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Stories from the Home Page

Natural Weir Fish Passage Project. Credit: Jennifer Lapis / USFWS
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Native American Tribes Receive $4.2 Million for Conservation Projects

March 27, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced nearly $4.2 million in Tribal Wildlife Grants to Native American Tribes in 13 states. The awards will support 22 fish and wildlife conservation projects that benefit a wide range of wildlife and habitat, including species of Native American cultural or traditional importance and species that are not hunted or fished.

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Natural Weir Fish Passage Project. Credit: Jennifer Lapis / USFWS
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African elephant. Credit: Gary M. Stoltz / USFWS
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Decisions on Import of Sport-Hunted Trophies Support Conservation of Rhinos and Elephants

March 26, 2015

Based on extensive assessments of the associated conservation and management programs, the Service finds that the import of two sport-hunted black rhinoceros trophies from Namibia will benefit conservation of the species, while the import of any elephant sport-hunted trophy from Zimbabwe will not. Under the Endangered Species Act, the Service authorizes imports for sport-hunted trophies of elephants and rhinos only when hunting in the country of origin is well-regulated, sustainable and benefits conservation of the species in question. 

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African elephant. Credit: Gary M. Stoltz / USFWS
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A scorpion glows under UV light at Ash Meadows Refuge, NV. An after-dark scorpion hunt at Pahranagat Refuge, NV and Moapa Valley Refuge, NV will give participants a chance to see the carnivores in a new light. Credit: USFWS
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National Wildlife Refuge Events Offer Offbeat Fun

March 25, 2015

Nothing against birding or nature touring, but sometimes even die-hard nature enthusiasts want to break out of the mold. Try something a bit more offbeat. We know the feeling. Consider these wild and wooly events some national wildlife refuges have planned this spring.

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A scorpion glows under UV light at Ash Meadows Refuge, NV. An after-dark scorpion hunt at Pahranagat Refuge, NV and Moapa Valley Refuge, NV will give participants a chance to see the carnivores in a new light. Credit: USFWS
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A wildlife inspector tells kids about rhino horn. Credit: Bill Butcher / USFWS
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Smuggler Gets 30 Months in Prison in Wildlife Trafficking Case

March 25, 2015

Arrested last year as part of Operation Crash, a continuing offensive to halt the illegal trafficking in rhinoceros horns, Canadian antiques dealer Tony Guan was sentenced to 30 months in prison for smuggling rhino horn, elephant ivory and coral. Said Service Director Dan Ashe: "The illegal trade in rhinoceros horns is the number one threat to many populations of African rhinos ... But global law enforcement cooperation through avenues such as the Fish and Wildlife Service's Operation Crash is bringing people like Guan to justice."

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Sentencing Exhibit Part 1 »»

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A wildlife inspector tells kids about rhino horn. Credit: Bill Butcher / USFWS
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Green sea turtle at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: Blair Witherington / University of Florida and Disney.
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Service Lauds Ethiopia's Destruction of Ivory

March 24, 2015

The Service commends the government of Ethiopia for its March 20, 2015, destruction of more than six tons of ivory, drawing international attention and demonstrating the country's commitment to fight global wildlife trafficking that now threatens the future of African elephants and other treasured species. 

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Green sea turtle at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: Blair Witherington / University of Florida and Disney.
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Green sea turtle at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: Blair Witherington / University of Florida and Disney.
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Successful Conservation Efforts Along Florida, Pacific Coasts Recognized in Revised ESA Listing of the Green Sea Turtle

March 20, 2015

Today NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed reclassifying the green sea turtle under the Endangered Species Act.The proposal involves reclassifying green sea turtles into 11 Distinct Population Segments globally. This will ensure continued protections for all green sea turtles, while providing a more tailored approach for managers in addressing the specific threats that face each population. Following years of coordinated efforts in Florida and along the Pacific Coast in Mexico, nesting green sea turtle numbers have increased, leading to a recommended threatened status instead of endangered for those populations.

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Green sea turtle at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: Blair Witherington / University of Florida and Disney.
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The Sweetwater River Conservancy Conservation Bank ranks as the largest conservation bank in the country. Credit: Sweetwater River Conservancy
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Taking Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation to the Bank

March 18, 2015

Wyoming and the Service today announced the launch of the nation's first conservation bank for greater sage-grouse. A conservation bank is a site established under an agreement with the Service to provide conservation benefit for species. Entities can purchase "credits" there to offset impacts occurring elsewhere. The Sweetwater River Conservancy Conservation Bank will manage a vast expanse of central Wyoming for sage-grouse, mule deer and other wildlife, allowing energy development and other activities helpful to the regional economy to proceed elsewhere in the state.

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The Sweetwater River Conservancy Conservation Bank ranks as the largest conservation bank in the country. Credit: Sweetwater River Conservancy
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Elephants cross a river in Zambia. Credit: Alex Berger / Flickr Creative Commons
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Push Against Trafficking of Elephant Ivory Grows

March 13, 2015

Last week on World Wildlife Day, the world showed it was serious about wildlife crime. Kenya and China are among the countries taking important steps in the fight against the trafficking of elephant ivory.

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Elephants cross a river in Zambia. Credit: Alex Berger / Flickr Creative Commons
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The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Broodstock and Lake Reintroduction Team is recognized for their efforts to conserve the Lahontan cutthroat trout, the largest trout species on the planet. Credit: USFWS
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Service Announces Recipients of 2014 Science Awards

March 13, 2015

A Migratory Bird project leader in Alaska, the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Broodstock and Lake Reintroduction Team, and a mussel biologist in Wisconsin earned the 2014 Rachel Carson and Science Leadership awards for scientific excellence. The awards honor Service employees whose outstanding scientific contributions improve the Service's knowledge and management of fish and wildlife resources. 

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The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Broodstock and Lake Reintroduction Team is recognized for their efforts to conserve the Lahontan cutthroat trout, the largest trout species on the planet. Credit: USFWS
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Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina is a kayaker's paradise. Credit: Eric Horan / USFWS
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Happy Birthday National Wildlife Refuge System!

March 13, 2015

For 112 years, the 562 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts in the National Wildlife Refuge System have provided vital habitats for thousands of wildlife species. There's at least one refuge in every state and one within an hour's drive of most major metropolitan areas. If you love nature and wildlife, join us on March 14 in the celebration of the Refuge System, the world's premier network of public lands dedicated to wildlife conservation.

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Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina is a kayaker's paradise. Credit: Eric Horan / USFWS
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Established as a waterfowl sanctuary for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is also home to many bald eagles. Eileen Wise Credit: Eileen Wise
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What's your Favorite National Wildlife Refuge?

March 11, 2015

USA TODAY had a panel of experts pick 20 nominees out of the more than 560 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System and they invite you to pick your favorite National Wildlife Refuge. You can vote once a day throughout March. 

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Established as a waterfowl sanctuary for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is also home to many bald eagles. Eileen Wise Credit: Eileen Wise
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A reticulated python. Credit: Bjorn Lardner / Colorado State University
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Service Lists Four Nonnative, Large Constrictor Snakes as Injurious Wildlife

March 6, 2015

The Service today declared the reticulated python, DeSchauensee's anaconda, green anaconda and Beni anaconda to be "injurious" under the Lacey Act. A fifth snake, the boa constrictor, is removed from consideration for listing as an injurious wildlife species. Today's action, announced by Service Director Dan Ashe at an event in Florida, will prohibit import of the four snakes into the United States and its territories, as well as transport across state lines for snakes already in the country, and is intended to help restrict the snakes' spread in the wild.

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A reticulated python. Credit: Bjorn Lardner / Colorado State University
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Kirtland's warbler. Credit: Joel Trick / USFWS
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Service Announces More Than $45 Million to Support Wildlife, Habitats and Imperiled Species

March 4, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is providing more than $45 million in funding to all 50 states and territorial wildlife agencies to protect species and habitats in greatest need of conservation. The funding is being made through the Service's State Wildlife Grant (SWG) program, which has provided approximately $1 billion to states in its 14-year history to help protect our nation’s most at-risk wildlife and conserve the American landscape.

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Kirtland's warbler. Credit: Joel Trick / USFWS
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Headquarters staffers show they're serious about wildlife crime. Credit: USFWS
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Service, Partners Fight Wildlife Crime

March 3, 2015

Poaching and wildlife trafficking threaten some of the world's best known and most beloved species, including elephants and rhinos, as well as lesser-known species like the pangolin. On this World Wildlife Day, the Service joins partners around the world to show that we are serious about wildlife crime. We're strengthening law enforcement efforts, coordinating domestically and internationally to combat wildlife trafficking, and in 2014 alone, the Service invested more than $15 million in wildlife security support worldwide. We hope you will join us, this World Wildlife Day and every day, to end the illegal wildlife trade.

Director's Blog: Using Cutting Edge Science to Fight Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade »»

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Headquarters staffers show they're serious about wildlife crime. Credit: USFWS
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Snow geese erupt in flight over Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. Credit: Photo courtesy of Benjamin Hoffman.
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National Wildlife Refuge System Turns 112 in March

February 26, 2015

If you love nature and wildlife, join us March 14 to celebrate the 112th birthday of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the world’s premier network of public lands dedicated to wildlife conservation.

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Snow geese erupt in flight over Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. Credit: Photo courtesy of Benjamin Hoffman.
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