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Stories from the Home Page

Prussian carp. Credit: CAFS
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Proposal to List 11 Foreign Species as ‘Injurious’ Will Protect Nation’s Wildlife

October 29, 2015

The Service today announced a proposed rule to list 10 nonnative freshwater fish species and 1 nonnative freshwater crayfish species as “injurious wildlife” under the Lacey Act. Except for one fish, these species aren’t present in U.S. waters. However, all have the potential to become highly invasive if introduced into the wild in the United States, hurting freshwater habitats, native species and the local economies they support. The rule would prohibit the importation and interstate transport of any live animal, viable egg and more, except by permit.

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11 Animals We Hope You Never Meet in Midwest Waters »»

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Prussian carp. Credit: CAFS
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Pallid bats can hear their prey’s footsteps. Credit: Ann Froschauer / USFWS
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Secretary of the Interior Proclaims This Week National Bat Week

October 28, 2015

As plant pollinators and controllers of pest insects, bats are integral to human health, the economy and natural ecosystems. Unfortunately, a deadly disease called white-nose syndrome has killed millions in recent years, putting some bat populations at risk of extinction. The Service is working with other federal agencies, states, NGOs and private groups to educate the public about bats, and to learn more about and combat the threats to their survival. The Secretary of the Interior's National Bat Week proclamation demonstrates the commitment of the Service and other Department of the Interior agencies including the Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Geological Survey to conserving bats and their habitats for generations to come.

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Pallid bats can hear their prey’s footsteps. Credit: Ann Froschauer / USFWS
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About 5,000 black rhinos still exist in Africa. Credit: Karl Stromayer / USFWS
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Rhino Trafficker Gets More Than Two Years in Prison

October 22, 2015

The Service-led Operation Crash, a continuing effort to end the black market trade of endangered rhino horns, marked another victory as an Iowa man was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for his role in the illegal sale and transport of two black rhino horns. “This conviction and sentencing demonstrates the resolve of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service to eliminate the illegal trade of rhino horns in the United States,” says Ed Grace, Deputy Chief of the Service’s Office of Law Enforcement.

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About 5,000 black rhinos still exist in Africa. Credit: Karl Stromayer / USFWS
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Habitat destruction, human population growth, and a demand for tiger parts threaten the survival of all tigers, including Siberian tigers. Credit: John Goodrich / WCS
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Lumber Liquidators to Pay More Than $13M for Illegal Timber Import Scheme

October 22, 2015

Virginia-based hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators Inc. pleaded guilty Thursday in the first felony conviction related to the import or use of illegal timber. The more than $13 million penalty Lumber Liquidators will pay is the largest financial penalty for timber trafficking under the Lacey Act and one of the largest Lacey Act penalties ever. The company admitted importation of hardwood flooring, much of which had been illegally logged in far eastern Russia, home of the last remaining Siberian tigers and Amur leopards.

News Release (DOJ) »»

Habitat destruction, human population growth, and a demand for tiger parts threaten the survival of all tigers, including Siberian tigers. Credit: John Goodrich / WCS
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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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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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