Introduction to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Past and Present
More than a hundred years ago, America’s fish and wildlife resources were declining at an alarming rate. Concerned scientists, hunting and angling groups, and citizens joined together to restore and sustain our national wildlife heritage. This was the genesis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Today, the Service enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages
migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant
fisheries, conserves and restores vital wildlife habitat, protects
and recovers endangered species, and helps other governments
with conservation efforts. It also administers a Wildlife and
Conserving Healthy Habitats
Habitat loss is the major reason for the decline of most of
the world’s fish, wildlife, and plant species. The Service helps
conserve habitat through the National Wildlife Refuge System.
In addition, the agency works with other public and private
landowners to help conserve plant and wildlife ecosystems
outside Service lands. To ensure the health of wildlife habitat,
employees examine the effects of Federal activities on fish
Restoring Declining Species
The Service seeks to restore declining species through wildlife
conservation and management, enforcing fish and wildlife laws,
controlling exotic nuisance species, and informing citizens
about how they can help. National wildlife refuges and national
fish hatcheries play a critical role in protecting and restoring
Working with Others
Sustaining our Nation's fish and wildlife resources is a task that can be accomplished only through the combined efforts of governments, businesses, and private citizens. The Service works with State and Federal agencies and Tribal governments, helps corporate and private landowners conserve habitat, cooperates with other nations to halt illegal wildlife trade, and works with volunteers at National Wildlife Refuges and other locations across the country.
Education and Training
A highly trained workforce and an informed public are critical to the future of America's fish and wildlife. The Service conducts conservation training for its employees and natural resource organizations both in the United States and around the world. The Service provides scientific, policy, and educational information to the public.
Places for Wildlife and People
People and nature are linked in various ways. Wildlife and wild places give people special opportunities to have fun, relax, and appreciate our natural world. Whether through birdwatching, fishing, hunting, photography, or other wildlife pursuits, wildlife recreation contributes millions of dollars to local economies. Our fish and wildlife heritage contributes to the quality of our lives and is an integral part of our Nation's greatness. As citizens of our global community, we can all work together to conserve the nature of our world.