Southwest Region
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Pronghorn stands in the prairie grasses. Credit: USFWS. Mexican wolf link Lesser prairie chicken link Monarch Butterflies link Pollinators link
Southwest Region Highlights   HotTopics


The Valle do Oro NWR outdoor classroom shines at night. Credit: © Laurel Ladwig.
The Valle do Oro NWR outdoor classroom shines at night. Credit: © Laurel Ladwig.

Valle de Oro Earns Urban Night Sky Place Designation

October 2019
Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest, has earned the official designation of an Urban Night Sky Place, the first of such a designation in the world, by the International Dark-Sky Association.

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Wildlife Selfies
 
Youth and Students
 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife News Publication
 
Southwest Region Weather Emergency
 
Spotlight
Apache Trout from Near Extinction to Eco Tourism
2019
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Collaboration and Partnership Help Protect a Texas Treasure for Future Generations
2018
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Enforcing Federal Wildlife Laws on the US-Mexico Border
2018
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A Delicate Dance
2018
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A "Field of Dreams" Moment: Endangered Razorback Sucker Munbers on the Upswing
2018
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Ornate box turtle. Credit: USFWS.
Ornate box turtle. Credit: USFWS.
New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty Smuggling Over 1,000 Illegally Collected Box Turtles from Oklahoma

October 2019
A New Jersey man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiring with others to purchase, transport and sell more than 1,000 box turtles that were unlawfully collected from the state of Oklahoma, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

From May 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018, William T. Gangemi, 26, of Freehold, New Jersey, knowingly facilitated the purchase and transport of unlawfully collected three-toed and western (ornate) box turtles from Oklahoma to New Jersey in order to sell them for profit.  Gangemi was part of a syndicate of wildlife smugglers where protected turtles were exchanged back and forth between the United States and China. 

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Watch a video clip of box turtles crated by poachers.

 

Photo left: Monarch in school garden established by Monarch Heroes Program. Photo right: Monarch feeding on nectar in school garden. Credit: Katie Boyer, USFWS.
Photo left: Monarch in school garden established by Monarch Heroes Program. Photo right: Monarch feeding on nectar in school garden. Credit: Katie Boyer, USFWS.

Monarchs Arrive in Texas!

October 2019
Katie Boyer, Recovery Biologist, located in the Austin Ecological Services Field Office, snapped some photos of monarch returning to Texas recently!

These two photos depict a monarch gardens established through the Monarch Heroes Program in Texas.  The Monarch Heroes Program (established through a cooperative agreement between the FWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the National Wildlife Federation) seeks to create fifteen outdoor classrooms/monarch gardens at local area public schools within the Austin and San Antonio metro areas.  The classrooms provide opportunities for students to learn about and appreciate wildlife and ecosystems and develop an understanding of the importance of pollinators. The gardens also provide a nectar oasis for many travel-worn monarchs who need these stopovers to build up their lipid reserves to survive the long winter in Mexico.  A BIG shout-out goes to Chris Chapa, Private Lands Biologist, Austin, Texas, who helps to ensure the success of the Monarch Heroes Program.

 

A biologist holds an american burying beetle. Credit: USFS.
A biologist holds an american burying beetle. Credit: USFS.
Service to Assess Diamond Spring Wind Project Habitat Conservation Plan for American Burying Beetle in Oklahoma
Members of the public invited to participate in 30-day public comment period

October 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened a 30-day public comment period on the Diamond Spring Wind Project permit application, Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for planned construction of a wind turbine facility in southern Oklahoma. The HCP establishes 586.74 acres of suitable habitat for the protection of the American burying beetle.

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A young boy watches wildlife at a national wildlife refuge, Credit:  Steve Hillebrand, USFWS.
A young boy watches wildlife at a national wildlife refuge. Credit: Steve Hillebrand, USFWS.
Rediscover Your Nature at a National Wildlife Refuge

October 13, 2019
National Wildlife Refuge Week was celebrated October 13-19. National wildlife refuges make our lives better in many ways: They protect lands and waters for beloved species such as bison and eagles. They offer world-class recreation such as fishing, photography, hiking, and paddling. They ease the impact of storms and flooding. And they pump $3.2 billion per year into local economies. Take time to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week!

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More about National Wildlife Refuge Week
Find a Refuge Near You

 

The Build Your Refuge event included hands-on habitat restoration in the wetlands at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Photo credit: Aislinn Maestas/USFWS.
The Build Your Refuge event included hands-on habitat restoration in the wetlands at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Photo credit: Aislinn Maestas/USFWS.
Announcing the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program

October 1, 2019
Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, along with more than 30 partners, has launched a new program to help residents build wildlife habitat across the region. The ABQ Backyard Refuge Program encourages people across the Middle Rio Grande Valley to turn their backyards into functioning habitat for the area’s birds, bees, insects and wildlife. At the Build Your Refuge kickoff event, attendees learned how to turn any outdoor space—be it a garden, entire yard, or even a balcony—into a haven for wildlife.

Read the news release.

 


The Mount Graham red squirrel's historical and current range is limited to the Pinaleño Mountains in Graham County, Arizona. Credit: Marit Alanen, USFWS.
Service Completes Initial Reviews on ESA Petition for Mount Graham Red Squirrel

September 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed initial review of an Endangered Species Act petition for the Mount Graham red squirrel. The Service concluded that the petition requesting critical habitat designation for the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel presents substantial information indicating that revising critical habitat for this species may be warranted.

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American burying beetle. Credit: Jay Pruitt.
American burying beetle. Credit: Jay Pruitt.
Public Hearing Scheduled on Downlisting of American Burying Beetle

September 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is holding a public hearing on the proposal to downlist the American burying beetle on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 at the Schusterman Center, Perkins Auditorium in Tulsa, OK. We will hold a public open house and hearing, including the opportunity to provide comments on the record, on September 24, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Service is also reopening the public comment period for 30 days. The Service proposed downlisting the beetle with a 4(d) rule on May 3, 2019.

Read the news release.

Read additional information about the American burying beetle. 

 

Southwest Region Archived News Releases

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Last updated: November 1, 2019
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