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WANTED: Information about a Bald Eagle Killed in Hamilton Co, Tennessee
$2,500 Reward Offered for Information Leading to a Conviction


May 12, 2016

A dead, juvenile bald eagle.
Bald eagle found dead in the Lost Lake Subdivision, in Hamilton County. Tennessee. Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Lab.

A bald eagle was found dead by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officers on March 9, 2016, in the Lost Lake Subdivision area of Hamilton County, Tennessee. It is believed the bald eagle was shot sometime between March 1 and March 9, 2016.

The Service is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for this unlawful act.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are jointly investigating this incident and seek information related to the shooting. Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. To provide information, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent at 615-736-5532 Ext. 103, or the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at 931-787-0859.



First Captive-Bred Florida Grasshopper Sparrow Chicks Hatched
Among North America’s Most Endangered Birds


May 11, 2016

A tiny brown and beige marsh bird held in the fingertips of a biologist
Adult Florida grasshopper sparrow. Credit: Mary Peterson, USFWS.

VERO BEACH, FL — Conservation history was made May 9 when the first captive-bred Florida grasshopper sparrow chicks hatched at the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation (RSCF) in Loxahatchee, FL — a major breakthrough for one of North America’s most endangered birds.

“This bird is teetering on the brink of extinction. There are probably less than 150 left. We’re working with our partners — including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)—to save it. This is a huge milestone in those ongoing efforts,” said Larry Williams, State Ecological Services Supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“This is truly a collaborative effort with the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow Working Group and other partners. Kudos to Dr. Paul Reillo and his team at RSCF for the outstanding work they’re doing on this captive-breeding program that the Service is funding,” said Williams. “Also to be congratulated are Mary Peterson and Sandra Sneckenberger, the Service’s lead biologists on this recovery effort, and Dr. Erin Ragheb, FWC’s research scientist who coordinates and leads all of the field work.”

Ragheb said, “This is one of many important steps for the recovery of the Florida grasshopper sparrow. We hope that FWC’s demographic and nest predator field research will continue to provide valuable recommendations on how to protect the remaining wild birds as the captive program develops. Knowing that Florida grasshopper sparrows are capable of hatching young in captivity is an encouraging step forward.”

Video: Florida grasshopper sparrow feeding chicks

Download the video courtesy of RSCF/rarespecies.org.



Service Awards Nearly $14 Million in Clean Vessel Act Grants
Funding supports clean waters and recreational boating


May 11, 2016

Multiple fish and wildlife species and recreational boaters in 21 states will benefit from nearly $13.7 million in grants awarded through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program. The CVA program helps U.S. states and territories maintain clean and healthy waters. Pump-out systems built or purchased through these funds ensure recreational boaters have a safe, convenient, and effective method to dispose of on-board sewage. The funds also support boater education programs and the construction of boat ramps, docks and other infrastructure that create jobs in local communities.

“CVA funds are critical to ensuring our nation’s waterways remain safe, healthy and viable for all Americans – including the fish, birds and other wildlife that call these lush and vibrant ecosystems home,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “By working with state fish and wildlife agencies and other partners, we are continuing to protect our country’s aquatic ecosystems for generations to come.”



Cache River National Wildlife Refuge Adds Lands for Wildlife Conservation


May 4, 2016

Bottomland hardwood swamp
Bayou DeView in Spring Bloom. Photo: Eric S. Johnson, USFWS

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is improving wildlife habitat conservation capacity at Cache River National Wildlife Refuge by acquiring lands from willing landowners. This will benefit wintering waterfowl, migratory birds and other native fish and wildlife, and also increase opportunities for public access.

This year the Service was awarded $1.391 million from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund and $1 million from North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). These funds enabled the Service to purchase 978 acres of habitat in Prairie and Monroe Counties, Arkansas to be incorporated into the refuge. Due to the requirement for NAWCA funds to be “matched” by non-federal monies, the NAWCA project ultimately resulted in a total of 2,177 acres of critical wetlands and floodplain habitat being protected, restored, or enhanced in the Lower White and Cache River Basins.

In addition to purchasing lands offered by willing sellers, this year the Service was successful in completing an exchange of lands near Biscoe, Arkansas, in which Cache River National Wildlife Refuge exchanged an isolated 322-acre tract of refuge land in Monroe County for 569 acres of private lands in Prairie and Monroe Counties. The surplus 247 acres and associated real estate value of the private lands compared to the refuge lands were donated by the private landowner, as well as the costs of the appraisals, surveys, and other transaction costs.



$7,500 Reward Offered for Information in Death of a Bald Eagle in Boligee, Alabama


April 29, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of $2,500 to help find who shot a bald eagle in Boligee, Alabama. The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are adding $5,000 to the reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

The bald eagle was found on private property, north of the intersection of County Road 138 and U.S. Highway 11. X-rays showed the eagle had been shot.

“The Humane Society of the United States is pleased to offer this support to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in their efforts to bring to justice those who have harmed these majestic symbols of our nation in Alabama,” said Mindy Gilbert, Alabama state director for the Humane Society of the United States.

To provide information, contact Special Agent John Rawls, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, at 334-478-7900 or john_rawls@fws.gov.



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Last updated: May 12, 2016