salmon in the Classroom

May 7, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to working with partners and the public to promote stewardship of our natural resources. With that goal in mind, biologists at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery in the Columbia Gorge developed Salmon in the Classroom, a cross-curricular program that gets students involved in raising salmon from egg to fry stage right in their school.

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Students test the water in a tank where tagged salmon are readied for release into the wild. Credit: Meghan Kearney / USFWS
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A lucky angler lets Jenessa, Taurean, and Zach see his catch up-close. Credit: Sydney West / Boys and Girls Club Credit: Sydney West / Boys and Girls Club
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From Creek to Plate

May 7, 2014

Connecting with nature should be easy for residents of Anchorage, Alaska. But despite the close proximity to the wildness of the state, a surprisingly large number of Anchorage's urban residents do not take advantage of the outdoor opportunities within blocks of their homes and schools. The "Creek to Plate" program helps change that, by introducing kids from low-income neighborhoods to salmon fishing.

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A lucky angler lets Jenessa, Taurean, and Zach see his catch up-close. Credit: Sydney West / Boys and Girls Club Credit: Sydney West / Boys and Girls Club
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