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Stories from the Home Page

Double-crested cormorant. Credit: USFWS
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Service Solicits Public Input on Cormorant Management

January 21, 2020

As part of ongoing efforts to address conflicts between double-crested cormorants and wild and stocked fisheries, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking and soliciting public input on future management options.

 

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Double-crested cormorant. Credit: USFWS
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By the mid-twentieth century, fewer than 30 nene remained in the wild on a small area on the island of Hawaii; 13 birds survived in captivity. Today there are more than 2,800 individual birds. Credit: Brenda Zaun/USFWS
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Hawaii's State Bird is On the Road to Recovery

January 16, 2020

After 60 years of effective collaborative conservation efforts among federal, state and local partners the Hawaiian goose, or nene, is one step closer to recovery. An intensive captive-breeding program, rigorous habitat restoration and active management strategies have led to the nene's return from the brink of extinction. As a result, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized a decision to downlist the nene from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

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By the mid-twentieth century, fewer than 30 nene remained in the wild on a small area on the island of Hawaii; 13 birds survived in captivity. Today there are more than 2,800 individual birds. Credit: Brenda Zaun/USFWS
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A black-capped chickadee perches on a branch. Credit: David Ellis/USFWS
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Where are the Winter Birds?

January 16, 2020

Have you noticed that the number of birds visiting your yard each winter seems to fluctuate year to year? Some years it may seem that you have an abundance of birds, making it difficult to keep feeders stocked, while other years seem much more manageable. What you might be experiencing is called an irruption – a sharp, irregular movement of birds to an area where they aren’t normally found. While this may seem unusual, it’s more common than you might think.

A Wide Variety of Birds Can Have Irruptions »»

A black-capped chickadee perches on a branch. Credit: David Ellis/USFWS
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Wetlands Credit: Kayt Johnson/USFWS
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Service Increases Transparency on Refuge Wetland Easements

January 3, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued new internal guidance to provide better government services and alleviate conflict with landowners stemming from easement deeds that pre-date 1976. Easement deeds that pre-date 1976 did not contain maps or sufficiently detailed descriptions to ensure accurate demarcation of wetland easement boundaries. The Service is modernizing the way it demarcates wetland easements to clear up this confusion.

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Wetlands Credit: Kayt Johnson/USFWS
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Members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., commemorate a visit to Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut. Credit: USFWS
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Try Nature. It’s Good for You.

January 2, 2020

Getting outdoors in nature — on national wildlife refuges, for example — can improve your peace of mind and physical well-being. Many refuges are working with their communities to strengthen that health-and-nature connection.

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Members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., commemorate a visit to Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut. Credit: USFWS
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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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Aurelia Skipwith visits Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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Senate Confirms Aurelia Skipwith as Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

December 12, 2019

Today, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Aurelia Skipwith as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Skipwith has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior since April 19, 2017. "I am truly honored to serve the American people under the leadership of President Trump and Secretary Bernhardt," says Service Director Skipwith.

News Release »»

Aurelia Skipwith visits Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: USFWS
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The veteran's hunt is just one example of the work by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to promote outdoor opportunities of all types, including hunting, fishing and recreational opportunities on public lands. Credit: Brent Lawrence/USFWS
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Veterans Discover Tranquility in Nature

December 10, 2019

"Being injured, I didn't know how I was going to go about living my life besides raising my kids and being at home. Being introduced to the outdoor sports is incredible. ... Being outdoors, I believe, is the best therapy you can get," says U.S. Army veteran Sal Trujillo. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners from the Washington Waterfowl Association's Lower Columbia Chapter and The Fallen Outdoors introduced 20 new and notice veterans to waterfowl hunting at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Veterans Hunt.

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The veteran's hunt is just one example of the work by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to promote outdoor opportunities of all types, including hunting, fishing and recreational opportunities on public lands. Credit: Brent Lawrence/USFWS
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Two toms vie for hens' attention at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois. Credit: Jim Osborn
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Wild Facts About Wild Turkeys

November 26, 2019

Amuse your guests this Thanksgiving with these offbeat wild turkey facts. 

Fact #1: Turkeys Do More Than Gobble »»

Two toms vie for hens' attention at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois. Credit: Jim Osborn
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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 »»

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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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