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Stories from the Home Page

Wetland area at Green River National Wildlife Refuge in Kentucky. Credit: USFWS
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Service Unveils New National Wildlife Refuge in Kentucky

December 22, 2019

Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, along with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Service Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and other officials, announced the establishment of the Green River National Wildlife Refuge near the confluence of the Ohio and Green rivers in Henderson, Kentucky. This is the 568th refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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Wetland area at Green River National Wildlife Refuge in Kentucky. Credit: USFWS
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Northern pintails in flight Credit: J. Kelly/USFWS
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Service Improves Permit Application System

November 25, 2019

In an effort to simplify, expedite and improve the permit application process, the public can now apply, and pay for, certain U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permits online. Prior to developing an electronic permitting system, applicants had to apply for permits through mail with paper checks. The new system will allow users to apply, and pay for, certain international affairs and migratory birds permits through a user-friendly database and pay.gov, a secure electronic payment system. 

News Release »»

Northern pintails in flight Credit: J. Kelly/USFWS
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Brown-belted bumble bee on prairie clover. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS
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Beyond Monarchs: A Pollinator Primer

November 21, 2019

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are continually learning about pollinators. We know their populations are changing. We are still in the process of researching them, but because they are often small and solitary, they are difficult to study. But you don’t have to be a pollinator expert to save butterflies and bees. Here are some of the basics about these vital species.

We’d Love Your Help »»

More About Pollinators »»

Brown-belted bumble bee on prairie clover. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS
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Karen Little is a botanist and the environmental laboratory manager for specialty gardens and greenhouses at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Credit: Al Barrus/USFWS
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Fish and Wildlife Service, Partners Strike at Cactus Black Market

November 14, 2019

After years of investigation, four cactus traffickers have been sentenced to a combined total of nine years of probation and more for their role in the illegal harvest, sale and/or transportation of the protected living rock, a thornless cactus. There are several more defendants in this case, and the fight to protect the cactus is ongoing. It’s a felony to export the wild plant outside United States.

Cactus Protected Under CITES »»

More About Cacti »»

Karen Little is a botanist and the environmental laboratory manager for specialty gardens and greenhouses at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Credit: Al Barrus/USFWS
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Roseate spoonbill at  Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: Larry A. Woodward/USFWS
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Why I Took These Shots

November 14, 2019

“Wildlife photography has become a passion of mine that I have shared with my special-needs daughter, Roland,” says Larry Woodward, deputy manager and wildlife biologist at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. “On a weekly basis, we are together, both with camera in hand, photographing wildlife.”

Photos and Explanations »»

Roseate spoonbill at  Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Credit: Larry A. Woodward/USFWS
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Biologists at the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery in Wyoming hopped at the chance to raise the endangered Wyoming toad. Credit: USFWS
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National Fish Hatcheries No Longer Just About Fish

November 6, 2019

Mussels, birds, turtles: These creatures, and more, are living at national fish hatcheries across the nation. The hatcheries, managed by the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, host 30 non-fish species — shelled, feathered, hopping — as well as growing more than 100 species of fish. 

They’re Growing What? »»

Biologists at the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery in Wyoming hopped at the chance to raise the endangered Wyoming toad. Credit: USFWS
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A hawksbill turtle is among the creatures a diver might see near Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico. Credit: Credit: © Jan P. Zegarra
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Dive Into Puerto Rico's Blissful Waters

November 1, 2019

"I grew up here," says Jan P. Zegarra, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist who has been diving off Puerto Rico since he was a teenager. "We're surrounded by the ocean on all sides, so it feels almost natural to be in the water here." Join Zegarra in exploring great diving opportunities off the coasts of three national wildlife refuges in Puerto Rico.

'Feeling of Being on Another Planet' »»

A hawksbill turtle is among the creatures a diver might see near Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico. Credit: Credit: © Jan P. Zegarra
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Tri-colored bat with visible symptoms of white-nose syndrome at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia. Credit: Pete Pattavina/USFWS
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Service Announces Funding to Spur Innovation to Save America's Bats

October 30, 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched a $100,000 challenge to help combat white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of hibernating bats in North America. Funds will be awarded to individuals and teams who identify innovative ways to permanently eradicate, weaken or disarm the fungus that causes the disease. The deadline to submit ideas to the White-nose Syndrome Challenge is Dec. 31, 2019, by 11:59 p.m. ET.

News Release »»

White-nose Syndrome Challenge Website »»

Tri-colored bat with visible symptoms of white-nose syndrome at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia. Credit: Pete Pattavina/USFWS
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Visitors enjoying a morning bike ride at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah. Credit: J. Barney
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Guidance for Electric Bicycle Use On National Wildlife Refuges

October 22, 2019

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System announced today a Director’s Order to allow the use of low-speed electric bicycles (e-bikes) at national wildlife refuges that permit traditional bicycling, expanding recreational opportunities and access. E-bike use is now permitted at any refuge where biking is deemed to be consistent with the site’s statutory purpose.

News Release »»

Visitors enjoying a morning bike ride at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah. Credit: J. Barney
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The Tualatin River at Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuges. Credit: USFWS
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The Tualatin River Runs Through It

October 16, 2019

The Tualatin River in Oregon brings together cities, partners and the public with Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge and Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Both urban refuges are in the middle of extensive projects that will provide habitat for fish, wildlife and plants and improve quality drinking water for 400,000 humans. The projects are also strengthening long-term relationships with local cities and partners. As we celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week, why not check out what’s happening at a refuge near you?

‘The Life Blood of this Area’ »»

National Wildlife Refuge Week »»

Find a Refuge Near You »»

The Tualatin River at Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuges. Credit: USFWS
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Thumbnail image of a still shot from the These Are Your National Wildlife Refuges video. Click image to view the video. Credit: USFWS
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National Wildlife Refuges Make Life Better

October 16, 2019

Mid-October brings much to savor: crisp air, turning leaves and the sprouting of Halloween goblins on lawns. Here’s something else that belongs on your things-to-celebrate-this-fall list: national wildlife refuges. This week—National Wildlife Refuge Week — is a great time to reflect on how much we all owe these wondrous lands and waters.

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Video »»

Find a Refuge Near You »»

Thumbnail image of a still shot from the These Are Your National Wildlife Refuges video. Click image to view the video. Credit: USFWS
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Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon work with kids at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. Credit: Melissa A. Clark/USFWS
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Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge Celebrates Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Access

October 11, 2019

As the nation heads into National Wildlife Refuge Week, Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson welcomed members of the conservation community to Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was highlighting work to expand hunting and fishing opportunities and make it easier for all Americans to access their public lands.

Simplifying Refuge-specific Regulations in All 50 States »»

National Wildlife Refuge Week »»

Find a Refuge Near You »»

Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon work with kids at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. Credit: Melissa A. Clark/USFWS
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Monarch butterfly on blazing star. Credit: Photo courtesy of Brett Whaley/Creative Commons
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How Saving One Butterfly Could Help Save the Prairie

October 10, 2019

The monarch is more than one butterfly. Think of it as an ambassador to a mosaic of prairie plants and animals that all need soil, sun and time to grow. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been making a home for monarchs and species of the wider prairie ecosystem for decades, improving overall prairie health.

You Can Help »»

Learn More About Monarchs »»

Monarch butterfly on blazing star. Credit: Photo courtesy of Brett Whaley/Creative Commons
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A Kirtland's warbler on a tree branch. Credit: Vince Cavalieri/USFWS
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Partners Celebrate Successful Recovery of Beloved Kirtland's Warbler

October 8, 2019

Bird enthusiasts from around the world travel to northern Michigan in hopes of catching sight of a Kirtland's warbler, a small songbird once poised on the brink of extinction. Decades of effort by dedicated partners have increased the chances of a sighting, and due to the species' remarkable recovery, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the bird no longer warrants Endangered Species Act protection.

News Release »»

A Kirtland's warbler on a tree branch. Credit: Vince Cavalieri/USFWS
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Sandhill cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: Marvin De Jong
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National Wildlife Refuge Week

October 7, 2019

Rediscover your nature at a national wildlife refuge 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 and paddling. They ease the impact of storms and flooding. And they pump $3.2 billion per year into local economies. No wonder we take time each fall to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week.

National Wildlife Refuge Week »»

Find a Refuge Near You »»

Sandhill cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: Marvin De Jong
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