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Conserving the Nature of America
A Puerto Rican parrot in flight. Credit: Jan Paul Zegarra / USFWS
A Puerto Rican parrot in flight. Credit: Jan Paul Zegarra / USFWS

A New Beginning: Puerto Rican Parrots Reintroduced into Maricao Commonwealth Forest

December 06, 2016
Maricao Commonwealth Forest in the west-central mountain region of Puerto Rico welcomed home a former resident last week. The Puerto Rican parrot, the only native parrot left in the United States, was once abundant, but deforestation, predation, diseases and poaching caused the population to crash A captive-breeding program and other recovery efforts have helped increase the population to more than 500 birds, thanks to work of all the members of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Team made up of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service and volunteer organizations.
News Release »
Vector, a wildlife scent detecting dog, with his trainer, Lauralea Oliver, during a break in the search for the elusive Morro Bay kangaroo rat in San Luis Obispos County. Credit: Chris Kofron / USFWS
Vector, a wildlife scent detecting dog, with his trainer, Lauralea Oliver, during a break in the search for the elusive Morro Bay kangaroo rat in San Luis Obispos County. Credit: Chris Kofron / USFWS

To Find Elusive Kangaroo Rat, Biologists Go to the Dogs

December 05, 2016
​Is California’s Morro Bay kangaroo rat extinct? It hasn’t been seen in 30 years, but the Service’s Dr. Chris Kofron and Dr. Francis Villablanca of California Polytechnic State University believe it might still exist in few isolated colonies. To try to find the kangaroo rat, “we combed all of California for a wildlife sniffer dog to lead the field search," Kofron says, and they found Vector.
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Inkpot Sinkhole offers a glimpse into the Roswell Artesian Aquifer under the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge wilderness in southeastern New Mexico. Credit: Jeff Howland / USFWS
Inkpot Sinkhole offers a glimpse into the Roswell Artesian Aquifer under the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge wilderness in southeastern New Mexico. Credit: Jeff Howland / USFWS

Wilderness! There’s Nothing Like It

December 02, 2016
​Among conserved public lands and waters, wilderness is a category unto itself. It is land and water designated by Congress for special protection under the Wilderness Act of 1964. In the United States, there are 765 designated wilderness areas comprising about 109 million acres in 44 states and Puerto Rico. There are 75 wilderness areas in 26 states within the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Learn What Makes Wilderness So Special »