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Stories from the Home Page

With Condor Country, “we are revolutionizing the way that people can connect to endangered species and to the people working to save them,” says Paul Souza, Regional Director of the Service’s Pacific Southwest Region. Credit: Condor Country
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Condor Country Mobile Game Puts Endangered California Condor Recovery in Your Hands

October 28, 2016

Being a conservationist who works with the endangered California condor is not for the faint of heart. Find out why in the new mobile game Condor Country, the first mobile game to simulate what it takes to recover an endangered species based on real-life conservation practices used by the California Condor Recovery Program.

Open Spaces Blog »»

Condor Country »»

With Condor Country, “we are revolutionizing the way that people can connect to endangered species and to the people working to save them,” says Paul Souza, Regional Director of the Service’s Pacific Southwest Region. Credit: Condor Country
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The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge provides important breeding grounds for greater sandhill cranes and other birds. Credit: Roger Baker / USFWS
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Statement on the Jury Verdict in the Malheur Refuge Occupation Trial

October 26, 2016

While we are profoundly disappointed in the outcome of the trial, we are eager to move forward. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to the security, healing and comfort of our Malheur National Wildlife Refuge employees and the Harney County communities they serve, and to continue strengthening the collaborations and positive relationships cited throughout this trial.

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge provides important breeding grounds for greater sandhill cranes and other birds. Credit: Roger Baker / USFWS
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A Cooper's hawk at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Tom Koerner / USFWS
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Pigeon Enthusiast Punished for Capturing, Killing Protected Hawks

October 24, 2016

A New York man has been sentenced to one year of probation, fined $5,500 and ordered to perform 90 hours of community service at a local animal shelter after he and another man admitted killing Red-tailed and Cooper’s hawks. These hawks are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The men, both of whom have pleaded guilty, kept a large number of racing pigeons and let them fly outside the coop for exercise. They viewed the hawks as a threat to their pigeons.

News Release (DOJ) »»

A Cooper's hawk at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Tom Koerner / USFWS
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A look inside an old mine. Credit: Courtney Celley / USFWS
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Missouri Town Welcomes Endangered Indiana Bat

October 24, 2016

Last week, the Service and partners celebrated the recently completed Sodalis Nature Preserve in Hannibal, Missouri, which features recreational trails and hibernating habitat for an estimated 168,000 federally endangered Indiana bats—approximately one-third of all the Indiana bats in the world. Bats are pollinators and unparalleled at pest control, and this week has been designated National Bat Week.

News Release »»

Sodalis Nature Preserve »»

National Bat Week Proclamation »»

A look inside an old mine. Credit: Courtney Celley / USFWS
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African giant pouched rat in training. Credit: APOPO's-HeroRATS
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Service Grants to Fund Trained Rats, Other Innovative Approaches to Protect Wildlife from Trafficking

October 21, 2016

Rats are smart with a keen sense of smell, and one species -- the African giant pouched rat -- is being tested to see if it can help detect illegal shipments of pangolins and hardwood timber in Tanzania. Such innovative approaches to halt wildlife poaching and trafficking are being rewarded to the tune of more than $1.2 million in Service grants for 12 projects in 11 countries.

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African giant pouched rat in training. Credit: APOPO's-HeroRATS
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American eel. Credit: Jim Hawkes/ NOAA
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7 Plead Guilty to American Eel Trafficking

October 13, 2016

With partners all along the Eastern Seaboard, the Service’s Operation Broken Glass has put a dent in the illegal trafficking of American eels. Seven people recently pleaded guilty to illegally harvesting and selling more than $1.9 million worth of juvenile American eels. Eels are highly valued in east Asia for human consumption. Historically, Japanese and European eels met this demand; however, overfishing has led harvesters to the American eel. Because of the threat of overfishing, eel harvesting is prohibited or heavily regulated in most of the United States.

News Release (DOJ) »»

American eel. Credit: Jim Hawkes/ NOAA
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Elephants are being decimated for their tusks. Credit: Michelle Gadd / USFWS
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END Wildlife Trafficking Act Signals U.S. Determination to End Poaching

October 13, 2016

Congress passed and the President has signed into law the Eliminate, Neutralize and Disrupt (END) Wildlife Trafficking Act. This new law shows the leadership role our nation has taken in the fight against poaching and wildlife trafficking here and abroad. Among the many provisions of the act, it gives Special Agents new tools to beat the sophisticated criminal organizations masterminding the current slaughter.

Director's Statement on Act »»

National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking »»

Elephants are being decimated for their tusks. Credit: Michelle Gadd / USFWS
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While white-tailed deer are common across much of eastern United States, the Columbian white-tailed deer is one of 16 unique subpopulations in the United States. Credit: Rick Cameron
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Adding to Growing List of ESA successes, Columbian White-Tailed Deer Downlisted to Threatened

October 13, 2016

Working with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, the states of Washington and Oregon, conservation groups and volunteers, today the Service and partners celebrated the downlisting of the Columbian white-tailed deer from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As is common in ESA successes, national wildlife refuges played a key role in the improvement of the Columbian white-tailed deer. The Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer was established to protect and manage the deer.

News Release »»

Pacific Region Blog »»

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While white-tailed deer are common across much of eastern United States, the Columbian white-tailed deer is one of 16 unique subpopulations in the United States. Credit: Rick Cameron
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Kids fishing at Masonville Cove. Credit: Courtesy of National Aquarium
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Connecting Baltimore Families to Parks, Green Spaces and Waterways

October 13, 2016

The Obama Administration, joined by officials from the Service and other partners, committed to improving local parks, green spaces, waterways and more in Baltimore, Maryland. Investing in green space has become a key strategy for revitalizing urban communities – improving residents' health, offering recreational opportunities for young people, fostering a sense of community and enticing businesses to build the area.

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Kids fishing at Masonville Cove. Credit: Courtesy of National Aquarium
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White-haired goldenrod in eastern Kentucky. Credit: John MacGregor / Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources
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Recovery and Removal from Endangered Species Act of Native Kentucky Plant a Victory for Conservation Partners

October 12, 2016

Working closely with the state of Kentucky and the U.S. Forest Service, the Service has successfully recovered the white-haired goldenrod, found only on a narrow stretch of public lands in eastern Kentucky. Today the plant was formally removed from the Endangered Species Act, adding to the growing list of plant and animal recovery successes.

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News Release »»

White-haired goldenrod in eastern Kentucky. Credit: John MacGregor / Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources
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Everyone can take steps to help monarchs and other pollinators. Credit: Brett Billings / USFWS
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McAllen Becomes Second Monarch Butterfly Champion City in Texas

October 12, 2016

McAllen, Texas, Mayor Jim Darling recognized the vital role Texas plays in saving the monarch butterfly and made McAllen the second Monarch Butterfly Champion City in the state, behind San Antonio. Monarchs and other pollinators are in steep decline, and the city of McAllen is stepping up to help these amazing creatures.

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Mayor’s Monarch Pledge »»

Save the Monarch »»

Everyone can take steps to help monarchs and other pollinators. Credit: Brett Billings / USFWS
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Alex Alegria and his parents celebrate his graduation from Humboldt State University, in Arcata, California in May 2016. Credit: Kim Forrest / USFWS
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Refuge Inspires Student to Work with Wildlife

October 11, 2016

Alex recently graduated with a degree in wildlife management from Humboldt State University, but before that worked at the refuge for two summers as a Youth Conservation Corps crew member and then two additional years as a part-time intern while attending junior college. He recalls how the refuge helped him see all the possibilities available for working in conservation: “I saw how the refuge was managed and experienced the ethics of the refuge: how we protect the place, how we are very conscientious about conserving the habitat, how we treat the animals. It inspired me to come back and maybe do habitat restoration and work with animals – it gave me direction.”

Read Alex’s Story »»

Alex Alegria and his parents celebrate his graduation from Humboldt State University, in Arcata, California in May 2016. Credit: Kim Forrest / USFWS
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Rhampholeon viridis. Credit: Christopher V. Anderson / Brown University
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Greater Protections Received for Reptilian and Marine Species at CITES CoP17

October 7, 2016

Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in Johannesburg, South Africa, today agreed to greater protections for a number of reptilian and marine species. These include softshell turtles, African pygmy chameleons, chambered nautiluses, devil rays and sharks. The parties hold a decision-making session to finalize recommendations later this week. 

News Release (Marine Species) »»

News Release (Reptiles) »»

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Rhampholeon viridis. Credit: Christopher V. Anderson / Brown University
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An elk at the National Bison Range in Montana. Credit: David Fitzpatrick / USFWS
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Discover the World’s Largest Conservation System: Visit a National Wildlife Refuge During Refuge Week, October 9-15!

October 7, 2016

National Wildlife Refuge Week is a celebration of the benefits brought to people around the globe by the world’s largest network of public lands and waters dedicated to wildlife and habitat conservation. Refuges offer world-class recreation, from fishing, hunting and wildlife observation to photography and environmental education. Every state and U.S. territory has at least one refuge, and there is one within an hour’s drive of most major cities.

2016 Events »»

Find a Refuge near you »»

News Release (en Español) »»

News Release »»

An elk at the National Bison Range in Montana. Credit: David Fitzpatrick / USFWS
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Young angler at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS
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Service Announces 2016 Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities on National Wildlife Refuges

October 4, 2016

Service Director Dan Ashe today announced the agency will expand fishing and hunting opportunities on 13 refuges throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System. The final rule also modifies existing refuge-specific regulations on more than 70 other refuges and wetland management districts. This includes sport fishing and migratory bird, upland game and big-game hunting. The Service manages hunting and fishing programs on refuges to ensure sustainable wildlife populations, as well as providing wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities, such as wildlife watching and photography.

News Release »»

Young angler at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS
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