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Service Releases 60th Annual Report on Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Trends

July 2, 2015

A blue-winged teal with four chicks.

Blue-winged teal brood. Credit: USFWS

The Trends in Duck Breeding Populations report summarizes information about the status of duck populations and wetland habitats during spring 2015, focusing on areas encompassed by the Service and Canadian Wildlife Services’ Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey. The total duck population estimate was 49.5 million in the traditional survey area, an estimate similar to the 2014 and is 43 percent higher than the long-term average.

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NFWF Announces $4.6 Million in Funding for Restoration of Longleaf Pine Forest and Ecosystem Across the Southeast
Longleaf Stewardship Fund Will Support 22 Projects across Nine States

June 30, 2015

A longleaf pine seedling

Longleaf pine seedling. Photo: USDA

Washington, D.C. — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $4.6 million in grants to support the longleaf ecosystem and advance the objectives of the Range-Wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine. Funding was awarded to 22 projects across the historic longleaf range that ultimately will restore more than 11,600 acres and enhance more than 163,000 additional acres of longleaf pine habitat, while leveraging over $6.4 million in additional funds from grant partners.

The grants are administered by NFWF’s Longleaf Stewardship Fund, a landmark public-private partnership that includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and private funding from Southern Company, International Paper’s Forestland Stewards Initiative and Altria Group. The fund, now in its fourth year, combines the financial and technical resources of the partnership to accelerate restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem and implementation of the Range-Wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine as part of America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative.

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Service Halts Red Wolf Reintroductions Pending Examination of Recovery Program
Will manage animals already in the wild under existing rules for non-essential, experimental population

June 30, 2015

A red wolf walking through tall grass.

Red Wolf at Point Definance Zoo and Aquarium. Photo: Seth Bynum; PDZA

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it will suspend its reintroductions of red wolf into the wild while it gathers additional science and research into the feasibility of recovery for the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service intends to complete its review by the end of 2015. Existing red wolves located in five eastern North Carolina counties will be managed in accordance with rules put in place in 1995 to govern this population, designated “non-essential, experimental” under the ESA.

This decision was made after a comprehensive evaluation of the population and its role in the overall recovery effort for red wolves by The Wildlife Management Institute in November.

In light of this evaluation and the substantial management history of the population in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington counties, the Service found more work is needed to determine both lessons learned and the role of these wolves in the overall recovery effort.

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Questions and Answers

Federal Wildlife Officials Respond to a Petition to List Dozens of Species under the Endangered Species Act

June 30, 2015

A close-up image of a brown salamander standingo on a rock

A Pigeon Mountain salamander. Credit: John Clare, Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0

In response to a 2012 petition claiming 53 reptiles and amphibians require federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today published a batch of 90-day findings affecting 15 species of frogs, salamanders, snakes, skinks and crayfish found in the Southeast. Five petitioned species will not be given further consideration for federal protection at this time, and 10 species have triggered a deeper scientific review.

A 90-day finding is the Service’s first step in assessing whether the plants and/or animals identified in a petition may require federal protection. A “substantial” finding triggers a closer look at the species’ status, also known as a 12-month finding. A “not substantial” 90-day finding marks the final decision point for a species, indicating that the actions requested in a petition were not substantiated by the petitioner.

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More information on batch finding

$12,500 Reward for Information Involving Bald Eagle Shooting

June 26, 2015

A juvenile bald eagle with dark feathers perched on a pine tree branch.

Juvenile bald eagle. Photo: Ken Thomas, Public Domain

DANDRIDGE --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting of a bald eagle in Jefferson County in the area of Elliots Shoals on Douglas Lake near Dandridge, Tennessee. A reward of up to $12,500 is being offered for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the eagle.

The wounded eagle was discovered alive on June 8, 2015, approximately 7.5 miles southeast of Dandridge and approximately seven tenths (.7) of a mile south of Hidden Cove Campground on Old Chisolm Trail on the north side of Douglas Lake. An examination by a veterinarian at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital determined that the eagle may have been shot a few days prior. It was transferred to the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge for rehabilitation. The eagle is a juvenile with mottled dark brown feathers overlaid with a few messy white streaked feathers. It typically takes an eagle four-to-five years to reach maturity and have adult plumage with the iconic white head and tail feathers.

Read the full release...

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Last updated: July 7, 2015