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Stories from the Home Page

Flooding at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS

Service Updates Coastal Barrier Resources System Maps in Five States

April 23, 2014

Final revised maps for all John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System units in Delaware, South Carolina (including one unit that crosses the state boundary into North Carolina), Texas and one unit in Florida are now available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Coastal Barrier Resources Act requires the Secretary of the Interior to review and edit the maps at least once every five years to reflect changes in coastal barriers from natural forces.

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Flooding at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS

Operation Crash has secured 17 arrests and nine successful prosecutions to date for rhino horn and other animal-related trafficking. Credit: Karl Stromayer / USFWS
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Pair Indicted for Selling Rhino Horns

April 17, 2014

Two California residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas on felony charges connected with their sale of two black rhinoceros horns to an undercover agent working on Operation Crash -- the Service's ongoing investigation of rhino horn trafficking. The pair were arrested on March 19 after closing the deal in a Vegas hotel room.

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About Operation Crash »»

Operation Crash has secured 17 arrests and nine successful prosecutions to date for rhino horn and other animal-related trafficking. Credit: Karl Stromayer / USFWS
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Fin Whale. Credit: Pete Duley, NEFSC / NOAA
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President Directs Federal Agencies to Take Action in Response to Iceland's Trade in Whale Meat and Products

April 4, 2014

The President has notified Congress of actions he directed federal departments and agencies to take to encourage Iceland to cease international trade in whale meat and products. The instructions come in response to a certification issued by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell that Iceland's international trade is diminishing the effectiveness of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). 

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Message to the Congress -- Iceland and the Fisherman's Protective Act »»

Message to the Congress -- Pelly Certification and Icelandic Whaling »»

Pelly Amendment »»

Fin Whale. Credit: Pete Duley, NEFSC / NOAA
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Trumpeter Swan pair at Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Trumpeter Swan pair at Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Tom Koerner / USFWS
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$61 Million Approved for Grants and Refuge Acquisitions

April 3, 2014

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $54.7 million in grants through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to conserve 200,069 acres of wetlands and protect migratory bird populations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The remaining funds, derived mainly from Federal Duck Stamp revenue, will be used to add 5,072 acres on five national wildlife refuges.

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Trumpeter Swan pair at Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Trumpeter Swan pair at Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Tom Koerner / USFWS
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Lesser Prairie-chicken. Credit: Greg Kramos / USFWS
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Service Lists Lesser Prairie-Chicken as Threatened, Finalizes Special Rule Endorsing Landmark State Conservation Plan

April 3, 2014

In response to rapid and severe declines, the Service today announced the final listing of the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service also announced a final ESA special rule that will limit regulatory impacts on landowners and businesses from this listing.

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Listing Federal Register Document »»

Special Rule Federal Register Document »»

FAQs »»

Table of Lesser Prairie-Chicken Conservation Efforts »»

Lesser Prairie-chicken. Credit: Greg Kramos / USFWS
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Island night lizard. Credit: U.S. Navy Credit: U.S. Navy
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Conservation Victory! California's Island Night Lizard is Recovered, Removed from Endangered Species List

April 3, 2014

The island night lizard, a soft-skinned reptile found on three of the Channel Islands off the southern California coast, is recovered and no longer requires the protections of the Endangered Species Act. The Service's decision to remove the lizard from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife follows decades of collaborative on-the-ground conservation efforts led by the U.S. Navy and National Park Service to remove non-native species from the islands and restore native habitat.

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The Road to Recovery »»

Federal Register notice »»

Island night lizard. Credit: U.S. Navy Credit: U.S. Navy
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Prairie Potholes, Kulm Wetland Management District. Credit: USFWS
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Service and Partners Announce Launch of Prairies Conservation Campaign

March 31, 2014

The Service is joining a variety of conservation organizations to launch the Prairies Conservation Campaign. This new initiative aims to bring attention to the dramatic conversion of prairie grasslands and wetlands to cropland in one of America's last intact grassland ecosystems - the Prairie Pothole region ­– and the impact it is having on waterfowl and other migratory birds. The campaign will educate the public about prairie conservation programs and increase opportunities for voluntary engagement by landowners.

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Prairie Potholes, Kulm Wetland Management District. Credit: USFWS
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Father and son fishing together. Credit: Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
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$1.1 Billion Distributed to State Wildlife Agencies from Excise Taxes Generated by Anglers, Hunters and Boaters

March 31, 2014

The Service will distribute nearly $1.1 billion in excise tax revenues generated by sportsmen and sportswomen to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the nation. Revenues come from excise taxes on sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment and tackle, and electric outboard motors. Recreational boaters also contribute to the program through fuel taxes on motorboats and small engines.

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Father and son fishing together. Credit: Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
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Nesting Laysan albatrosses reap the benefit of Verbesina removal on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii. Credit: J Klavitter / USFWS
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Invasive Species Removal Shows Promise for One of World’s Largest Albatross Colonies

March 27, 2014

For the first time in years, an invasive plant called Verbesina encelioides, or golden crownbeard, is receding from Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, opening critically needed nesting space for albatrosses and other rare seabirds. The ongoing eradication effort is through a National Wildlife Refuge System grant with matching funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

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Nesting Laysan albatrosses reap the benefit of Verbesina removal on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii. Credit: J Klavitter / USFWS
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This painted bunting was among 34 birds seized by FWS law enforcement officers. Credit: USFWS
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Florida Man Sentenced for Illegal Possession of Migratory Birds

March 26, 2014

A resident of Coral Gables, Florida, pled guilty and has been sentenced in U.S. district court for possession without a permit of 34 migratory birds, including painted buntings and blue grosbeaks, in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Jose Souto received the maximum criminal fine under the statute, $15,000, and a one month term of probation. Additionally, as part of the plea agreement, Souto must forfeit the birds and trapping and other equipment, and must also make a donation of $7,500 to the Tropical Audubon Society to fund research, education and monitoring of migratory birds and their habitats in South Florida.

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This painted bunting was among 34 birds seized by FWS law enforcement officers. Credit: USFWS
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Local students from the Los Angeles area gather with Secretary Jewell learning about new educational opportunities to connect with nature. Credit: DOI
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Secretary Jewell, Mayor Garcetti Announce Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership to Connect LA Youth to Great Outdoors

March 26, 2014

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell joined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to announce that Los Angeles has been selected as one of eight pilot cities under the Service's Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative to connect urban youth with the great outdoors. Creating opportunities for urban young people to get outdoors not only supports healthy lifestyles but it also helps spark a passion to be good stewards of nature that will last a lifetime.

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Region 8 Video »»

Local students from the Los Angeles area gather with Secretary Jewell learning about new educational opportunities to connect with nature. Credit: DOI
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The SCA Summer Conservation Crew worked hard at maintaining trails on the refuge. Credit: Gore / USFWS
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Summer in the City!

March 25, 2014

Each year, high school students (ages 15-19) can apply for summer jobs with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) working on outdoor service projects. This past summer, for six weeks, young conservationists at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, just minutes outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, completed a variety of projects to improve wildlife habitat and visitor use facilities, as well as, participated in environmental education training opportunities.

John Heinz at Tinicum National Wildlife Refuge »»

SCA Mid-Atlantic »»

The SCA Summer Conservation Crew worked hard at maintaining trails on the refuge. Credit: Gore / USFWS
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Students look at different species of turtles at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, just twenty miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Credit: Lamar Gore / USFWS
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The Next Generation of Conservation Leaders

March 25, 2014

Since 2008, the Service’s Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP) created in partnership with the Student Conservation Association has helped prepare the next generation of wildlife professionals and managers. The program, which began in the Northeast Region, seeks to build a more inclusive workforce in the wildlife profession. It has now grown to include states within four Service geographic regions, including Alaska, and in 2012 won The Wildlife Society's Diversity Award.

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FWS Career Discovery Internship Program »»

SCA Career Discovery Internship Program »»

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Students look at different species of turtles at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, just twenty miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Credit: Lamar Gore / USFWS
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Birding at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania. Credit: USFWS
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National Wildlife Refuge System Marks 111 Years!

March 25, 2014

President Teddy Roosevelt created the first national wildlife refuge on March 14, 1903, at Pelican Island, Florida, to protect brown pelicans. Today, 562 refuges and 38 wetland management districts make up the nation's premier wildlife conservation network, the National Wildlife Refuge System. Join in the birthday celebration!

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Birding at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania. Credit: USFWS
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Scott Aikin. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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Scott Aikin Appointed New National Native American Liaison

March 11, 2014

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced the appointment of Scott Aikin as the agency's new national Native American Liaison. Aikin, an enrolled member of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation of Northeast Kansas, has more than two decades of experience helping the Federal Government carry out its trust responsibilities toward Tribes throughout the United States. Aikin will work with the Department of the Interior and the Service's leadership to ensure that the agency's actions and authorities are implemented in ways that respect and acknowledge Tribal sovereignty and the importance of Tribal wildlife stewardship.

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Scott Aikin. Credit: USFWS Credit: USFWS
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