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Fish and Wildlife Service Extends Comment Period Two Weeks for Red Wolf Recovery Program Evaluation

September 12, 2014


A red wolf at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Photo: Seth Bynum.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is extending by two weeks the comment period to receive information about the Red Wolf Recovery Program and its non-essential, experimental population of red wolves in Eastern North Carolina.  The deadline to receive comments will be Friday, September 26.  

Interested individuals may continue to submit comments, concerns, or information to the following e-mail:  The Service is receiving messages submitted though the system is delaying their delivery leading in some cases to 'undeliverable' messages. 

"As a result of the high interest in this work, the email server for this address is struggling to keep up," said Leopoldo Miranda, the Service's Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services in Atlanta.  "We are pleased with the interest in this process and the level of feedback we are receiving."

Read the full release...


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects Georgia Rockcress

September 11, 2014

A yellow flower with long buds

The Georgia rockcress. Photo: Michelle Elmore, The Nature Conservancy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing the Georgia rockcress, a perennial herb, found only in Georgia and Alabama, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The listing becomes effective October 14, 2014, 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

At the same time, the Service is designating about 732 acres of river bluff habitat as critical to the plant’s survival. In Georgia, the critical habitat areas are located in Gordon, Floyd, Harris, Muscogee, and Clay Counties. In Alabama, the critical habitat areas are found in Bibb, Dallas, Elmore, Monroe, Sumter and Wilcox Counties. The plant is found in all of the 17 areas designated as critical habitat.

Only about 5,000 individual plants still exist. Georgia rockcress generally occurs on steep river bluffs with shallow soils overlaying rock or with exposed rock outcroppings. Habitat degradation and the invasion of exotic species are the most serious threats to the plant’s continued existence. Disturbance, associated with timber harvesting, road building, quarrying, grazing, and hydropower dam construction, creates favorable conditions for the invasion of exotic weeds, especially Japanese honeysuckle.

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Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Plan to Recover Endangered Frog

September 9, 2014

A yellow flower with long buds

A dusky gopher frog. Photo: John Tupy.

The dusky gopher frog, a stocky frog with a loud, guttural call, is heard less often now in the longleaf pine forests of Mississippi. Once found in Louisiana and Alabama, as well as Mississippi, it’s now only found in four locations in Harrison and Jackson counties in southern Mississippi.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft recovery plan for the dusky gopher frog.

“The dusky gopher frog is considered to be one of the 100 most endangered species in the world,” said Cindy Dohner, the Service’s Southeast Regional Director. “This recovery plan will help us improve the frog’s precarious position and the longleaf pine habitat it and other rare plant and animal species like the threatened gopher tortoise depend upon.”

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Secretary Jewell, Director Ashe Announce $35 Million in Grants to Boost State Endangered Species Conservation Efforts

Projects in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee Receive Grants

September 9, 2014

A black and white woodpecker perched on a tree

Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Photo by Michael McCloy.

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced nearly $35 million in grants to 20 states to enable collaborative efforts to conserve many of America’s imperiled species, ranging from the red cockaded woodpecker in the Southeast to a variety of bat species in the Midwest to a colorful flower in the Rocky Mountains. A list of the projects by state is available here.

“Partnerships are critical to ensuring future generations will be able to see threatened and endangered species in the wild rather than simply in a history book,” Jewell said. “These grants will enable states to work in voluntary partnership with private landowners and a wide variety of other stakeholders to preserve vital habitat and move these species down the road to recovery.”

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U.S. Fish and Service Protects Three Caribbean Plants Under Endangered Species Act

September 8, 2014

A yellow flower with long buds

Agave eggersiana flower. Photo: Christian Torres, USFWS.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing the plants Agave eggersiana and Gonocalyx concolor as endangered and Varronia rupicola as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The listing goes into effect on October 9, 2014, 30 days following its publication in the Federal Register.

At the same time, the Service is designating critical habitat for the three species. About 51 acres of critical habitat has been designated for Agave eggersiana in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; 198 acres for Gonocalyx concolor in Puerto Rico; and 6,547 acres for Varronia rupicola in southern Puerto Rico and Vieques Island. The critical habitat designation consists of A. eggersiana with 45.8 percent in U.S. Virgin Islands Territory (St. Croix) lands and 54.2 percent in private lands; G. concolor with all of its habitat in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; and V. rupicola with about 7.7 percent in federal lands, 28.5 percent in Commonwealth of Puerto Rico lands and 63.8 percent in private lands.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects Two Pine Rockland Plants

September 3, 2014

Linum carteri

Carter's small-flowered flax Credit: Keith Bradley

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing endangered species status for two plant species only found in South Florida--the Florida brickell-bush and Carter’s small-flowered flax. This protection becomes final on October 4, 2014, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Both plants are only found on the Miami Rock Ridge in South Florida. Most of the historical pine rockland habitat on the Miami Rock Ridge has been developed or converted to agriculture, and much of the remaining areas are degraded due to inadequate fire management and proliferation of non-native, invasive plants. Another potential threat to both plants is sea level rise.

Current populations of these plants are between 2,150 to 3,700 plants for Florida brickell-bush, and about 1,300 plants for Carter’s small-flowered flax. Compared to their historical ranges, the current ranges of both plants have shrunk significantly.

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Eastern North Carolina Red Wolf Population Under Review

Focus Group Sessions Scheduled

August 29, 2014

Portrait of a red wolf's head and shoulders

Portrait of a red wolf. Photo: B. Crawford, USFWS. Download.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded a contract to conduct a review of the Eastern North Carolina non-essential, experimental red wolf population to the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI), of Cabot, Virginia.  Founded in 1911, WMI is a private, non-profit, scientific and educational organization, dedicated to the conservation, enhancement, and professional management of North America's wildlife and other natural resources.

The evaluation will be completed in 60 days by October 10, 2014.  Under the Service’s contract, it will be peer reviewed and then used to help the Service determine the program’s future.  That determination is expected to be finalized in early 2015.  The evaluation will cover three primary areas: scientific, management, and public attitudes.

Media availability: 1:00 p.m., Friday, August 29, 2014, 877-917-5786- Passcode: red wolf

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Expands Urban Conservation Program

New Projects Will Help Communities, Teach Kids, Restore Ties to Nature

August 28, 2014

A group of people in canoes with the Fish and Wildlife Service emblem

Taking a tour by canoe is one of the many activities for visitors at Bayou Sauvage. Photo: Steve Hillebrand. Download.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today it will partner with communities, corporations and nonprofits to help restore the natural environment and boost opportunities for residents in six cities to connect with nature. Together, the Service and partners expect to direct more than $1.7 million to community-led habitat restoration projects and engage thousands of volunteers in the efforts.

Six national wildlife refuges will play a key part in the Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships: Hopper Mountain Refuge in Ventura, CA; Bayou Sauvage Refuge in New Orleans, LA; Rocky Mountain Arsenal Refuge in Denver, CO; John Heinz Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia, PA; Wallkill River Refuge in Sussex, NJ; and Santa Ana Refuge in Alamo, TX. The partnerships will encourage participation in conservation and outdoor recreation in residents’ local communities.

Read the full release...


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Last updated: September 12, 2014