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Stories from the Home Page

Inkpot Sinkhole offers a glimpse into the Roswell Artesian Aquifer under the wilderness in southeastern New Mexico. Credit: Jeff Howland / USFWS Credit: Jeff Howland / USFWS
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Wilderness! There’s Nothing Like It

December 7, 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 »»

Inkpot Sinkhole offers a glimpse into the Roswell Artesian Aquifer under the wilderness in southeastern New Mexico. Credit: Jeff Howland / USFWS Credit: Jeff Howland / USFWS
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Hyacinth macaw Credit: Worapol Sittiphaet/Creative Commons
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Hyacinth Macaw Proposed for Protection Under Endangered Species Act

November 28, 2016

At one time, hyacinth macaws were widely distributed, occupying large areas of Central Brazil, and smaller parts of Bolivia and Paraguay. Today, the species is limited to three Brazilian states. To combat its decline in the face of habitat loss, reduced growth of new forest, hunting, predation, disease, competition and climate change, the Service has proposed protecting the bird as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

News Release »»

Hyacinth macaw Credit: Worapol Sittiphaet/Creative Commons
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Ice fishing at Hillberg Lake in Alaska. Credit: USFWS
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Ice Fishing: One of the ‘Coolest’ Sports

November 28, 2016

You don’t have to wait until spring to talk about your fishing adventures. Many national wildlife refuges have just what you’re after: Great fish habitat – plus natural beauty and a chance to see other wildlife. Just bundle up.

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Ice fishing at Hillberg Lake in Alaska. Credit: USFWS
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Rio Grande wild turkeys, a Merriam's subspecies, strut and feed in Wyoming. Credit: Courtesy of the National Turkey Federation
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Wild Facts About Wild Turkeys

November 23, 2016

Turkeys may be even wilder than you thought. Amuse your holiday guests with some offbeat turkey trivia presented by the National Wildlife Refuge System. Then, when you're ready to walk off your feast, point your feet toward some national wildlife refuges where you might see the native game birds in the wild. We tell you where to look for the best turkey hangout spots.

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Rio Grande wild turkeys, a Merriam's subspecies, strut and feed in Wyoming. Credit: Courtesy of the National Turkey Federation
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Coastal wetland. Credit: Lamar Gore / USFWS
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Service Issues Final Policy on Mitigating Impacts of Development to Further Conservation of Nation’s Wildlife and their Habitats

November 18, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a final revised Mitigation Policy that will guide its review of potential impacts of land and water development projects on America’s wildlife and their habitats. Through this policy, the Service will help others mitigate (avoid, minimize and compensate) for a project’s impacts to species and their habitats. This update of the Service’s longstanding Mitigation Policy, which has guided agency recommendations since 1981, will provide a broad and flexible framework to facilitate conservation that addresses the potential negative effects of development, while allowing economic activity to continue.

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Coastal wetland. Credit: Lamar Gore / USFWS
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One of the skills learned at the retreat was rappelling. Credit: Matt Spinks, Used with Permission
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Cancer Survivors Find Refuge in Nature

November 18, 2016

Battling cancer is no easy feat.  The disease is tenacious and can wreak havoc not only on the body, but the mind and spirit as well. That’s where nature – and America’s National Wildlife Refuge System – can help. Recently, six women at different stages of their cancer journeys  renewed their courage, their confidence and their spirit at  Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge at the first Resilience Nature Retreat for Cancer Survivors.

News Coverage »»

One of the skills learned at the retreat was rappelling. Credit: Matt Spinks, Used with Permission
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Confiscated coral necklace. Credit: Levi Novey / USFWS
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Partnership with JetBlue Creates On-board Video to Help Travelers "Buy Informed"

November 17, 2016

The Service, JetBlue and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance are educating travelers about how to prevent wildlife trafficking when traveling to the Caribbean. Thanks to this partnership, JetBlue is now airing a short film on all flights informing customers of the role they play in protecting Caribbean wildlife and preserving the region's beauty. The video, featuring local Caribbean conservation heroes, will arm travelers with the right questions to ask when purchasing wildlife and plant-related products.

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Confiscated coral necklace. Credit: Levi Novey / USFWS
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Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, on the Mexican border south of San Diego, is one of 180 coastal refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Credit: Ralph Lee Hopkins with aerial support by LightHawk
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Going Coastal

November 16, 2016

Healthy coastal habitat is vital breeding, nesting, feeding and resting territory for fish, wildlife and migrating birds. People also derive substantial benefits from healthy coastal habitat. It improves storm resiliency, flood control, water quality, insect control, erosion control, carbon sequestration of greenhouse gases and access to recreation. This week, the Refuge System presents a photo essay that highlights national wildlife refuges near coastal habitat restored by the Service and partners.

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Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, on the Mexican border south of San Diego, is one of 180 coastal refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Credit: Ralph Lee Hopkins with aerial support by LightHawk
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The monarch butterfly is an ambassador to broaden support for conservation actions across North America. Credit: Jim Hudgins / USFWS
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Monarch Conservation Can Mean Recovery for Wide Variety of Species

November 15, 2016

Many pollinators lack the color, charm and charisma that has made the monarch butterfly so popular with humans – you’re unlikely to find any pollen wasp festivals. This is why the Service is using the butterfly’s star-power to help those often-forgotten species. Monarch conservation can provide potential solutions for the recovery of many species, even non-pollinators.

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The monarch butterfly is an ambassador to broaden support for conservation actions across North America. Credit: Jim Hudgins / USFWS
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Juvenile American eel. Credit: Credit: Greg Thompson / USFWS
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3 Plead Guilty in Crackdown on American Eel Trafficking

November 12, 2016

?Demonstrating, as Service Director Dan Ashe says, "the role U.S. citizens often play in wildlife trafficking," three more men have pleaded guilty in the illegal trade of American eels. Eels are highly valued in East Asia for human consumption. This has led to overfishing of Japanese and European eels. To protect the American eel, harvesting of juvenile American eels is prohibited in all but three states, and the Service is conducting an investigation to crack down on eel trafficking.

Juvenile American eel. Credit: Credit: Greg Thompson / USFWS
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USFWS oil and gas specialist inspects an oil production site at the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Credit: USFWS
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Service Finalizes Improvements to 50-Year-old Regulations Governing Oil and Gas Development on Refuge System Lands

November 10, 2016

As part of its ongoing commitment to preserving America’s rich wildlife legacy and the ability of all Americans to enjoy their unique and spectacular public lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is finalizing a rule to govern the management of non-federal oil and gas development on lands of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The final revisions to the 50-year-old regulations allow for the continued responsible extraction of oil and gas, but require closer adherence to industry best management practices, and will prevent the potentially hazardous abandonment of infrastructure and on-refuge disposal of debris. 

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USFWS oil and gas specialist inspects an oil production site at the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Credit: USFWS
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Altamira orioles tend a characteristically long nest at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in South Texas. Credit: Steve Sinclair
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Birding Means Business in South Texas

November 9, 2016

The southern tip of Texas is a birding paradise, attracting species like the green jay and the great kiskadee rarely seen elsewhere in the United States. Tourists the world over flock to three national wildlife refuges here: Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, and Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, generating millions of dollars in business. But some worry a development boom under way could put nature tourism at risk. 

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Altamira orioles tend a characteristically long nest at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in South Texas. Credit: Steve Sinclair
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Megan Reed and Service Director Dan Ashe at CITES. Credit: USFWS
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Special Assistant Reflects Value Service Places on Next Generation

November 9, 2016

Megan Reed, a Special Assistant for the Service, exemplifies the best of our younger generation that the agency is seeking to develop as tomorrow's conservationists. Meagan presented a resolution on behalf of an international youth forum to representatives of 183 nations gathered at a global conservation conference in South Africa. It was adopted, and Reed says the support of Service leadership in bringing young people into conservation discussions “was more than I could ask for.” 

Open Spaces Blog »»

Megan Reed and Service Director Dan Ashe at CITES. Credit: USFWS
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Diana Ogilvie served in the Navy from 1978 to 2008 as Command Master Chief of the United States Navy Band. Since 2009 she has been with FWS at Patuxent Research Refuge as a visitor services park ranger and volunteer coordinator. Credit: USFWS
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Fish and Wildlife Service Salutes Veterans

November 8, 2016

More than 1,300 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees are military veterans, many of whom continue to serve in Reserve and National Guard units across the country. These employees who once sacrificed for our country now use their skills for conservation. We thank each one of our veterans, and honor their service to our nation.

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Diana Ogilvie served in the Navy from 1978 to 2008 as Command Master Chief of the United States Navy Band. Since 2009 she has been with FWS at Patuxent Research Refuge as a visitor services park ranger and volunteer coordinator. Credit: USFWS
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Tri-colored bat with visible signs of WNS from Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Credit: NPS
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New Fund Established to Defeat Devastating Bat Disease

November 7, 2016

Yesterday wrapped up Bat Week 2016, but now North American bats are getting some much needed help year round?. As announced at a Bat Week signature event at the Central Park Zoo in New York City, t?he U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have created the Bats for the Future Fund, or BFF. BFF will raise public and private funds to defeat white-nose syndrome, which has killed more than 6 million bats since it was discovered nearly a decade ago. 

News Release »»

Secretary Jewell's Bat Week proclamation »»

Learn more about WNS »»

Bat Week »»

Tri-colored bat with visible signs of WNS from Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Credit: NPS
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