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A Talk on the Wild Side.

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.

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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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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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We Heart Hotspots

By Rachel Penrod, USFWS

What’s a biodiversity hotspot? It’s an area of the earth that is literally ‘teeming with life,’ where a huge diversity of species can be found. 

Why’s a hotspot important? Because so many species depend on them for survival. Plus they have amazing resources and they can help us find the best areas to protect for wildlife.

woodpeckerThe Puerto Rican Woodpecker is just one of the myriad of species that thrives in hotspots. (@Alfredo Colon)

So how do you protect hotspots? Now that’s a good question. Turns out, one great way is to gather together the largest alliance of conservation organizations in the world and set the best scientists to monitor and conserve a hotspot network, a group of interconnected hotspot sites.

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Honoring Women in Conservation

What kind of mark have American women made on wildlife conservation?

A profound one.

First, meet some of the many talented women who manage refuges today. These include Shannon Smith, at Kaua'i National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Hawaii; Susan Silander, at the Caribbean Refuge Complex; Susan White, at the Pacific Reefs Refuge Complex; and Raye Nilius, at South Carolina’s Low Country Refuge Complex.

The pioneer era isn’t over. Just ask Heather Bartlett, not yet 30, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s only female pilot/law enforcement officer, assigned to the Arctic Refuge.

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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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Careers in Conservation: Inspired By Cousteau

By Judy Gordon, USFWS

Why did I choose my current career path? One name: Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the oceanographer and marine conservationist.

Growing up I probably watched every one of his TV specials about his adventures aboard the research vessel Calypso. I knew by the time I was eleven years old that I wanted a career in a marine biological science so I could be near the water and study biology.

My parents were fully engaged and encouraged me to head to college.They always wanted me to have a choice when it came to my career, which was something they didn't have as children of the Great Depression.

gordonSampling fall chum on the Yukon River in Alaska (Photo: USFWS)

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Careers in Conservation: Living the Dream

By Kira Mazzi, USFWS

I have a confession.

I love playing in the dirt and mud. I love coming home exhausted and dirty from a hard day working in a river. I love going out and collecting information. I love getting paid to work outside.

I love being a wildlife biologist!

k-elkHere I am working with an elk. (Photo: Kira Mazzi/USFWS)

I currently work as a Biological Science Technician in Washington state for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but I've also worked for the National Park Service at Crater Lake National Park and Biscayne National Park. Additionally, I have worked for the Arizona State Game and Fish Department and organizations in the private sector, too.

I am just at the start of my career, but I feel as though I have already seen and accomplished so much.

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More Mussel Recovery Success - This Time in North Carolina!

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

Tag, you’re it!

That’s the approach we’re taking with freshwater mussels in North Carolina.

musselCheck out this freshwater mussel! (Photo: USFWS)

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