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Stories from the Home Page

The Service will continue to monitor and conserve the American burying beetle and its habitat across federal, tribal, state and private lands. Credit: USFWS
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Partnership-Driven Efforts Lead to Downlisting of the American Burying Beetle

September 4, 2020

The first insect added to the endangered species list – the American burying beetle – is staging a comeback, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is downlisting it from endangered to threatened. The victory came after more than 30 years of partnership-driven conservation across this species’ range.

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The Service will continue to monitor and conserve the American burying beetle and its habitat across federal, tribal, state and private lands. Credit: USFWS
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Aurelia Skipwith: “I applaud and thank our partners at the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security Investigations for their assistance with this case.” Credit: USFWS
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Operation Apex Shuts Down Operation that Profited from Shark Finning, Much More

September 3, 2020

In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began Operation Apex to investigate the trafficking of shark fins. It grew into a multi-agency law enforcement operation that today arrested 12 defendants and conducted 22 federal search warrants from coast to coast. Agents seized millions in gold, silver, jewels and cash as well as marijuana, firearms and totoaba fish bladders. They also documented the harvest of more than 6 tons of shark fins.

News Release »»

Aurelia Skipwith: “I applaud and thank our partners at the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security Investigations for their assistance with this case.” Credit: USFWS
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A monarch butterfly perched on swamp milkweed. Credit: Anna Weyers / USFWS
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Agencies, Businesses Make Room for Monarchs

August 26, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched a historic agreement in April to encourage transportation and energy partners to provide and maintain monarch habitat. Already, eight state transportation agencies and eight energy companies have stepped up to help monarch butterflies by applying to participate under the agreement. These applicants alone have the potential to conserve and restore more than 600,000 acres of monarch habitat on 2.3 million acres of rights-of-way in 22 states.

More Expected to Join »»

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A monarch butterfly perched on swamp milkweed. Credit: Anna Weyers / USFWS
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Deputy Secretary of the Interior Kate MacGregor (from left), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith and Senator Shelley Moore Capito at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday. Credit: USFWS
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Canaan Valley Refuge in West Virginia Sparkles in Behind-the-scenes Tour

August 21, 2020

U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Kate MacGregor and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith joined Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) for a behind-the-scenes tour of the new LEED-certified visitor center and headquarters facility at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Davis, West Virginia.

News Release »»

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Kate MacGregor (from left), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith and Senator Shelley Moore Capito at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday. Credit: USFWS
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Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge wilderness in Georgia. Credit: Sallie Gentry/USFWS
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Wilderness! There Is Nothing Like It

August 21, 2020

There are conserved public lands and waters, and there is wilderness. Wilderness is a category unto itself. Wilderness is land and water designated by Congress for special protection under the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Untrammeled … Primeval … Natural »»

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge wilderness in Georgia. Credit: Sallie Gentry/USFWS
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Fishing at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho. Credit: USFWS
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Service Announces Historic Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities on Public Lands

August 18, 2020

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced today at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge the historic opening and expansion of over 850 hunting and fishing opportunities across more than 2.3 million acres at 147 national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. This rule is the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in history.

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Fishing at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho. Credit: USFWS
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Using science to inform action. Credit: Carmen Luna/USFWS
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Conservation Is the Word on National Wildlife Refuges

August 12, 2020

Wildlife conservation drives virtually all decisions on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the National Wildlife Refuge System. A commitment to wildlife conservation underlies everything from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used.

Wildlife Conservation on National Wildlife Refuges »»

Using science to inform action. Credit: Carmen Luna/USFWS
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The western snowy plover is a tiny shorebird with a grey back and dark patches on either side of the neck, behind the eyes and on the forehead. Credit: USFWS
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Public Recreation and Shorebird Conservation at Surf Beach in California

August 5, 2020

Working together, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California Coastal Commission and the community of Lompoc have amended a beach closure policy to provide increased beach access to Surf Beach. The beach is home to western snowy plovers, protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Now, the public can enjoy the beach while sharing the shores with the plovers.

‘Wonderful Learning Opportunity’ »»

The western snowy plover is a tiny shorebird with a grey back and dark patches on either side of the neck, behind the eyes and on the forehead. Credit: USFWS
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Scenic view of John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Ian Shive/USFWS
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August Fee-Free Day Celebrates Great American Outdoors Act

August 4, 2020

To celebrate President Trump’s signing of the Great American Outdoors Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced August 5, 2020, as a fee-free day for national wildlife refuges. U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt also announced that every August 4 will be designated "Great American Outdoors Day," which will be a free entrance day for all public lands administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

News Release »»

Scenic view of John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Ian Shive/USFWS
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USFWS Director Aurelia Skipwith. Credit: USFWS
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Lauds Great American Outdoors Act

August 3, 2020

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith's recent op-ed in the Jackson, Miss., Clarion Ledger explains how the Great American Outdoors Act provides permanent funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund that will be used to conserve public lands and support outdoor recreation across the country.

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USFWS Director Aurelia Skipwith. Credit: USFWS
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This black rhinoceros horn mount was sold by an undercover special agent to a wildlife trafficker during Operation Crash. Credit: USFWS
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Rathkeale Rovers Member Sentenced to Prison for Wildlife Trafficking

July 27, 2020

As a result of Operation Crash, John Slattery was sentenced to serve one year in federal prison for his role in the trafficking of black rhinoceros horns. The investigation revealed that he, and other Rathkeale Rover members, not only illegally bought, sold, and transported rhinoceros horn, but also falsified documents and lied to federal agents. Working closely with the Irish Government, he was arrested on August 1, 2019 in Ireland and extradited to the United States to be prosecuted.

DOJ’s Press Release: Irish National Sentenced to Prison for Trafficking in Rhinoceros Horns »»

This black rhinoceros horn mount was sold by an undercover special agent to a wildlife trafficker during Operation Crash. Credit: USFWS
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Some of the interns we are lucky enough to work with. Credit: USFWS
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Happy Latino Conservation Week

July 23, 2020

As the nation’s make-up changes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is privileged to partner with the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) to ensure that our next generation of conservationists looks like America. During Latino Conservation Week, we invite you to learn a little bit about the 2020 HAF Interns.

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Some of the interns we are lucky enough to work with. Credit: USFWS
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The first common loon to hatch in southern Massachusetts in more than a century swims with its parents. Credit: Ericka Griggs
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A Tiny Bird Makes a Big Splash in Southern Massachusetts

July 17, 2020

For the first time in more than a century, a common loon hatched this year in southern Massachusetts, a testament to a group trying to bring common loons back to the area. Working on a Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration for an oil spill, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helped direct settlement money to the group, ensuring that the work will continue.

Read the full blog on Medium »»

The first common loon to hatch in southern Massachusetts in more than a century swims with its parents. Credit: Ericka Griggs
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#RecreateResponsibly. Credit: Sara Wolman/USFWS
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Recreate Responsibly on National Wildlife Refuges

July 9, 2020

National wildlife refuges have become popular “close-to-home” destinations to enjoy outdoor recreation during the COVID pandemic. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs your help to ensure the safety of our visitors — both human and wild.

Tips to #RecreateResponsibly »»

Find a Refuge Near You »»

#RecreateResponsibly. Credit: Sara Wolman/USFWS
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Foothill yellow-legged frogs were listed as endangered along the South Coast and most of the Sierra Nevada foothills, and threatened in the Feather River drainage under the California Endangered Species Act earlier this year. Credit: Rebecca Fabbri/USFWS
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Partnership Results in First Release of 115 Zoo-reared Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs

July 6, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently joined a partnership of state and federal agencies, a zoo, businesses and a biologist, all dedicated to the conservation of the at-risk foothill yellow-legged frog. We were proud to be among the partners on June 30, releasing 115 foothill yellow-legged frogs along the Feather River in Plumas National Forest in California.

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Foothill yellow-legged frogs were listed as endangered along the South Coast and most of the Sierra Nevada foothills, and threatened in the Feather River drainage under the California Endangered Species Act earlier this year. Credit: Rebecca Fabbri/USFWS
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