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Stories from the Home Page

A Bornean orangutan mother and infant in Sabangau Forest. Credit: OuTrop
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Agents Arrest Two in Wildlife Smuggling Scheme

December 8, 2015

The Service-led Operation Pongo has resulted in the arrest of two men after they allegedly illegally smuggled orangutan skulls and parts of other protected wildlife into the United States. The operation name comes from the orangutan’s genus Pongo. 

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A Bornean orangutan mother and infant in Sabangau Forest. Credit: OuTrop
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One of the hunters illegally killed a grizzly bear. Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
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Hunting Show Host, Others Plead Guilty in Multi-year Poaching Operation in Alaska

December 2, 2015

Syndicate TV show host Clark Dixon recently pleaded guilty to two felony violations of the Lacey Act and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a fine of $75,000, and forfeiture of 17 trophies, bows and rifles used in the illegal take of game in Alaska. Others, including his father, who forfeited an aircraft used in the illegal hunts, pleaded guilty to numerous violations of hunting laws.

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One of the hunters illegally killed a grizzly bear. Credit: Steve Hillebrand / USFWS
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American oystercatcher with chick. Credit: USFWS
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Atlantic Shorebirds Get International Help

December 1, 2015

A storymap from the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative shows international efforts to conserve shorebirds in the face of climate change and other threats. The initiative is a collaborative effort by the Service, numerous federal, state, provincial and local governments, and others to conserve shorebirds from their breeding grounds in the Arctic to their wintering grounds in the Caribbean and South America.

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More on the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative »»

American oystercatcher with chick. Credit: USFWS
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Wisdom (left) with her mate at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge/Battle of Midway National Memorial. Credit: Kiah Walker
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Midway Gets a Welcome Dose of Wisdom

November 30, 2015

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross and the world’s oldest known banded bird in the wild, has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial. Wisdom was first banded in 1956. And because Laysan albatross do not return to breed until they are at least 5 years old, it is estimated Wisdom is at least 64 years old, but she could be older.

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Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial »»

Wisdom (left) with her mate at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge/Battle of Midway National Memorial. Credit: Kiah Walker
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Hikers on a winding trail at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Credit: Francesca Fischer
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Give Thanks for Nature, and Take a Hike

November 24, 2015

If you need to make room for more pie or maybe work off that extra slice, why not take a walk on a scenic walking trail on a national wildlife refuge? Many cities have one closer than you might think. Our natural heritage is something we can all be proud of and indulge in. 

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Hikers on a winding trail at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Credit: Francesca Fischer
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White Rhino and calf. Credit: Michelle Gadd / USFWS
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Two Years in Prison for Smuggler of Cups Made from Rhino Horn

November 19, 2015

An antiques dealer has been sentenced to two years in prison for his role in a wildlife trafficking scheme in which he purchased and smuggled 16 ceremonial cups carved from rhinoceros horns and worth more than $1 million from the United States to China. The man was arrested as part of Operation Crash, a continuing investigation by the Service to detect, deter and prosecute those engaged in the illegal killing of rhinoceros and the unlawful trafficking of rhinoceros horns.

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White Rhino and calf. Credit: Michelle Gadd / USFWS
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Service Deputy Director Jim Kurth (fourth from left) joins members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority at the celebration. Credit: USFWS
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Houston Goes Wild!

November 19, 2015

The Service and many partners celebrated the establishment of the Houston Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership on Wednesday. With more than 20 partners on board including the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, the Service is helping Houstonians learn about, find and care for nature right in their own community.

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Service Deputy Director Jim Kurth (fourth from left) joins members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority at the celebration. Credit: USFWS
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Gabe Harper discusses trafficking. Credit: USFWS
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Service’s Conservation Connect Discusses Wildlife Trafficking Online

November 16, 2015

Join Service staff online at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday to learn about Law Enforcement and Wildlife Trafficking. It’s the latest installment of Conservation Connect, a web-based video series that aims to connect young people with the great outdoors and conservation careers.

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Gabe Harper discusses trafficking. Credit: USFWS
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Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel, successfully recovered due to efforts of stakeholders and the Endangered Species Act. Credit: Guy Willey
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Delmarva Fox Squirrel Leaps Off Endangered Species List

November 13, 2015

Due to the successful conservation efforts of states, landowners, conservation groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel has been recovered and will be delisted from the Endangered Species Act. The recovery was announced by Department of Interior official Michael Bean and Sen. Tom Carper (DE) today at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Milton, Delaware. 

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Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel, successfully recovered due to efforts of stakeholders and the Endangered Species Act. Credit: Guy Willey
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Roseate Spoonbills. Credit: USFWS
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Service Releases Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment

November 13, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released its Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment, a comprehensive report that evaluates the effects of climate change, sea level rise and urbanization on four Gulf Coast ecosystems and 11 species that depend on them. The report was initiated by four Landscape Conservation Cooperatives that cover the Gulf of Mexico and will help guide future conservation and restoration efforts in the region. 

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Roseate Spoonbills. Credit: USFWS
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Refuge Manager Danny Moss “gets his goose on” earlier this year in Afghanistan. Credit: USFWS
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Fish and Wildlife Service Thanks Our Veterans

November 10, 2015

The U .S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proud to introduce veterans to a conservation career. We’re lucky many have chosen to continue their public service with us to conserve the nature of America.

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Photos of Fish and Wildlife Service veterans »»

Veterans Hiring Information »»

Refuge Manager Danny Moss “gets his goose on” earlier this year in Afghanistan. Credit: USFWS
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The universally accessible boardwalk at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place for nature lovers who want to veer slightly off the beaten path on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Credit: Photo by Rick Long
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Conserving Tropical Island Habitats

November 9, 2015

Island ecosystems tend to be highly sensitive to changes, and the Service works to conserve island habitats and the species found there (sometimes only there). The Service manages 31 national wildlife refuges in the Caribbean, the Pacific and Hawaii – and it co-manages four marine national monuments in the Pacific. The November/December issue of Refuge Update highlights tropical island habitats at a few of them.

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The universally accessible boardwalk at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place for nature lovers who want to veer slightly off the beaten path on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Credit: Photo by Rick Long
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Juvenile bald eagle. Credit: Ken Thomas
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Convicted of Poisoning Bald Eagles, Man to Pay Thousands

November 4, 2015

A New York farmer who killed three juvenile bald eagles and then removed the evidence has been sentenced to probation and a $1,000 criminal fine. He also must pay $3,000 to New York’s Bald Eagle Program. An investigation by the Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation found that the farmer placed a pile of meat contaminated with an insecticide in a field to kill coyotes, but the eagles ate it. A witness photographed the dead eagles before the farmer removed them.

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Juvenile bald eagle. Credit: Ken Thomas
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A refuge volunteer loads sugar cane, after it has been pressed through the grinder, at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge’s annual Pioneer Day celebration in Georgia. Credit: USFWS
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Make the Season Bright at a National Wildlife Refuge

November 4, 2015

Chop your own fir tree. Take a sleigh ride past wintering elk. Participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count. Check out some of the free, family-friendly holiday-season activities that national wildlife refuges will host through the New Year. Refuges offer chances to see an almost unparalleled array of wildlife, including many of the nation’s most beloved and spectacular species. 

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A refuge volunteer loads sugar cane, after it has been pressed through the grinder, at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge’s annual Pioneer Day celebration in Georgia. Credit: USFWS
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Loggerhead sea turtle eggs collected illegally and intended for commercial distribution. Credit: Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement
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Twice-Convicted Turtle Egg Thief Sentenced to 21 Months In Prison

November 3, 2015

A Georgia man has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for violating the Lacey Act by stealing viable sea turtle eggs from Sapelo Island, Georgia. The Lacey Act makes it unlawful for any person to acquire, receive or transport endangered species or their parts, including loggerhead sea turtle eggs. The man was on federal supervised release for an earlier conviction of egg theft when he was caught stealing turtle eggs for the second time.

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Loggerhead sea turtle eggs collected illegally and intended for commercial distribution. Credit: Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement
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