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Stories from the Home Page

Chelsea McKinney (right), host of Conservation Connect, with biologist Ariel Elliot, capture and release small mammals at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: Brett Billings / USFWS
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Free, Online Series Brings Outdoors, Conservation Learning to Classrooms

October 21, 2015

Even if you can’t get out into the outdoors, you can still learn plenty about nature, thanks to Conservation Connect, the Service’s online video series targeting young people. Each episode highlights wildlife, careers and new technologies utilized to study and protect wild animals and the habitats on which they depend. Students and teachers who tune into the live broadcast can ask questions and chat with biologists in real time.

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Chelsea McKinney (right), host of Conservation Connect, with biologist Ariel Elliot, capture and release small mammals at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: Brett Billings / USFWS
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Hikers birdwatching on a trail at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: USFWS

Thanksgiving Hikes for City Lovers at National Wildlife Refuges

October 20, 2015

Celebrating Thanksgiving in the city needn’t mean giving nature the slip. Head to a scenic walking trail on a national wildlife refuge – many cities have one closer than you might think. 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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Hikers birdwatching on a trail at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: USFWS

Youth from the Groundwork Hudson Valley Green Team work to maintain the Saw Mill River in downtown Yonkers. The river was once buried under a parking lot. Credit: Groundwork Hudson Valley
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Youth Lead the Way to Urban Wildlife Refuge Designation in Yonkers

October 14, 2015

Yonkers, New York, recently celebrated its designation as the Service’s latest Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership city. At the core of the partnership is restoration of the local environment with hands-on engagement from the city's youth, including the daylighting of the Saw Mill River, which was buried for decades by a parking lot.

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Learn More about the Yonkers Parks Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership »»

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Youth from the Groundwork Hudson Valley Green Team work to maintain the Saw Mill River in downtown Yonkers. The river was once buried under a parking lot. Credit: Groundwork Hudson Valley
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An angler enjoys fishing on Uganik Lake and River at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Credit: Lisa Hupp / USFWS
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Get Outdoors for National Wildlife Refuge Week from October 11–17, 2015!

October 9, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites America to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week (October 11–17, 2015) with a visit to a national wildlife refuge! While there, you can fish, hunt, hike or just immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. As if you needed another good reason to share in America’s natural heritage, Sunday, October 11, is a fee-free day. Admission fees at wildlife refuges are waived on that day. Learn how wildlife refuges conserve your wildlife heritage and enrich your life, find one by you! 

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An angler enjoys fishing on Uganik Lake and River at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Credit: Lisa Hupp / USFWS
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Service Director Dan Ashe. Credit: USFWS
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30 Black-footed Ferrets are Released at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

October 8, 2015

Service Director Dan Ashe helped release 30 black-footed ferrets at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado. Several private landowners in Colorado already have black-footed ferrets on their land. The black-footed ferret is considered one of the most endangered mammals in the United States. Its historic range spans much of the western North America’s intermountain and prairie grasslands extending from Canada to Mexico. Once thought to be extinct, they were rediscovered in 1981 in Northwest Wyoming. These last remaining 18 ferrets became the genesis of the captive breeding program that has given hope the species could be saved from extinction and recovered in the wild.

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Service Director Dan Ashe. Credit: USFWS
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FWS Director Dan Ashe with Vern, a student at Penrose Elementary and FWS Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber. Vern helped us emcee the event; the group was about to release monarch butterflies. Credit: USFWS
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Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership Designation Brings Funding and Support for Outdoor Education and Green Space Conservation in Philadelphia

October 8, 2015

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe joined officials from the William Penn Foundation, National Audubon Society and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to dedicate Philadelphia as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership city. This special designation is part of the Service’s Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, which has provided more than $1.1 million since 2013 to partnerships across the nation to connect city residents with nature. The Philadelphia partnership supports efforts in Southwest Philadelphia to create neighborhood green spaces and parks, provide environmental education programs in schools, improve access and transportation to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum and provide jobs to young people.

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FWS Director Dan Ashe with Vern, a student at Penrose Elementary and FWS Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber. Vern helped us emcee the event; the group was about to release monarch butterflies. Credit: USFWS
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After the Columbia spotted frog was designated an ESA candidate species, states, federal agencies and private landowners went to work successfully conserving the frog. Credit: USFWS
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17 Candidate Species No Longer Warrant Listing Under ESA Due to Successful Efforts of States, Federal Agencies, Landowners and Non-Profits

October 7, 2015

As a result of ESA-inspired conservation efforts, 17 formerly at-risk species of plants and animals across North America will not require federal protections. Collaborations among the Service, other federal agencies, states, private landowners and non-profit organizations have fostered habitat protection and restoration efforts, reintroductions, and scientific surveys that have increased existing populations, created new ones, and led to the discovery of others that were previously unknown.

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After the Columbia spotted frog was designated an ESA candidate species, states, federal agencies and private landowners went to work successfully conserving the frog. Credit: USFWS
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Members of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management led the LULAC Youth Council on a tour of Red Butte Garden in July in Utah. Credit: BLM
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Service Partners with LULAC, Nation’s Oldest Latino Advocacy Group

October 5, 2015

Wildlife and the outdoors are woven into Latino culture, and to strengthen those ties the Service today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the League of United Latin American Citizens, (LULAC). Together, we will work to increase participation by Latino families in fishing and other outdoor recreation, and engage Latinos in monarch butterfly conservation.

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Members of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management led the LULAC Youth Council on a tour of Red Butte Garden in July in Utah. Credit: BLM
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Gooey masses of oil wash up at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama after the spill. Credit: Jereme Phillips / USFWS
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Comprehensive and Long-term Plan to Restore Oil Spill- Damaged Gulf of Mexico Unveiled

October 5, 2015

The U.S. Department of the Interior and its fellow Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees have released a draft plan for restoring the natural resources injured by the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Publication of the 1,400-page plan comes in conjunction with an announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice that it filed a proposed agreement, called a consent decree, in federal court to resolve civil claims against BP, the major party responsible for the 2010 oil spill. The proposed consent decree includes a 15-year funding schedule for the trustees’ draft restoration plan. The Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement is open for public comment through December 4.

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Gooey masses of oil wash up at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama after the spill. Credit: Jereme Phillips / USFWS
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Great green macaw. Credit: Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects Two Rare Macaw Species

October 1, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife today announced it is listing the military and great green macaws as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Both bird species are endemic to Central and South America. The agency found that both species are in decline, primarily due to habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation, small population size, and poaching.

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Great green macaw. Credit: Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons
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High school students enjoy the great outdoors at Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Credit: USFWS
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Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week from October 11–17, 2015!

September 29, 2015

To celebrate the nation’s enduring connections to the natural world and the unique ways nature touches everyone’s lives, the Service is celebrating National Wildlife Refuge Week from October 11-17, 2015. National wildlife refuges, managed by the Service, have been part of America’s rich natural heritage since 1903, when President Theodore Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Pelican Island in Florida. Today, you can visit a refuge to fish, hunt, hike, birdwatch or simply commune with nature. While you’re there, learn how refuges protect natural spaces and improve life for you and your community.

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High school students enjoy the great outdoors at Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Credit: USFWS
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Monarch on a sunflower at Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge in South Dakota. Credit: Tom Koerner / USFWS
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$3.3M to Support Monarch Butterfly Conservation

September 28, 2015

Earlier today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation made grants totaling $3.3 million from its Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeded with $1.2 million. The 22 grants, which will be matched by more than $6.7 million, will support the restoration of up to 33,000 acres of habitat in areas key to monarch recovery. One grant funds restoration activities in Missouri, and the Service will lead that project.

News Release (NFWF) »»

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Restoring Missouri’s Grasslands for the Monarch »»

Monarch on a sunflower at Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge in South Dakota. Credit: Tom Koerner / USFWS
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Black rhino. Credit: Richard Ruggiero / USFWS
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Irish National Extradited to Face Rhino Trafficking Charges

September 25, 2015

As part of an investigation led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, authorities in Ireland and the United Kingdom tracked, arrested and extradited to the United States for prosecution a suspected trafficker in black rhino horn. The extradition exemplifies the international collaboration and global commitment to stop the wildlife trafficking epidemic.

News Release (DOJ) »»

Black rhino. Credit: Richard Ruggiero / USFWS
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Students, community volunteers and partners removed invasive plants at Assabet National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury, Massachusetts, during 2014 National Public Lands Day. Credit: Margie Brenner / USFWS
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Celebrate National Public Lands Day on September 26!

September 25, 2015

National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands, including on national wildlife refuges and other sites across the United States. Help clean-up trails, plant native trees, remove invasive species, collect beach debris and much more. The occasion educates Americans about the environment and natural resources, and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands.

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Students, community volunteers and partners removed invasive plants at Assabet National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury, Massachusetts, during 2014 National Public Lands Day. Credit: Margie Brenner / USFWS
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Gray Wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer / USFWS
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$900,000 to Help Wolves, Livestock Share the Land

September 24, 2015

Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin grew five times its original size today with the addition of most of St. Martin Island and all of Rocky Island in Lake Michigan, adding 1,290 acres to the 330-acre refuge. The islands, along with others in the refuge, provide important stopover habitat for birds that migrate through the Great Lakes each spring and fall.

News Release »»

Gray Wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer / USFWS
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