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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Karner Blues Can Make a Comeback

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

What can you see more of in Wisconsin than any other state?

Snow? Green Bay Packers? Cheese curds?

What about ... butterflies?

Of the seven states where Karner blue butterflies are found, Wisconsin boasts the most.

karnerblue1The Karner Blue is highly coveted by some collectors. (Photo: Paul Labus/USFWS)

The Karner Blue butterfly was listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act in 1992 due to habitat loss and collection.

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Seeking Apple Snails Aids Endangered Snail Kites

By Ken Warren, USFWS

You wouldn’t know it when you first meet her, but Emily Bauer enjoys slogging around in the bogs of south Florida.

She doesn’t do it just for fun, although she enjoys the work. She does it because she’s seeking apple snails.

Yep. You read that correctly.

emily_snailsEmily Bauer enjoys slogging around in the bogs of south Florida. (Photo: USFWS)

Bauer is fully committed to the ultimate goal of finding out if levels of copper in apple snails are potentially harmful to the endangered Everglade snail kite, a bird that relies on the snails as their primary food source.

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The Oregon Chub Joins the Recovery Club

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

Want to win an ‘upstream battle?’ Follow the Oregon Chub!

The Oregon Chub is part of the minnow family and is unique to the Willamette River Valley of western Oregon. The small minnow, only growing to be approximately 3.5 inches long, has a beautiful olivey-silver color. They like weedy, swampy river bottoms and only live to be about 5 years old.

chubBig things are happening for this little fish, seen here with a VIE tag. (Photo: USFWS)

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People and Nature ... Nature and People

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

In Maine, the Penobscot Indian Nation has close ties to its land--sharing a name with a well-known river in the region. Not only is the Penobscot River the backbone of the Tribe, it’s also home to the federally endangered Atlantic salmon.

riverWorking in the Penobscot River. (Photo: USFWS)

The longest river in the state, the Penobscot once flowed 100 miles through the North Woods to the sea. Over 200 years and 100 dams later, much has changed.

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Wood Storks Take a Step Back From The Edge

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

Wood storks are walking back from the edge.

The majority of the birds’ nesting is done throughout Florida.

This stork ranges from North Carolina, west through Mississippi. It can also be found in Georgia, South Carolina, and of course Florida.

woodstorkA wood stork and its chick. (Photo: USFWS)

But, that wasn’t always the case!

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Whoa! Whooping Cranes Return

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

What a comeback!

There are now more than 600 Whooping cranes in North America.

These wonderful birds were almost wiped out, but thanks to the Endangered Species Act, their populations continue to climb – and their recovery stories continue to inspire.

mac_captureIn 1947, Mac was the only Whooping crane left in the entire state of Louisiana. (Photo: USFWS)

For instance, if you were near the Louisiana marshes in March 2011 you may have witnessed some amazing history in the making. Whooping Cranes were freely flying overhead for the first time in 60 years! Conservation efforts paid off and 10 “whoopers” that were raised in captivity were set free to fly the Louisiana Marshes. (Watch it here!)

At one time, the whooping crane population soared between 15,000 – 20,000 birds and their habitats ranged from Central Canada to Mexico and from Utah to the Atlantic coast.

But the birds began to vanish due to the transformation of wetlands and grasslands. Unregulated hunting and specimen collection negatively impacted the population, as well.

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Delmarva Fox Squirrel Returning to Refuges

By Tylar Greene, USFWS

The endangered Delmarva fox squirrel is faring better today than it has been in half a century, thanks to national wildlife refuges along the Eastern seaboard.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge has been particularly instrumental in the squirrel’s revival.

“Delmarva fox squirrels were not at Chincoteague when the species was first listed” under the old Endangered Species Preservation Act in 1967, says Kevin Holcomb, a wildlife biologist at the Virginia refuge.

squirrelThe endangered Delmarva fox squirrel is larger than the common gray squirrel and has a full, fluffy tail. (Photo: USFWS)

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That's One Big Leap for Such a Little Fish!

By Kendall Slee

For the Moapa dace - an endangered fish species found only in the thermal springs and streams feeding Nevada’s Muddy River - 2012 was a banner year.

Last August, a snorkeling survey of the Moapa dace habitat counted 1,181 fish - a 65 percent increase from 2011. The population jump indicates that Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge habitat restoration efforts are helping the species recover.

moapa_fishA snorkel survey last summer found a large increase in the species’ population. (Photo: Mark Hereford/USGS)

The minnow–size Moapa dace is adapted to thermal spring waters in the Mojave Desert that can reach 90 degrees and have low oxygen levels, but the species has been struggling for survival because of habitat destruction and non–native competitors.

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Meet the Species: Plains Bison

Once, their habitat stretched from coast to coast.

Now, their numbers are much smaller, but thanks to conservation efforts, they still exist as a living symbol of the United States.

The plains bison (Bison bison bison) is a subspecies of the American bison that was historically found from central Canada to northern Mexico and nearly from coast to coast.

bison-altered(Image: USFWS)

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Meet the Species: Rare Plant Needs Your Help

Meet one of the rarest plants in the country.

The Franciscan manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana) is an incredibly uncommon species of shrub that grows in and around San Francisco and was just given protection under the Endangered Species Act.

rare-plant
(Photo: Sarah Swenty/USFWS)

Once believed exctinct, the last known wild Franciscan manzanita was discovered in 2009 during a road renovation project and moved for protection.

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