Pacific Region Highlights


Orangutan skull from Operation Pongo

This orangutan skull was part of the undercover operation that led to the arrest and guilty pleas by two Malaysian nationals. Brent Lawrence / USFWS

Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Hits Home in the Pacific Northwest


Wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprise. This underground network of criminals smuggles protected animal parts to buyers across the globe, including the Pacific Northwest. Special Agent Paul Montuori of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gives a look inside Operation Pongo, which tracked the shipment of orangutan skulls, bird beaks and other protected animal parts from the Malaysian island of Borneo to Portland, Oregon. “They were smuggling a massive amount of wildlife all over the world. Not just to Oregon but all over the world."


Behind-the-scenes TV report

A personal perspective on the case


Fish and Wildlife Officer Gabe Cruz, stationed at Guam National Wildlife Refuge, stands with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor in Washington, D.C. Officer Cruz was recognized for his courage with the 2015 Valor Award on May 9, 2016. Photo courtesy: Tami Heilemann/DOI

Fish and Wildlife Officer Gabe Cruz, stationed at Guam National Wildlife Refuge, stands with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy: Tami Heilemann/DOI

Fish and Wildlife Officer Gabriel T. Cruz Honored with 2015 DOI Valor Award


On May 9, 2016, Officer Cruz received the Department of the Interior Valor Award while in Washington D.C. The award was in recognition of his highly courageous actions, involving great personal risk, that resulted in the rescue of two individuals at Guam National Wildlife Refuge.


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Andre Raine from Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project removes a Hawaiian Petrel chick from burrow for translocation earlier this year. Photo by Mike McFarlin.

Andre Raine from Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project removes a Hawaiian Petrel chick from burrow for translocation earlier this year. Mike McFarlin

Local Staff, Partners Honored with 2015 Recovery Champions Awards


The Service has recognized eight individuals in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii for their exceptional efforts to conserve and protect the nation’s rarest fish, wildlife and plants by designating them 2015 Recovery Champions. The people honored are the Service's Paul Meyers for his leadership in the recovery efforts for the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer, and seven members of the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project in Hawaii. 


News release


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