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Stories from the Home Page

Rhinos and elephants are particularly at risk from wildlife trafficking. The National Strategy unveiled today by the White House offers a path forward to end the slaughter. Credit: Yathin S Krishnappa
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White House Unveils National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking

February 11, 2014

The United States today announced a National Strategy that will strengthen U.S. leadership on addressing the serious and urgent conservation and global security threat posed by the illegal trade in wildlife.

White House fact sheet »»

View the Strategy »»

Rhinos and elephants are particularly at risk from wildlife trafficking. The National Strategy unveiled today by the White House offers a path forward to end the slaughter. Credit: Yathin S Krishnappa
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The legal trade in ivory has been exploited by organized criminal cartels that are killing up to 35,000 elephants every year and trafficking their tusks. Credit: Michelle Gadd / USFWS

Service Initiates Commercial Ivory Ban to Protect Elephants, Rhinos from Wildlife Trafficking

February 11, 2014

Following the release today by the White House of the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, the Service today announced plans to initiate a commercial ivory ban. Through a series of administrative actions, virtually all commercial trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn in the United States will be stopped. 

News Release »»

Learn More About the Ban »»

Learn More About the Wildlife Trafficking »»

Learn About the November 2013 U.S. Ivory Crush »»

The legal trade in ivory has been exploited by organized criminal cartels that are killing up to 35,000 elephants every year and trafficking their tusks. Credit: Michelle Gadd / USFWS

3-ton pile of illegal ivory prior to its destruction today by the French government in Paris, France. Credit: Arnaud Bouissou - MEDDE
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France Destroys 3 Tons of Illegal Ivory

February 7, 2014

The Service applauds France for destroying today 3-tons of illegal ivory seized by French customs and law enforcement officials between 1987 and 2007. France now joins the United States, Kenya, the Philippines, Gabon and the People's Republic of China in this public commitment to ending the illegal trade in ivory that is threatening to wipe out African elephant populations. Global momentum is building within the international community to fight global wildlife trafficking and save the world's most threatened species.

Director's Statement »»

Learn more about the U.S. #ivorycrush »»

3-ton pile of illegal ivory prior to its destruction today by the French government in Paris, France. Credit: Arnaud Bouissou - MEDDE
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Fin whale. Credit: Pete Duley, NEFSC/NOAA
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Interior Certifies that Iceland's Whaling Undermines Worldwide Efforts to Conserve Whale

February 6, 2014

The Department of the Interior has declared that Iceland's international trade in whale meat and products diminishes the effectiveness of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The official certification was made to President Obama under the Pelly Amendment to the Fisherman's Protective Act of 1967. The President will determine appropriate actions within 60 days following the certification.

News Release »»

Read the certification letter »»

Questions and Answers »»

Fin whale. Credit: Pete Duley, NEFSC/NOAA
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Federal Wildlife Officer, Kenneth McCain, with an osprey at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Larry Woodward / USFWS
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Leaders Honored for Conservation Work on National Wildlife Refuges

February 5, 2014

The National Wildlife Refuge Association recently announced its series of awards honoring individuals and groups for their dedication and devotion to wildlife conservation within the National Wildlife Refuge System. The awards recognize the strong leaders and employees, dedicated volunteers, and Refuge Friends organizations that help make the Refuge System one of the best wildlife conservation systems in the world.

Learn More »»

Federal Wildlife Officer, Kenneth McCain, with an osprey at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Larry Woodward / USFWS
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An Oregon chub swims at Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis, Oregon. Credit: Rick Swart / Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
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Oregon Chub Proposed as First Fish to be Removed from ESA Due to Recovery

February 5, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed delisting the Oregon chub from the Endangered Species Act. If finalized, it would be the first ever fish removed from the ESA due to recovery, a monumental success for the Service and the many partners who worked together to make this happen, and for all Americans concerned about the health of our nation’s wildlife. 

News Release »»

Photo Gallery »»

An Oregon chub swims at Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis, Oregon. Credit: Rick Swart / Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
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Mexican wolf sedated during the 2013 population survey. Credit: Interagency Field Team
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Mexican Wolf Population Numbers Up From 2012

January 31, 2014

The Mexican wolf population in Arizona and New Mexico grew 10 percent last year, according to an annual survey just released. Now standing at 83 wolves, the wild population has nearly doubled in the past four years, marking important progress the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and its partners have achieved in bringing the species back from the brink of extinction. 

News Release »»

Mexican wolf sedated during the 2013 population survey. Credit: Interagency Field Team
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Caddo Lake, Texas, the 13th Ramsar site designated in the United States. Credit: Caddo Lake Institute
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Celebrate World Wetlands Day!

January 31, 2014

World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on February 2 to promote the global appreciation and protection of wetlands. It marks the anniversary of the 1971 signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in Ramsar, Iran. The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2014 is Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners in Growth. There are 35 "Ramsar sites" in the United States. 

Learn More »»

Ramsar Convention »»

Caddo Lake, Texas, the 13th Ramsar site designated in the United States. Credit: Caddo Lake Institute
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Allen Cay Iguana (Cyclura cychlura inornata). Credit: Caribbean Iguanas ©Aurora Alifano, Island Conservation-6 by Island Conservation
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Saving the World's Most Endangered Lizards

January 29, 2014

The Fish and Wildlife Service, Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative, San Diego Zoo Global, and Island Conservation are collaborating to help save Caribbean island iguanas. The region-wide effort stemmed from a workshop held in Puerto Rico this past December which brought together 61 participants from 16 nations to identify the most critical issues facing these imperiled species. 

News Release »»

News Release (in Spanish) »»

Flickr »»

Allen Cay Iguana (Cyclura cychlura inornata). Credit: Caribbean Iguanas ©Aurora Alifano, Island Conservation-6 by Island Conservation
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Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle. Credit: Mark Capone / USFWS
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Betting on a Beetle

January 27, 2014

To commemorate the Endangered Species Act’s 40th Anniversary, each week we feature a different state and its unique story to highlight our continued success in recovering threatened and endangered species. This week, we learn about efforts to protect the Coral Pink Sand Dunes tiger beetle in Utah. By working with our partners, we were able to protect the beetle and its habitat, preventing further decline and the need to list it as an endangered species.

ESA 40th Anniversary »»

Get to Know Your Species »»

Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle. Credit: Mark Capone / USFWS
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Wind farm near Montfort, Wisconsin. Credit: Todd Spink, National Renewable Energy Lab
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Service to Host Training Broadcast on Wind Energy Guidelines

January 23, 2014

The fourth training broadcast in a series of five covering the voluntary Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines and related topics will be held Wednesday, January 29 at 2 p.m. EST. The broadcast will focus on distributed wind energy, coordination with state government, and species of habitat fragmentation concern.

Register and learn more »»

Wind farm near Montfort, Wisconsin. Credit: Todd Spink, National Renewable Energy Lab
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King rail at the Lillian Swamp Wetlands, one of the 2014 grant projects, which is located in Alabama. Credit: John Trent / Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
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Major Grants to Conserve Coastal Wetlands Announced by Interior Department, FWS

January 23, 2014

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced $16.5 million in grants to support 21 critical coastal wetland projects in 12 states and Puerto Rico under the National Coastal Grants Wetlands Conservation Grants Program. State and local governments, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute an additional $18.2 million to these projects. 

News Release »»

2014 Grants »»

King rail at the Lillian Swamp Wetlands, one of the 2014 grant projects, which is located in Alabama. Credit: John Trent / Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
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Illegal ivory that was recently destroyed by the U.S. Credit: Gavin Shire / USFWS
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Hong Kong to Destroy Illegal Ivory

January 23, 2014

The Service congratulates Hong Kong for its decision to destroy 28 metric tons (61,730 pounds) of elephant ivory. This step is yet another sign of the mounting efforts within the international community to fight global wildlife trafficking and save elephants and other iconic species. The United States, Kenya, the Philippines, Gabon and the People's Republic of China have already destroyed illegal ivory stockpiles, and France has also announced its intention to do so.

Director's Statement »»

Press Release from the Government of Hong Kong »»

Learn more about the U.S. #ivorycrush »»

Illegal ivory that was recently destroyed by the U.S. Credit: Gavin Shire / USFWS
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Puerto Rican crested toad. Credit: Carlos Pacheco / USFWS
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The Puerto Rican Crested Toad: Once Thought Extinct, Now Recovering

January 22, 2014

As part of the Service’s commemoration of the Endangered Species Act’s 40th anniversary, each week we feature a different state and its unique story to highlight our continued success in recovering threatened and endangered species. This week,  we learn about the Puerto Rican crested toad, called “sapo concho puertorriqueño” in Spanish. Thanks to the work of our partners over the last 20 years, the crested toad is returning to areas where it had once disappeared. 

ESA 40th Anniversary »»

Get to Know Your Species »»

Puerto Rican crested toad. Credit: Carlos Pacheco / USFWS
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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Fee-Free at Refuges

January 17, 2014

America's national wildlife refuges will offer free admission to visitors in honor of Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 20, 2014. Refuges protect vital areas of habitat for many iconic species, from alligators and bison to whooping cranes, moose and puffins. There's at least one national wildlife refuge in every state – and one within an hour's drive of most major metropolitan areas.

Learn More »»

Find a Refuge »»