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Stories from the Home Page

Click photo to play video announcement by Secretary Jewell. Credit: Theo Stein / USFWS
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Unprecedented Collaboration Between Service and Partners Secures Greater Sage-Grouse Future. Species will not be Listed Under ESA

September 22, 2015

Thanks to one of the largest conservation efforts in U.S. history, the Service has concluded that the greater sage-grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Service Director Dan Ashe, four western governors and multiple partners announced the decision today in Denver, Colorado. They celebrated the success of 11 western states, federal agencies, private landowners and industry in securing the future of the greater sage-grouse and its unique sagebrush habitat.

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Click photo to play video announcement by Secretary Jewell. Credit: Theo Stein / USFWS
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St. Martin Island bluffs. Credit: Photo courtesy of Frykman Gallery
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Great Lakes Islands Added to Green Bay Refuge to Conserve Migratory Bird Habitat

September 22, 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.

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St. Martin Island bluffs. Credit: Photo courtesy of Frykman Gallery
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Gulf Sturgeon Sampling. Credit: Haile Macurdy / USFWS
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Service Launches Strategic Plan for Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program

September 21, 2015

Many conservation challenges face the nation’s fish and aquatic resources, including habitat loss and fragmentation, introduction and establishment of invasive species, and climate change. Today the Service announced a new strategic plan for its Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program that will address these challenges while providing guidance for the Program's annual operations for the next five years.

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Gulf Sturgeon Sampling. Credit: Haile Macurdy / USFWS
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Winning art for the 2016-2017 Federal Duck Stamp. Credit: USFWS
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Minnesota Brothers Make History at 2015 Federal Duck Stamp Contest

September 19, 2015

A trio of brothers from Minnesota made history today as they took the top three spots in the 2015 Federal Duck Stamp art contest. Joseph Hautman won the contest with his acrylic painting of a pair of trumpeter swans. Robert Hautman placed second with his acrylic painting of a pair of mallards. James Hautman took third place with his acrylic painting, also of a pair of mallards. Among them, the Hautmans have won 11 Federal Duck Stamp contests.

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Winning art for the 2016-2017 Federal Duck Stamp. Credit: USFWS
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Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware protects some of the largest remaining expanses of coastal marshes in the country. Credit: USFWS
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Bombay Hook Refuge Graces Quarter

September 18, 2015

Today the U.S. Mint is launching a coin as part of its America the Beautiful Quarters Program honoring Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. The Bombay Hook quarter is the first (but not the last!) national wildlife refuge so honored by the program, which celebrates America’s natural heritage.

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Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware protects some of the largest remaining expanses of coastal marshes in the country. Credit: USFWS
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White-tailed deer buck. Credit: Photo courtesy of Herbert Lange / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
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Deer Trafficker to Pay $1.6M, Record Amount for a Wildlife Crime in the U.S

September 16, 2015

After pleading guilty to three charges related to Lacey Act violations, a Georgia man was ordered to pay $1.6 million in fines and restitution, the largest amount of money an individual has ever had pay for a wildlife crime in the United States. His illegal sale and transport of white-tailed deer potentially exposed deer in Florida to chronic wasting disease, tuberculosis and brucellosis.

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White-tailed deer buck. Credit: Photo courtesy of Herbert Lange / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
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Click image to watch a video about photography at Prime Hook. Credit: USFWS
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A Lens on Nature: Ace Photographers and the Wildlife Refuges They Love

September 15, 2015

Think before you aim that camera at a national wildlife refuge. It may be habit-forming. That’s been true for four standout nature photographers, each hooked on prowling a favorite refuge – from Prime Hook, Delaware, to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah – in hopes of locking eyes with wildlife, capturing light and color, and probing the mystery of our animal natures. National wildlife refuges offer chances to see an almost unparalleled array of wildlife, including many of the nation’s most beloved and spectacular species. Wildlife photography brings individuals and families close to nature.

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Click image to watch a video about photography at Prime Hook. Credit: USFWS
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Fog shrouds the prairie pothole landscape at Moldenhauer Waterfowl Production Area, part of Kulm Wetland Management District. The district is proactively and systematically conserving grasslands and wetlands in North Dakota. Credit: Krista Lundgren / USFWS
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Strategically Conserving Habitat

September 11, 2015

September/October issue of Refuge Update features articles about how national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts across the country are smartly and selectively conserving land and water for wildlife and fish. The issue is available in the following formats:

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Fog shrouds the prairie pothole landscape at Moldenhauer Waterfowl Production Area, part of Kulm Wetland Management District. The district is proactively and systematically conserving grasslands and wetlands in North Dakota. Credit: Krista Lundgren / USFWS
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New England cottontail at Crescent Beach State Park in Maine. Credit: USFWS
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Stakeholder Efforts Conserve New England Cottontail, Will Be Removed from Candidate Species List

September 11, 2015

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Service Director Dan Ashe lauded the efforts of diverse stakeholders in conserving the once-imperiled New England cottontail. As a result, the rabbit will not require listing under the Endangered Species Act as a candidate species. At a special ceremony in New Hampshire today, Secretary Jewell, Director Ashe, U.S. Senator Shaheen (NH) and others released captive-bred cottontails, the species that inspired the beloved "Peter Cottontail" stories.

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New England cottontail at Crescent Beach State Park in Maine. Credit: USFWS
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Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge received price approval to acquire 758 acres. Credit: John and Karen Hollingsworth / USFWS
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More Than $27 Million in Funding Approved to Protect Waterfowl and Other Bird Species

September 9, 2015

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved more than $27 million in funding for the Service and its partners to purchase, lease or otherwise conserve nearly 200,000 acres of wetland and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds across the United States. The Commission also approved expenditure of nearly $6.5 million from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to conserve 3,274 acres for five national wildlife refuges through fee title land acquisitions and easement acquisitions.

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Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge received price approval to acquire 758 acres. Credit: John and Karen Hollingsworth / USFWS
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Wayne Hubbard (left) with council coordinator Joshua Winchell. Credit: Urban American Outdoors
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Focus on Diversity: Urban American Outdoors’ Wayne Hubbard Named to Hunting Council

September 4, 2015

Recognizing the importance of diverse audiences to the future of hunting and conservation, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently appointed Wayne Hubbard, co-founder and host of Urban American Outdoors, to the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council. The council advises the departments on wildlife conservation, habitat conservation and hunting.

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Wayne Hubbard (left) with council coordinator Joshua Winchell. Credit: Urban American Outdoors
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Four-month-old California condor chick in wild, cliffside nest in southern California. Credit: USFWS
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Live-streaming Cameras Connect People to Rare California Condors Nesting in the Wild

September 2, 2015

People around the world have the unprecedented opportunity to observe nesting California condors and their young chicks in real time via two live-streaming webcams. Conservation partners are launching the cameras near the Service’s Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in southern California and at the Ventana Wildlife Society’s Condor Sanctuary in Big Sur along the central California coast.

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Four-month-old California condor chick in wild, cliffside nest in southern California. Credit: USFWS
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Every Kid: Inspired, Exploring, Connected video. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Strategically Conserving Habitat

September 1, 2015

America's public lands and waters are living classrooms. Starting today, all fourth-graders and their families can visit national wildlife refuges, national parks, monuments, seashores and more for FREE. No fourth-grader in the family? Don't worry. Most refuges are always free.

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Every Kid: Inspired, Exploring, Connected video. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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White-haired goldenrod, Daniel Boone National Forest in eastern Kentucky. Credit: Michael Floyd, USFWS
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Service Proposes Delisting White-haired Goldenrod, Takes Positive Step with Partners on Behalf of Kentucky Arrow Darter

August 31, 2015

At a special event at Daniel Boone National Forest in eastern Kentucky, federal and state officials celebrated two conservation milestones for the state. Following decades of collaboration between federal and state agencies and non-profit organizations, the Service proposed removing the white-haired goldenrod – a plant unique to eastern Kentucky – from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to recovery.

Also signifying the level of proactive conservation the ESA is inspiring in Kentucky, the Service signed a Candidate Conservation Agreement with the Forest Service on behalf of the Kentucky arrow darter, a small fish found in headwater streams of the Daniel Boone National Forest.

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White-haired goldenrod, Daniel Boone National Forest in eastern Kentucky. Credit: Michael Floyd, USFWS
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Ivory to be crushed in Bangkok, Thailand. Credit: U.S. State Department
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Service Commends Thailand’s Destruction of Illegal Ivory

August 26, 2015

The Service today commended the Royal Thai Government for its destruction of 2.1 tons of illegal ivory in Bangkok. The ivory crush builds on Thailand’s recent efforts to stem the illegal trade in ivory by listing African elephants as a protected species under Thai law and strengthening regulations governing the possession and trade of ivory and ivory products.

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Ivory to be crushed in Bangkok, Thailand. Credit: U.S. State Department
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