Southeast Region
Conserving the Nature of America

Select a state to find refuges, hatcheries and offices
Map of the Southeast Region Map of Kentucky Map of the Caribbean and Navassa Map of North Carolina Map of Tennessee Map of South Carolina Map of Arkansas Map of Louisiana Map of Mississippi Map of Alabama Map of Georgia Map of Florida

Dam Removed on the lower San Marcos River

January 25, 2016

Download the video or read the transcript.

This week crews are removing an old dam on the lower San Marcos River, just upstream of Palmetto State Park.

Built in 1911, the collapsed dam has posed a safety hazard and acted as a barrier to fish and other aquatic life. Removing the dam will help the ecosystem while also providing a safer environment for paddlers and other river users.

For more information on the project visit the National Fish Passage Program website.

It's a partnership with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southwest Region, Texas Rivers & Streams - Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Texas Rivers Protection Association, the San Marcos River Foundation, and the Texas Water Safari.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat for Two South Florida Cacti
Also Releases Economic Analysis

January 21, 2016

A tall narrow cacti bearing a round yellow fruit

Aboriginal prickly-apple. Photo: Dave Bender, USFWS

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating critical habitat for two endangered cacti—the Florida semaphore cactus and aboriginal prickly-apple—under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), totaling 7,855 acres in several Florida counties.

The Service is designating critical habitat in four areas where the Florida semaphore cactus is found, comprising approximately 4,411 acres in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Approximately 3,444 acres will be designated as critical habitat in 11 areas for the aboriginal prickly-apple in Manatee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Lee Counties.

“The areas being designated as critical habitat are essential to conserving these two cacti,” said Cindy Dohner, the Service’s Southeast Regional Director. “We used the best scientific information concerning their present and historical ranges, habitat, and biology to select these areas.”

Read the full release...
Frequently Asked Questions

Revised Policy Strengthens Collaboration Between Service, Native American Tribes for Conservation of Shared Natural Heritage

January 20, 2016

Native American leaders and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) officials gathered today to recognize new measures to strengthen the agency’s 20-year-old policy guiding government-to-government relations between tribes and the agency. Service Director Dan Ashe signed the updated Native American Policy (NAP) during a Washington, D.C., ceremony attended by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Michael Bean and numerous tribal representatives. The Service manages lands and resources of great importance to tribes.

“To be good stewards of our planet and its remarkable natural history for future generations, we must work effectively across shared landscapes. We can only do that as a nation by working collaboratively with Native American Tribes,” said Ashe. “The Fish and Wildlife Service’s newly updated Native American Policy will foster and nurture relationships with Tribes and honor the mutual trust of guardianship we hold for decades to come.”

Sixteen tribes worked with Service representatives for more than two years to create the revised policy. Tribal representation on the NAP Team includes members from the: Cherokee Nation, Chugach Regional Resources Commission, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Gros Ventre and Assiniboine of Fort Belknap, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Native Village of Emmonak, Navajo Nation, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Penobscot Indian Nation, Quinault Indian Nation, San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, and Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

Read the full release...

Service Announces Draft Methodology for Prioritizing Endangered Species Act Status Reviews
Process will ensure species in greatest need are addressed first, provide predictability and transparency and foster stakeholder engagement

January 14, 2016

A close up photograph of a bee collecting nectar from a pink flower

Credit: ©Tim Lethbridge. Used with permission.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a draft methodology to better identify and prioritize pending Endangered Species Act (ESA) “status reviews,” the process by which the Service determines whether a species that has been petitioned for listing may warrant ESA protection. The methodology will assist the Service and its partners in addressing America’s most imperiled wildlife and plant species first, while reinforcing collaboration between the Service and its partners and maximizing transparency throughout the decision-making process.

“This methodology will help us strategically prioritize work on Endangered Species Act listing petitions to ensure the most urgent wildlife needs are addressed first, while also providing a common sense and defensible path to address all petitions,” said Dan Ashe, Service Director. “The methodology will help us provide greater certainty and transparency to our partners through subsequent development of a publicly available, strategic workplan that reflects our work priorities.”

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Vice President and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley expressed gratitude for the Service’s commitment to working with state fish and wildlife agencies to address the backlog of 12-month petition findings. ”This process should help state agencies address their public trust responsibilities with a measure of deliberate or planned conservation engagement,” he said.

Read the full release...

Protections Finalized for Threatened Northern Long-Eared Bats
Regulations focus on significant threats to the species so conservation efforts can be focused where they have the greatest effect

January 13, 2016

A small, furry bat’s head emerges from a crevace in the ceiling of a cave

Northern long-eared bat. Photo by Ann Froschauer/USFWS.

In an effort to conserve the northern long-eared bat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a final rule today that uses flexibilities under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to tailor protections to areas affected by white-nose syndrome during the bat’s most sensitive life stages. The rule is designed to protect the bat while minimizing regulatory requirements for landowners, land managers, government agencies and others within the species’ range.

“The overwhelming threat to the northern long-eared bat is white-nose syndrome,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Until there is a solution to the white-nose syndrome crisis, the outlook for this bat will not improve. This rule tailors regulatory protections in a way that makes sense and focuses protections where they will make a difference for the bat.”

The Service listed the northern long-eared bat as threatened under the ESA in April 2015 and established an interim 4(d) rule following drastic population declines caused by white-nose syndrome in the eastern and midwestern United States. This deadly disease continues to spread westward and wreak havoc on cave-dwelling bats. In November 2015, presence of the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome was confirmed in the 30th state – Nebraska.

Read the full release...

Read previous news stories >


Connect With Us

Facebook icon Twitter icon Flickr icon YouTube icon

An icon of a newspaperSoutheast News Room

An Open Spaces Blog banner with the tagline, A talk on the wild side

Trending Topics

Button with image of cows Conservation Southern Style: All Lands, All Hands, All Wildlife

E-Grits Newsletter E–Grits
Employee Newsletter

Video Library Video Library

State-by-State Economic Impact of Hunting, Fishing & Wildlife Viewing

Gulf Restoration Gulf Restoration

Button for Surrogate Species The Service's Approach to Surrogate Species

Button for Candidate Conservation Agreements Conserving At-Risk Species

Button for Greater Everglades Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area

Button for Emergency Consultation Emergency Consultation (Hurricanes, Fires, Etc.)

Button for Greater Everglades Recovering from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Last updated: January 25, 2016