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Stories from the Home Page

Whooping cranes lay two eggs, usually rearing only one chick during the breeding season. Credit: Courtesy of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
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Comeback Trail: Whooping Cranes Nesting in Texas

April 16, 2021

For the first time in recent history, two pairs of endangered whooping cranes have been found nesting in Texas. The whooping cranes, part of a non-migratory population introduced in Louisiana, are currently found on private land in Jefferson and Chambers counties. Whooping cranes are one of the rarest birds in North America.

News Release »»

Whooping cranes lay two eggs, usually rearing only one chick during the breeding season. Credit: Courtesy of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
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Sandpipers fly over Kachemak Bay in Homer, Alaska, site of a May festival co-hosted by Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Carla Stanley/USFWS
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Bird Festivals Are Back!

April 13, 2021

Many bird celebrations at or near national wildlife refuges are set to go again in 2021, after a year of widespread cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure visitor safety, some festivals will be all-virtual, some will be on site, and others will be a mix. In-person events fill up fast, especially with attendance limits, so consider registering ahead if you go. Be safe, wear a mask, and avoid crowding. Some festivals charge a registration or activity fee.

2021 Bird Festival Planner »»

National Wildlife Refuges: Birdiest Places on Earth »»

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Sandpipers fly over Kachemak Bay in Homer, Alaska, site of a May festival co-hosted by Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Carla Stanley/USFWS
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Brian Hamlin, a forensics scientist at the Service’s Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon, uses a drill to extract DNA samples from a set of antlers from a bull elk that was killed in Crater Lake National Park. Credit: Kathy Spengler/USFWS
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Teamwork Brings Down Serial Poacher

April 8, 2021

To catch a serial poacher at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, it was going to take teamwork and dedication. Finally, after years of persistence and top-flight forensics work, the team used the evidence to develop the portrait of a poacher who was killing deer and elk within the park. With that evidence, the U.S. Department of Justice was able to secure a guilty plea to a Lacey Act violation for illegally poaching a trophy bull elk from the park.

Portrait of a Poacher »»

Brian Hamlin, a forensics scientist at the Service’s Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon, uses a drill to extract DNA samples from a set of antlers from a bull elk that was killed in Crater Lake National Park. Credit: Kathy Spengler/USFWS
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New human rights and conservation curriculum in Cameroon aims to educate conservation practitioners on the importance of protecting human rights. Credit: Vincent Zoalang, Garoua Wildlife College
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U.S. Government Launches Human Rights and Conservation Curriculum for Central Africa

April 1, 2021

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Agency for International Development have launched a new human rights and conservation curriculum at Garoua Wildlife College in Cameroon. This technical and college-level curriculum reflects the growing concern in Central Africa that for conservation efforts in protected areas to be successful, they must reflect the interests and needs of indigenous communities.

News Release »»

New human rights and conservation curriculum in Cameroon aims to educate conservation practitioners on the importance of protecting human rights. Credit: Vincent Zoalang, Garoua Wildlife College
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Wildlife Inspector Camille Sims. Credit: USFWS
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Women Help Create Wildlife Law Enforcement Successes

March 31, 2021

During National Women’s History Month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service celebrates the women in our Office of Law Enforcement who do undercover and covert work, perform inspections and excel at public outreach, science and technology innovations, and intelligence gathering. Women represent the Service through our attachés, work as information technology and help desk specialists, ensure our seized items are properly logged and secured, and provide administrative support.

Be Prepared to Be Inspired »»

Wildlife Inspector Camille Sims. Credit: USFWS
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The Seaside daisy is one of a diverse collection of wildflowers that grow in the open dunes. These species have specialized adaptations to survive the harsh dune environment. Credit: Andrea Pickart/USFWS
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California Dunes Named National Natural Landmark

March 30, 2021

The Lanphere and Ma-le’l Dunes have been recognized as a National Natural Landmark. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management, the dunes are within Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Ma-le’l Dunes Cooperative Management Area. The National Park Service, which administers the landmark process, said: Andrea Pickart, coastal ecologist at the refuge, “has been working to conserve, restore and protect this site for over 30 years and deserves a large amount of credit for this project.” 

Homage’ to History »»

The Seaside daisy is one of a diverse collection of wildflowers that grow in the open dunes. These species have specialized adaptations to survive the harsh dune environment. Credit: Andrea Pickart/USFWS
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A aeʻo standing in water. Credit: USFWS
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Partnerships Lead to Status Improvement for Hawaiian Stilt, Prompt Downlisting Proposal

March 26, 2021

Decades of work by conservation partners has improved the status of the aeʻo, or Hawaiian stilt. In response, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed downlisting the aeʻo to threatened from endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

News Release »»

A aeʻo standing in water. Credit: USFWS
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A bald eagle in flight. Credit: George Gentry/USFWS
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America’s Bald Eagle Population Continues to Soar

March 24, 2021

Populations of the American bald eagle have quadrupled since 2009, according to a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners. Bald eagles once teetered on the brink of extinction, reaching an all-time low of 417 known nesting pairs in 1963 in the lower 48 states. However, after decades of protection, the banning of the pesticide DDT, and conservation efforts with numerous partners, the bald eagle population has flourished, growing to an estimate of 316,700 individual bald eagles, including 71,400 occupied nests.

News Release »»

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A bald eagle in flight. Credit: George Gentry/USFWS
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With a wingspan of almost 10 feet, the California condor is the largest soaring land bird in North America. Credit: Jon Myatt/USFWS
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Missing for a Century, California Condors Returning to Pacific Northwest

March 23, 2021

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and the Yurok Tribe announced a final rule that will help facilitate the creation of a new California condor release facility for the reintroduction of condors to Yurok Ancestral Territory and Redwood National Park. The rule will designate the condors affiliated with this program as a nonessential, experimental population under the Endangered Species Act.

News Release »»

With a wingspan of almost 10 feet, the California condor is the largest soaring land bird in North America. Credit: Jon Myatt/USFWS
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The trio takes shifts to incubate. Credit: Courtesy of Stewards of Upper Mississippi River Refuge
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My 2 Dads: Eagle Family Draws Fans

March 18, 2021

Despite hurricane-force winds that toppled their nest last year, a breeding trio of bald eagles along the Mississippi River in Illinois rebuilt and are now incubating eggs. For several years, fans from all over the world have been watching this family through a webcam at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Meet Valor I, Valor II, and Starr »»

Eagles Across America »»

The trio takes shifts to incubate. Credit: Courtesy of Stewards of Upper Mississippi River Refuge
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Many seizures of illicit wildlife products have been made by Service law enforcement officers. Credit: USFWS
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American Rescue Plan Provides Critical Support for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Programs

March 12, 2021

The American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden March 12, 2021, invests $105 million to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners address pandemic-related impacts to wildlife. The funds will support work to prevent future pandemics by combating wildlife trafficking and addressing wildlife diseases that could impact the health and welfare of communities across the nation and around the globe.

News Release »»

Many seizures of illicit wildlife products have been made by Service law enforcement officers. Credit: USFWS
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Zebra mussels found in a moss ball. Credit: USGS
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Destroy, Don't Dump, Moss Balls Containing Zebra Mussels

March 9, 2021

Invasive zebra mussels have been found in "moss balls,” an aquarium plant product sold at aquarium and pet supply stores across the United States. Zebra mussels are regarded as one of the most destructive invasive species in North America.

Learn More »»

Coalition Allies Celebrate Applied Invasive Species Prevention »»

Zebra mussels found in a moss ball. Credit: USGS
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Happy birthday, Refuge System. (Audio-described version of video.) Credit: USFWS
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Need a Reason to Dance? National Wildlife Refuge System Turning 118

March 9, 2021

Celebrate your wildlife heritage. President Theodore Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on March 14, 1903, at Pelican Island, Florida, to protect brown pelicans there from slaughter by market hunters. Today’s Refuge System includes more than 560 national wildlife refuges, 38 wetland management districts and 5 marine national monuments.

Happy Birthday »»

Find a Refuge »»

Happy birthday, Refuge System. (Audio-described version of video.) Credit: USFWS
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This year, 40,000 winter-run are being raised at Mt. Lassen Trout Farm and 120,000 are being raised at Coleman National Fish Hatchery. Credit: Jake Sisco/USFWS
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Private Trout Farm Works with Service, Others for Conservation

March 4, 2021

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coleman National Fish Hatchery and conservation partner Mt. Lassen Trout Farm are working to raise endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinoock salmon that could be released into Battle Creek in California as part of efforts aimed at reintroducing them to the watershed.

Unheard of »»

This year, 40,000 winter-run are being raised at Mt. Lassen Trout Farm and 120,000 are being raised at Coleman National Fish Hatchery. Credit: Jake Sisco/USFWS
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A male Kirtland’s warbler. The once-endangered species recovered with help from the State Wildlife Grant Program. Credit: Joel Trick/USFWS
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States Receive $55 Million to Protect Vulnerable Wildlife

February 26, 2021

Imperiled wildlife and their habitats will benefit from $55 million thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grant Program. The program establishes a conservation partnership among state fish and wildlife agencies, their partners, and the Service. Funded projects accelerate the recovery of endangered species, like the Kirtland’s Warbler, and can prevent others from being listed under the Endangered Species Act.

News Release »»

Learn More »»

A male Kirtland’s warbler. The once-endangered species recovered with help from the State Wildlife Grant Program. Credit: Joel Trick/USFWS
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