Latest News Archive
August 12, 2014: The recent outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa is of grave concern to our partners in the field in affected areas, including staff, volunteers, volunteers' families and funders. Read more about some of the conservation implications of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Find out how the current Ebola outbreak is affecting conservation work on the ground in a guest blog by the Service's Great Ape Conservation Fund grantee Chimpanzee Conservation Center (CCC), which has been working in Guinea, West Africa, since 1997.
June 26, 2014 - The Service published a Federal Register notice requesting recommendations for animal and plant species that may warrant a change in protection or need protection under CITES. The Service will consider these recommendations and determine whether to put forward a proposal for consideration at the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to CITES to be held in South Africa in 2016. Public comments will be accepted until August 26, 2014. Click here to read the Federal Register notice and learn how to submit comments.
A new agreement among Canada, México, and the United States to help protect imperiled species on fragile island ecosystem was endorsed on May 28, 2014 by the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Parks Canada and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the annual Trilateral Committee Meeting in Querétaro, México.
Several federal agencies and non-governmental organizations with complementary missions are joining this effort. Collaborators will promote sustainable environmental practices and effective measures as well as develop and implement a plan of action for island restoration and conservation cooperative projects. Click here to learn more about this effort.
July 23, 2014: Following evaluation of all available information, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed the suspension of the import of elephant trophies harvested in Zimbabwe on or after April 4, 2014, the date an interim suspension was announced. For more information on this decision, please read the press release and visit our Q&As page.
Effective June 24, 2014: Certain commodities of Yucatan rosewood (Dalbergia tucurensis), Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica) and Manchurian ash (Fraxinus mandshurica) have been listed in CITES Appendix III and require CITES documentation for import and re-export from the United States. For additional information on this listing, please read this letter to U.S. timber importers and re-exporters.
May 27, 2014 - A final rule has been published revising the regulations that implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in the United States. The revised regulations incorporate certain provisions adopted at the fourteenth and fifteenth meetings of the Conference of the Parties to CITES and clarify other provisions to help us more effectively promote species conservation and fulfill our responsibilities under the Treaty. For a summary of the revisions, click here. The revised regulations will be effective on June 26, 2014.
May 15, 2014 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced two actions relating to commercial trade in elephant ivory. These actions will help ensure that domestic markets do not contribute to the decline of African elephants in the wild, while also allowing certain activities to continue that we do not believe are contributing to poaching or illegal trade.Click here for the full press release. Click here for the Ivory Ban Q & A.
The forests of the Pilibhit Forest Division in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) have been declared the newest Tiger Reserve of India. In 2010 the Wildlife Without Borders’ Rhinoceros and Tiger Fund awarded World Wildlife Fund for Nature-India a grant of $59,963 which was matched with $124,833. This forest is home to 20 tigers but can accommodate 40.
June 9, 2014 - The Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking (Advisory Council), called upon by President Obama's Executive Order in 2013, held a third public meeting on Monday, June 9th, to consider recommendations for the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking (Task Force), discuss administrative topics, and hear public comments and questions. At this meeting, the Advisory Council adopted, by consensus, a set of recommendations to implement the National Strategy on Wildlife Trafficking and has submitted these recommendations to the Task Force for consideration.
May 9, 2014 - Melvin Gumal is a long time WCS Great Ape Conservation Fund grantee; Shivani Bhalla is a graduate of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders Program, which receives funding from the Wildlife Without Borders Program; Marites (Tess) Gatan-Balbas, Mabuwaya Deputy Director / Field Operations Manager is a Critically Endangered Animals Fund grantee; Paula Kahumbu was one of the speakers at the Service’s Ivory Crush in Colorado in November 14, 2013. Click here to see the Award Winners. Click here to see who got the Green Oscar.
April 4, 2014 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a suspension of imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies taken in Tanzania and Zimbabwe during calendar year 2014. Read the press release and Q&As to learn more about this decision. UPDATE as of 4/21/14: We have received a number of requests for additional information on the science and rationale that support these decisions. To address these requests, we have posted the required ESA and CITES findings to our website. Please click the links that follow to access a pdf version of these findings. Zimbabwe- Endangered Species Act enhancement finding and Tanzania- CITES non-detriment finding; Endangered Species Act enhancement finding Click here to access the Federal Register notice published on May 12, 2014.
February 19, 2014 - President Obama, Prime Minister Harper and President Peña Nieto recently met in Toluca, Mexico for the North American Leaders Summit. The leaders emerged with several commitments including the conservation of the periled Monarch butterfly. The Canada/Mexico/U.S. Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management (Trilateral Committee) has made a continuing commitment to support the conservation of monarch butterflies. The Trilateral Committee will address the challenges and dedicate discussions to the preservation of this species in May 2014. View the joint statement here. Learn more about the Trilateral Committee here. Learn more about the Service’s efforts to conserve Monarch butterflies with our partners in Mexico here. Photo credit: USFWS
May 6, 2014 - The Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking will convene a third public meeting to consider recommendations for the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, discuss administrative topics, and hear public comments. The meeting will be held on Monday, June 9, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Time). For more information on participating in the meeting, or submitting questions or comments, please read the Federal Register notice.
May 8, 2014 - Teiko Saito was honored by the Department of Interior with a Distinguished Service Award. This award is presented to Department of the Interior (DOI) employees who have made outstanding contributions during an eminent career at DOI or an exceptional contribution to public service. From 1980-2013, Teiko Saito served in a variety of positions in a number of Service programs including the Director's Office, Refuges, Endangered Species, External Affairs, Human Resources, and International Affairs. In 2009 she was appointed Assistant Director of International Affairs and she held this position until her retirement in 2013.
April 2, 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). Click here for the press release.
March 20, 2014 - On March 20, 2014, Advisory Council members met to present recommendations on the implementation of the National Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking and to receive public comment regarding the National Strategy. Following discussion among Advisory Council members on the four major subcommittee areas, legal frameworks/reform, enforcement, communication/advocacy, and public/private partnerships, the Council listened to comments from the public. These included members of the antique and auction communities, museum curators, artists and musicians, representatives from non-government organizations, university students and other concerned members of the public. The next public meeting is scheduled for June, 2014. Click here for a video and here for photos of the event.
March 19, 2014 - The Service published a final rule, effective immediately, which excludes U.S. captive-bred animals and sport-hunted trophies of the scimitar-horned oryx, addax and dama gazelle from permitting requirements as long as certain conditions are met. Click here for more information.
March 4, 2014 - With support from USFWS Wildlife Without Borders and in partnership with WildAid, Yao Ming delivered a petition to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) asking that China’s government ban the sale of ivory. Yao Ming has been an active leader and vocal critic against ivory sales in America and abroad. For more information on the petition click here.
February 26, 2014 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a Director’s Order tightening controls on the trade of elephant ivory and other products made from protected species. The Order represents the first in a series of administrative actions to further restrict commercialization of elephant ivory as called for in the National Strategy on Combating Wildlife Trafficking. Click here to read more.
February 21, 2014 - USFWS commends President Idriss Déby and the government of the Republic of Chad for destroying approximately one ton of confiscated ivory today as part of the 50 year anniversary celebration of Zakouma National Park. USFWS has been a proud supporter of conservation efforts in Zakouma National Park since 1999. We are encouraged by recent success in halting poaching in this important protected area, managed in partnership between African Parks and the government of Chad, which is considered one of the last strongholds for wildlife in Central Africa. Read the Director's Statement here.
February 12, 2014 - Congratulations to Dr. Rosemarie Gnam, Chief of the Division of Scientific Authority, for receiving Honorable Mention for Science Leadership in the 2013 Fish & Wildlife Service's Science Awards. This prestigious honor is awarded to Service employees whose exemplary practice and support of scientific activities improve the Service’s knowledge and management of fish and wildlife resources. Dr. Gnam's work and leadership have been demonstrated both domestically and internationally in the protection of many species including sharks, red and pink corals, Bluefin tuna, paddlefish, tortoises and freshwater turtles, polar bears, and American ginseng. Learn more about Dr. Gnam's work. FWS photo credit: Frank Kohn.
February 11, 2014 - Following the release by the White House of the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, USFWS 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 stop. Read the press release, visit our Wildlife Trafficking page, and check out Q&As to learn more.
February 10, 2014 - International Affairs is saddened to hear about the passing of Shirley Temple Black. Best known for her work as a child star in Hollywood during the 1930s, Temple later left show business and began a noted career in politics, diplomacy and conservation. She was a high-profile voice for conservation who helped create the framework for cooperation with Russia under which we still work today. In 1973 she was present at the signing of a foundational agreement between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. on environmental protection. Read her words from this meeting where she spoke about the need for international cooperation in order to save the world’s endangered species. (Photo Credit: Walter Lang, 20th Century Fox)
February 6, 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. Read the Director's Statement here.
February 2, 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. Click here to read more.
January 29, 2014 - Governments, academics, non-government organizations and private stakeholders are collaborating to help save the world's most endangered group of lizards--Caribbean island iguanas. This 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. Click here to learn more. Photo: Ricord's iguana, courtesy of Island Conservation. Caption: Through the Critically Endangered Animals Conservation fund, we're supporting a conservation project for the Ricord's iguana to remove three invasive species--feral cats, donkeys, and cattle-- a primary threat to iguanas.
January 6, 2014 - The Service commends the government of the People's Republic of China for destroying more than six tons of illegal elephant ivory in the city of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. China today joins the United States, Kenya, Gabon and the Philippines, which have destroyed their illegal ivory, in this fight to save African elephants from poachers and the illegal ivory trade. France also plans to destroy its illegal elephant ivory this year. Click here for more information. Click here to read the Director's Statement.
January, 2014 - USFWS Wildlife Without Borders - Western Hemisphere program has partnered with Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) and the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature, A.C. to develop a program for park rangers to gain training and expertise in critical protected area management issues. The Managing for Excellence signature initiative has trained an impressive 200 park rangers during its first year of activities while improving the management of 106 natural protected areas vital for the conservation of wildlife in Mexico. Click here to learn more about the Services' work in Mexico. Click here to view video testimonials in Spanish.
January, 2014 - The Dallas Safari Club at their annual Convention being held from January 9-12 plans to auction a special hunting permit to take a black rhino . The hunting permit will be issued by the Government of the Republic of Namibia with all proceeds earmarked for rhino conservation in that country. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has not received an application to allow for the importation of a black rhino trophy associated with the Dallas Safari Club auction. Click here for the full USFWS statement.
December 19, 2013 - The Save Vanishing Species semipostal stamp continues to provide vital support for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to fight global wildlife trafficking and poaching. Millions of Americans have purchased these stamps online and at their local post offices in the past two years, generating more than $2.5 million that has been used in Africa, Asia and Latin America to benefit elephants, rhinoceros, tigers and other rapidly declining wildlife species. Click here to read the press release. Click here to see the 2012-2013 stamp grants.
December 4, 2013 - Representatives of the polar bear range states – United States, Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Norway and the Russian Federation – convened in Moscow on December 4 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears. Representatives responsible for polar bear policy, research, and management recognized the significant contributions over the past four decades to polar bear conservation throughout the species’ Arctic range. Click here to read the full article.
December 3, 2013 - A Caribbean Iguana Conservation Workshop is being held from December 3-5 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. During this 3-day workshop, USFWS officials will meet with Caribbean government representatives, species experts, conservationists, and academics to explore a region-wide approach to iguana conservation. This workshop provides an opportunity to raise the profile of iguanas and expand the work of the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CLCC), a partnership among research and management agencies, organizations and individuals who are interested in achieving a sustainable future for the Caribbean islands and their wildlife and ecosystems. To learn more about the CLCC, visit http://caribbeanlcc.org/ Photo ©Glenn Gerber
November 27, 2013 - More than 1,000 acres of dry forests essential to the survival of the critically endangered Cotton-Top Tamarin Monkey (Saguinus oedipus) have been declared a protected area by the Regional Environmental Authority in Colombia (CARDIQUE).USFWS grantee Fundacion Proyecto Tití played a critical role in the designation of the Parque Natural Regional Bosque SecoEl Ceibal-Mono Tití . The grantee has worked to promote Cotton Top Tamarin conservation while increasing sustainable economic activities for rural communities and reducing dependence on income from the illegal pet trade. Learn more about the park in Spanish. Learn more about the Service's work in Latin America.
October, 2013 - Plans to crush approximately six tons of elephant ivory seized over the years as a result of Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) criminal investigations and port inspections have been postponed due to the government shutdown. The ivory was scheduled to be destroyed on October 8 at OLE's National Wildlife Property Repository outside of Denver, Colorado. The USFWS intends to reschedule the event and will update this page when a date is selected. Click here to learn why the U.S. is taking this action.
September 30, 2013 - The U.S. CITES Authorities have completed a report summarizing major U.S. legislative, administrative, and regulatory actions taken from 2011-2012 to implement and enforce the provisions of CITES. The report features highlights from major law enforcement cases and criminal prosecutions, U.S. participation in working groups and CITES Committees, and other proactive measures taken to increase compliance and enforcement. Click here to read the full report.
September 20, 2013 - Today marks the second anniversary of the Save Vanishing Species Stamp. In two years, over 23.4 million stamps have been sold raising $2,382,000 for the Service'sWildlife Without Borders’ international conservation funds. The funds raised are being used to help save tigers, elephants, rhinos, great apes, and marine turtles. USFWS is teaming with the Detroit Tigers and ad agency BBDO to promote the Tiger Stamp and raise awareness of critical conservation efforts. The stamp is available at Tigerstamp.com. Learn more about the projects supported by stamp funding: http://1.usa.gov/159n5Rg
September 10, 2013 - The Service will take immediate action to protect the southern white rhinoceros under the Endangered Species Act in response to the poaching crisis decimating rhino populations worldwide. By extending ESA protection to the white rhino–the last remaining unprotected species of rhinoceros–the Service closes a loophole that has been exploited by poachers and traffickers seeking to cash in on global demand for rhino horn. Click here to learn more.
September 9, 2013 - Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has named members of a federal advisory council on wildlife trafficking during a White House Forum to Combat Wildlife Trafficking. Jewell also announced Service plans to crush and destroy approximately six tons of elephant ivory seized by its special agents and wildlife inspectors for violations of U.S. wildlife laws. Click here to learn more about the Advisory Council and its members.
September, 2013 - In partnership with PROBEA, the USFWS is supporting a project to build the capacity of citizens in Mexico to conserve the region’s natural resources through education. Currently, more than 11,000 students representing fourteen schools from all five municipalities in Baja California are committed to completing the program. Click here to learn more about the PROBEA project.
September, 2013 - The city of Merida hosted the workshop “Building the Capacity of Natural Protected Areas Managers and Enforcement Officials to Protect Biodiversity in Yucatan Peninsula” (August 20th to 23rd), implemented by WWB-Mexico in partnership with the Environmental Law Institute. A total of 103 employees from the office of the General Attorney for Environmental Protection and the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas attended the event. The workshop enhanced participants’ understanding of Mexico’s new legal and institutional framework and their effect on natural protected areas (NPAs) protection; the latest advances in environmental law interpretation and application nationally and internationally; the proper prosecution of environmental crimes in NPAs; importance of evidence collection; valuation of scientific evidence; and an analysis of the most emblematic cases of NPAs crimes. Click here to learn more about the Wildlife Without Borders-Mexico Program.
August 28, 2013 - In a pre-game ceremony on August 27th , the Detroit Tigers presented a $10,000 check to the Service's Wildlife Without Borders program. The Tigers’ Pennies for Paws program has raised more than $53,000 for tiger conservation since 2008. The Tigers also support the Save Vanishing Species Stamp, a special first-class stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service, which has generated more than $2.3 million for conservation to date. http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/det/community/savethetigers.jsp
July 8, 2013 - USFWS’ Richard Ruggiero appeared today on NPR Baltimore’s Midday Show with Dan Rodricks to discuss the poaching crisis facing elephants in Africa. The broadcast explores the need for increased law enforcement efforts and demand reduction to address the issue. Listen to the entire broadcast at: http://bit.ly/1m56hr5
July 1, 2013 - The Service has received top honors in the Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 10th Annual International Innovations in Diversity Awards competition for its innovative conservation work with communities in Africa and Latin America. The awards recognize organizations and institutions that develop creative solutions in the area of workforce diversity and inclusion. The winning organizations are highlighted in the July/August 2013 issue of the Diversity Journal.
June, 2013 - On Wednesday, June 5th, as part of the Government of Mexico’s World Environment Day celebrations, USFWS - Wildlife Without Borders partner "Union de Sociedades Cooperativas de la Red de los Humedales de la Costa de Oaxaca" (Network of Coastal Wetlands of Oaxaca), was presented with the National Ecological Merit Award by Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). This year marks the 20th Anniversary of this prestigious Award, which recognizes outstanding efforts to advance conservation through research, social organization, and environmental education.
May 15, 2013- Nominations are now open for the prestigious Alexander F. Skutch Medal for Excellence in Neotropical Ornithology. Please send an e-mail or letter to Herb Raffaele, addressing the candidate's contributions to Neotropical ornithology. English or Spanish
May 8, 2013 - Representatives from the Detroit Zoological Society, U.S. Postal Service (USPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife Without Borders (WWB) program, and the Detroit Tigers organization conducted a ceremony Friday at the Detroit Zoo to commemorate the release of the stamp and highlight the cachets available for collectors. Click here to read the full article.
May 7, 2013 - Representatives from the Detroit Tigers baseball club and BBDO joined U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and Members of Congress and international conservation supporters today on Capitol Hill to celebrate the success of the “Save Vanishing Species” semipostal stamp. Sales of the stamp, which sells at a premium over first class stamps, have generated more than $2.1 million to support on-the-ground conservation of species like the wild tiger since the stamp went on sale in September, 2011. To date 33 conservation projects in 23 countries have been funded with $1.1 million of the stamp proceeds. Click here to read full article. You can also read the Detroit Tiger's press release here.
May, 2013 - CITES CoP16 had significant outcomes for the conservation of turtles, timber, marine species, elephants, rhinos, and a number of other animal and plant species. Changes in species listings and other results of this meeting will go into effect on June 12, 2013. If you are an importer/exporter of timber or reptiles, a musician traveling abroad with your musical instrument, or if you desire to be an informed consumer, please review our implementation page to ensure that you are complying with all CITES requirements.
April 16, 2013 - The Detroit Tigers began their partnership last year with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Without Borders program of the Division of International Conservation. The team presented a $25,000 check to Wildlife Without Borders last September at a ceremony at Comerica Park, which added to grants the organization received from people throughout the world. Click here to read the full article.
April 15, 2013 - Viewers who tuned in to ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, PBS’s highest-rated on-going series, on April 15 may have been surprised to see an interview with the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Ashe, to discuss the history of the rhino crisis and how it relates to the antiques trade. Check out the factsheet, "Can I Sell It? A Guide to Wildlife and Plant Protection Laws". You can also watch the episode or view the extended interview. (Photo: Chinese rhinoceros horn cup, Credit: Antiques Roadshow)
March 28, 2013 - On March 28, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife issued a permit for the importation of a sport- hunted black rhinoceros trophy taken in Namibia in 2009. The Service granted this permit after an extensive review of Namibia’s black rhino conservation program, in recognition of the role that well-managed, limited sport hunting plays in contributing to the long-term survival and recovery of the black rhino in Namibia. Click here to learn more.
March 11, 2013 - CoP16 is ending soon on March 14 and you can stay up to date on the progress made thus far. To read the Service's press release about increased protections for sharks and manta rays, click here. To read our press release on the many species of freshwater turtles now protected under CITES, click here. Unfortunately, the U.S. proposal to increase protections for polar bears was defeated, failing to receive a majority vote. You can read the Service's press release on the polar bear proposal here. And to stay up to date on the happenings of CoP16, be sure to visit our CoP16 page!
March, 2013 - Before3 CoP16 began, we heard from thousands of people across the country on our proposals, including kids! Our office received a wonderful collection of artwork from school children in Maryland passionate about elephant conservation. The collection featured poems, drawings and prints. Visit our Flickr page to view the pieces and see their important message for conservation.
February 28, 2013 - The Service published a Federal Register Notice today announcing tentative U.S. negotiating positions on species proposals, draft resolutions and decisions, and agenda items submitted by other countries and the CITES Secretariat for consideration at the Sixteenth meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP16) to CITES. Click here to read the notice. And be sure to visit the CoP16 website to learn more about U.S. proposals and check out the media page to stay up to date on the progress made at CoP16, beginning March 3rd.
February 27, 2013 - “Battle for the Elephants,” a groundbreaking special by @NatGeo, explores the brutal slaughter of African elephants for their tusks, fueled largely by China’s demand for ivory. The program airs Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.
Winter, 2013 - In celebration of the 40th Anniverary of CITES and the upcoming Sixteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16), FWS News, the quarterly newsletter of USFWS, has released a special section in their recent issue highlighting the importance of CITES and its rich history. Visit the Articles page to read the stories, and visit the CoP16 page to learn what the U.S. is doing in preparation for CoP16.
December 11, 2012 - An October 2012 census shows that the population of Cao Vit gibbons has risen to 129 individuals from the 110 counted in 2007. This survey was funded by a 2011 Wildlife Without Borders grant of $53,404.00 to Fauna and Flora International (FFI) to conduct a trans boundary census and a review of the management plans to protect the radiant Cao Vit gibbon. Read article.