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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Careers in Conservation: Archivist Preserves Service History

By Craig Springer, USFWS 

You can see the pattern: vocare, vocal, vocation. What one chooses to do for a living is a calling. It’s rooted in the Latin, vocare, “to be called to do something.” And so it was for Randi Sue Smith of Spearfish, South Dakota, that she would become an archivist at one of the most unusual field stations of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Smith would be the first to tell you that knowing the present means knowing history.

Randi Sue Smith is passionate about the past -- and the Service's future. (Photo: USFWS)

She works at the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives. The facility holds some 175,000 objects and documents from all over the country, all dealing with fisheries conservation. And all that important historical matter needs a curator.

It’s where Smith makes her mark.


Service Refuge Law Enforcement Visits Remote Alaska School

By Tim Bennett, USFWS

All Refuge Law Enforcement officers in Alaska take time to visit local schools to let the children know that officers are just people like everyone else.

Too often rural Alaska kids see us only when we’re on duty, which tends to make them believe that all we ever do is "be mean and give tickets."

I wanted to show them that we’re friendly and helpful, and always glad when anyone comes up to chat with us.

alaska_visitThe students take the time to see all gear and furs shown by Officer Bennett. (Photo: USFWS)

After all, our officers and rural Alaskans share a belief in taking care of the environment and our resources.


Careers in Conservation: Outdoor Opportunities Encouraged Curiosity

By Ann Gannam, USFWS

Growing up with many outdoor opportunities drove my curiosity to find out more about my surroundings.

Weekend and summer camping trips; Sunday picnics, usually to a beach; even early morning trips to the river for breakfast picnics before school, all of these experiences fueled my desire to continue to acquire information and knowledge about the environment in which we live and about the organisms that share it with us. My parents encouraged me and provided opportunities for me to learn.

Playing and learning outdoors inspired Service employee Ann Gannam, seen here working. (Photo: USFWS)


Barrier Beach Restoration Benefits Everyone

By Brynn Walling USFWS

Who, what, when, where, why, and how?

We have all the answers for you regarding the Barrier Beach Restoration Project on Long Beach West in Stratford, Connecticut

longbeachLong Beach faced stormy times, but has since been restored. (Photo: USFWS)

Long Beach was once a bustling summer community, with dozens of summer cottages. In 1996, a fire burnt down the bridge connecting the beach to the mainland. Thereafter the cottages remained vacant.


UPDATE: Rescued Polar Bear Cub Settles into New Home

By Eileen Floyd

Polar bear cub Kali’s journey began on a dark note -- his mother was shot under circumstances that are now under investigation by Service Law Enforcement.

Thanks to the efforts of many, however, this orphan from the Point Lay area arrived at the Alaska Zoo near midnight on March 12, on an Alaska Airlines flight from Barrow.

polar_bear1En route to Anchorage, Kali peers out of his transport case at a mystifying world. (Photo: John Gomes/Alaska Zoo)

The cub, believed to be three to four months old, weighed 18.4 pounds. Kali (pronounced “Cully,” the Inupiat name for Pt. Lay) appeared to be in good shape and, during his first night at the zoo, took in about 105 ml of formula.


Conservation Conference Round-Up

On March 15, 2013, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) wrapped up its 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16).

The meeting brought together representatives from more than 150 countries to discuss current issues in wildlife trade. As a Party (member country) to CITES, the United States submitted several proposals to increase protections for native and foreign species as well as multiple resolutions to streamline and strengthen the implementation of CITES.

sharkScalloped Hammerhead. (Photo: NOAA)

CoP16 was an overwhelming success with many U.S. priority issues receiving attention. Here are some exciting highlights of progress made at CoP16:


Dragonflies Drive Dedicated Fans to Refuges

They’re not dragons, and they’re not flies.

But they boast a swelling fan base.

You might call dragonflies the stunt pilots of the insect world. They wear flashy colors, dart at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, boast ancestors that predate dinosaurs ... and they even mate in mid-air.

dragonfliesGreen darner dragonflies at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo: J.N. Stuart/Creative Commons)

These are just some of the reasons that the insects are gaining attention, both on and off national wildlife refuges. Dragonfly festivals are popping up across the country and a crop of new field guides are making the rounds around American towns and cities.


Hoppin' Down the Conservation Trail, Bringing Back a Rare Rabbit

While this rare rabbit looks a lot like the ones you’ve seen outdoors, the New England cottontail is found only in the thick tangles and vines of just five spots across New England and New York.

bunniesBaby rabbits snuggle together at the captive breeding program at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island. (Photo: Lou Perrotti/Roger Williams Park Zoo)

Cottontails depend on a special type of habitat -- young forest and shrublands -- which also provides food, shelter and places to raise young for a variety of other animals.

They've lost 86 percent of their historic range since the 1960s, and they're even a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act.


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.


Pygmy Rabbit Reintroduction Inspires Rhyme

As we welcome spring across the country, we bring you the perfect treat – a fitting story about rabbit reintroduction!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Eastern Washington Field Office, in cooperation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and numerous other cooperating agencies, recently captured 32 pygmy rabbits from populations in Oregon and Wyoming to support ongoing reintroduction efforts in the Columbia Basin of central Washington.

Penny_CaptureWDFW Biologist Penny Becker with rabbit traps in sagebrush country, Oregon (Photo: USFWS)

After undergoing veterinary examinations and being transported from their home states, the new animals were placed in large (5 to 11 acre) enclosures at the state-managed Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area and will be allowed to breed with resident, inter-crossed Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits.


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