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Stories from the Home Page

Congratulations Operation Crash Team! Credit: USFWS
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American Public Picks Service's Ed Grace and Operation Crash Team for Prestigious Honor

September 28, 2016

Ed Grace, Deputy Chief of the Service's Office of Law Enforcement, and his Operation Crash team have won the People's Choice award of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals. Operation Crash, an ongoing nationwide criminal investigation led by the Service's Office of Law Enforcement, was created to catch, and send to prosecution, wildlife traffickers who were dealing in illegal rhino horn and elephant ivory products. Thanks to the operation, the Service has made 42 arrests, 30 convictions, and 27 wildlife traffickers have been sentenced in federal court.

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Congratulations Operation Crash Team! Credit: USFWS
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The U.S. is co-sponsoring four proposals to increase CITES protections for pangolins. Credit: Maria Diekmann/Rare and Endangered Species Trust
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U.S to Support Greater Protections for a Variety of Species at International Wildlife Trade Forum

September 21, 2016

Some of the planet's most imperiled animals take center stage in South Africa Sept. 24-Oct. 5, when nations around the globe convene for the world's most important meeting on wildlife trade. The United States will support increased protections for pangolins, African grey parrots and chambered nautilus, among other species at the 17th CITES Conference of Parties. The U.S. Delegation, led by FWS Director Dan Ashe, will also call for the closure of domestic ivory markets and advocate against the legalization of rhino horn trade that threatens these magnificent creatures.

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The U.S. is co-sponsoring four proposals to increase CITES protections for pangolins. Credit: Maria Diekmann/Rare and Endangered Species Trust
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Laura Bush and others get ready to make milkweed seed balls to disperse to create new habitat for monarchs. Credit: Grant Miller
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Former First Lady Laura Bush Creates a Buzz for Monarchs

September 16, 2016

The Service was proud to join with former First Lady Laura Bush, founder of Texan by Nature, and other conservation partners this week in Austin, Texas to celebrate the fall the migration of monarch butterflies and to announce new collaborations in the state’s efforts to conserve pollinators and their habitats in Texas.

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Monarch Wrangler Program »»

Laura Bush and others get ready to make milkweed seed balls to disperse to create new habitat for monarchs. Credit: Grant Miller
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Rhino horn destroyed at the Sept. 8 San Diego Zoo event. Credit: San Diego Zoo
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Service and Partners Urge Public to #stopwildlifetrafficking At Back-to-Back Events

September 15, 2016

The Service and its partners put wildlife trafficking in the public eye this week at high visibility events designed to garner national and international attention. On Sept. 7, conservation nonprofit WildAid and the Service launched a public awareness campaign at two major U.S. airports, while today, the Service partnered with San Diego Zoo Global and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to stage the nation's first rhino horn destruction. Both events signal to the world that the United States is committed to end the scourge of wildlife trafficking. 

Wild Aid Partnership News Release »»

Wild Aid Partnership Learn More »»

Rhino Horn Burn News Release »»

Rhino Horn Burn FAQs »»

Rhino Horn Burn What People Are Saying »»

Rhino horn destroyed at the Sept. 8 San Diego Zoo event. Credit: San Diego Zoo
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Canada geese by Minnesota artist James Hautman. Credit: USFWS
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Minnesota Artist James Hautman Wins 2016 Duck Stamp Art Contest

September 15, 2016

With his acrylic painting of Canada geese, Minnesota artist James Hautman won the 2016 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. The painting will be made into the 2017-2018 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or “Duck Stamp,” which will go on sale in late June 2017. The win is his fifth, tying him with his brother Joseph, whose art appears on the 2016-2017 Federal Duck Stamp. Brother Robert placed third. The Federal Duck Stamp is the nation’s oldest and most successful waterfowl/bird conservation effort. Rebekah Knight of Missouri, who previously won the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest, placed second. 

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Canada geese by Minnesota artist James Hautman. Credit: USFWS
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A FY 2016 grant to the State of Hawaii will help permanently protect 969 acres to support the recovery of numerous endangered Hawaiian birds, as well as minimize sedimentation of the near shore ecosystem and the Nation's largest fringing coral reef. Credit: USFWS
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Some of America’s Rarest Species Receive Further Protection with Critical $44.8 Million Investment

September 15, 2016

Threatened and endangered species in 20 states will benefit from $44.8 million in grants from the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF). CESCF is authorized under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act and enables states to work with private landowners, conservation groups and other government agencies to protect federally-listed species and their habitats. 

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A FY 2016 grant to the State of Hawaii will help permanently protect 969 acres to support the recovery of numerous endangered Hawaiian birds, as well as minimize sedimentation of the near shore ecosystem and the Nation's largest fringing coral reef. Credit: USFWS
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The designation will help humpback whales and many other species. Credit: NOAA
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Service to Co-manage First Marine Monument in the Atlantic Ocean

September 15, 2016

On the heels of creating the world's largest protected area in the Pacific Ocean, President Obama today reaffirmed his commitment to marine conservation and protection by designating the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean. Permanently protecting these resources and reducing other threats to these ecosystems will provide a refuge for at-risk species such as deep sea corals, endangered whales and sea turtles and other species; improve ocean resilience in the face of climate change; and help sustain the ocean ecosystems and fishing economies for the long run.

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White House Fact Sheet »»

The designation will help humpback whales and many other species. Credit: NOAA
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From left to right, photo credits in parentheses: Karner blue butterfly (Joel Trick/USFWS), African elephant (Michelle Gadd/USFWS), Hawaiian monk seal at Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: James Watt
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Partnering with Google Cultural Institute Brings Endangered Species to Life

September 13, 2016

The Service presents more than 90 striking images and fascinating wildlife stories and facts on imperiled plant and animal species as part of the Google Cultural Institute’s Natural History Collection. The Service's contribution paints a picture of the threats facing plants and animals around the world while also highlighting the inspiring conservation work that is helping some of them recover.

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Visit the Exhibit »»

From left to right, photo credits in parentheses: Karner blue butterfly (Joel Trick/USFWS), African elephant (Michelle Gadd/USFWS), Hawaiian monk seal at Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: James Watt
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Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell with the Service’s Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber and Bob Martin, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Credit: USFWS
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Secretary Jewell Tours Hughesville Dam Removal in New Jersey

September 8, 2016

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today joined Interior, state and local officials and partners at the Hughesville Dam removal on the Musconetcong River. Calling it a "model for collaborative conservation," Jewell joined a roundtable discussion with local partners and Service staff and toured the project work at the dam site, The dam removal is part of a larger collaborative effort to restore the 42-mile Musconetcong to a free-flowing state, which will open up fish passage while improving safety and flooding risks for the local community.

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Learn More about Sandy Recovery »»

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell with the Service’s Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber and Bob Martin, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Credit: USFWS
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Dr. Richard Bennett. Credit: USFWS
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White House Recognizes Service Scientist as Climate Change Champion

September 8, 2016

Dr. Richard Bennett, regional scientist for the Service’s Northeast Region, has been named 2016 GreenGov Presidential Awards Climate Champion for his leadership in Hurricane Sandy recovery. After devastation left by the 2012 storm, Bennett led the Department of the Interior response team, overseeing $167 million in funding for Service projects to help revitalize the Northeast and to protect it from future storms and sea-level rise.

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Learn More about Sandy Recovery »»

GreenGov Presidential Awards Fact Sheet »»

Dr. Richard Bennett. Credit: USFWS
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Forested wetlands will be protected as part of the Albemarle/Chowan Wetland Conservation Initiative. Credit: G. Fleming / VA Department of Conservation and Recreation
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Migratory Bird Conservation Commission Approves $33 Million for Wetland Grants

September 7, 2016

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission today approved $33.2 million in funding to conserve more than 81,000 acres of wetlands across the United States, protecting important habitats for waterfowl and other bird species. More than $21 million will be funded by North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants to conserve more than 68,000 acres of wetlands and adjoining areas in 19 states. NAWCA is the only federal grant program dedicated to the conservation of wetland habitats for migratory birds.

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Forested wetlands will be protected as part of the Albemarle/Chowan Wetland Conservation Initiative. Credit: G. Fleming / VA Department of Conservation and Recreation
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President Barack Obama and Service employee Matt Brown at the Midway National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
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President Obama Visits Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial

September 6, 2016

Shortly after announcing the expansion of the Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument to become the world’s largest protected area, President Obama visited one of the national wildlife refuges that make up the monument.“This is going to be a precious resource for generations to come,” President Obama said, “Twenty years from now, 40 years from now, 100 years from now, this is a place where people can still come and see what a place like this looks like when its not overcrowded or destroyed by human populations.”

Blog from the Service’s Pacific Region »»

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President Barack Obama and Service employee Matt Brown at the Midway National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
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Planting trees can be a type of mitigation. Credit: USFWS
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Proposed Policy to Help Mitigate Impacts of Development on Imperiled Species

August 31, 2016

To help further protect endangered or threatened species and their habitats, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a policy to effectively and sustainably offset adverse impacts of development activities to the nation’s most at-risk species and their habitats.

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Planting trees can be a type of mitigation. Credit: USFWS
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Pangolins, or scaly anteaters, are covered with overlapping scales made of keratin, the same protein that forms human hair and finger nails. Credit: Tikki Hywood Trust
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The Fight Against Wildlife Trafficking

August 31, 2016

Wildlife trafficking—the illegal taking and trade in protected species and their parts—continues to grow, threatening the future of many species of wildlife. The United States plays a key role in wildlife trafficking, as both consumer and transit country and a source of organized criminal networks. But it is also in the vanguard of efforts to end wildlife trafficking. The Service takes a leadership role combating wildlife trafficking both here and abroad.

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Summer 2016 issue of Fish & Wildlife News »»

Pangolins, or scaly anteaters, are covered with overlapping scales made of keratin, the same protein that forms human hair and finger nails. Credit: Tikki Hywood Trust
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The waters around the islands and atolls of the northwestern Hawaiian chain – and the unique and abundant wildlife they support – will now receive broader protection thanks to the expansion of the Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument. Credit: James Watt
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Expansion of Marine National Monument in Pacific by President Obama Creates World’s Largest Protected Area to be Co-Managed by Service

August 26, 2016

President Obama today announced the expansion of the Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument to become the world’s largest protected area. More than 582,000 square miles of coral reefs, seamounts and undersea ridges and their wildlife will be safeguarded, an area greater than the size of Texas, California and Montana combined. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now manages nearly 1 billion acres of lands and waters for wildlife, the largest conservation estate on the planet.

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The White House Fact Sheet »»

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The waters around the islands and atolls of the northwestern Hawaiian chain – and the unique and abundant wildlife they support – will now receive broader protection thanks to the expansion of the Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument. Credit: James Watt
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