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Stories from the Home Page

Fishing at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside of Denver. Credit: Stephanie Raine Credit: Stephanie Raine
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Go Fishing Today; You’ll Be Hooked

June 9, 2016

What better time than National Fishing and Boating Week to remind you great fishing is available on more than 270 national wildlife refuges in every part of the country. The Service also stocks more than 130 million chinook salmon, rainbow trout, walleye, striped bass and other species of fish every year, often in places we love to fish, to give recreation opportunities to America’s 33 million anglers. And the Service sponsors or helps sponsor free fishing days.

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Fishing at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside of Denver. Credit: Stephanie Raine Credit: Stephanie Raine
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Staff at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Chris Hinkle / Land + People
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Magazine Highlights ‘Trailblazers’ at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

June 2, 2016

When Jennifer Owen-White, refuge manager at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was hiring a staff for the Southwest’s first urban national wildlife refuge, she says her goal was “hiring a team that reflects the broader community.” The refuge staff is composed of six young women who are, The Trust for Public Land’s magazine says, “not your typical conservation professionals. And that’s no accident.”

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Staff at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Chris Hinkle / Land + People
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Ivory belongs to elephants. Credit: Michelle Gadd / USFWS
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Good News for African Elephants: Near-Total Elephant Ivory Ban Will Cut Off Opportunities for Traffickers

June 2, 2016

In a bold move to protect one of the world’s most cherished species, the Service today completed a rulemaking process under the Endangered Species Act to institute a near-total ban on the domestic commercial trade of African elephant ivory. The rule substantially limits imports, exports and sales of African elephant ivory across state lines. It is the latest of several actions implemented by the Service aimed at reducing the opportunities for wildlife traffickers to trade illegal ivory under the guise of a legal product.

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Final Rule »»

Ivory belongs to elephants. Credit: Michelle Gadd / USFWS
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An elephant in Tanzania. Credit: Gary M. Stoltz / USFWS
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Antiques Dealer Pleads Guilty To Smuggling Elephant Ivory

June 2, 2016

A Minnesota man pleaded guilty to smuggling objects made from elephant ivory from the United States. In one instance, he admitted mislabeling an ivory carving as resin. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials inspected and intercepted the package at an International Mail Facility in Chicago, Illinois.

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An elephant in Tanzania. Credit: Gary M. Stoltz / USFWS
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Click to watch the Service’s animated fish migration video Credit: USFWS
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People Around the Globe Celebrate World Fish Migration Day

May 26, 2016

As part of a global initiative to highlight the importance of conserving migratory fish species and aquatic ecosystems, the United States and approximately 60 other countries are celebrating World Fish Migration Day on May 21, 2016. More than 1,500 organizations are participating in the occasion, holding over 400 events, including dam destructions to open fish passageways, river cleanups, educational seminars and fishing activities. 

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USFWS Flat Fish Migration Activity »»

Click to watch the Service’s animated fish migration video Credit: USFWS
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Wetlands, such as this one at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan, are home to countless wildlife and imperiled species, offer recreational opportunities. Credit: Janet Becker / USFWS
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Service Introduces Powerful Upgraded Tool for Understanding and Conserving Nation’s Wetlands

May 26, 2016

Today the Service rolled out a greatly improved National Wetlands Inventory mapper, which will allow the public and our diverse partners from industry; state, federal and local governments; and conservation groups to better understand and sustainably manage the nation’s wetlands. The upgrade represents a dramatic improvement in our ability to measure potential impacts to wetlands, track contaminants, and identify wildlife habitats and corridors. The latter is key to addressing wildlife impacts of climate change.

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Wetlands, such as this one at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan, are home to countless wildlife and imperiled species, offer recreational opportunities. Credit: Janet Becker / USFWS
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Paul Souza. Credit: Kayt Jonsson / USFWS
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Paul Souza Named Pacific Southwest Regional Director

May 24, 2016

Assistant Director for Science Applications Paul Souza, a 19-year Service employee, will take over as the agency’s Regional Director for the Pacific Southwest Region in August, leading a region consisting of California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin of Oregon. Outgoing Pacific Southwest Regional Director Ren Lohoefener will advise the new Regional Director on California water issues until he retires at the end of the year.

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Paul Souza. Credit: Kayt Jonsson / USFWS
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Florida softshell turtle. Credit: Andrea Westmoreland/Creative Commons
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On World Turtle Day, Service Finalizes Trade Protections for Four Freshwater Species

May 23, 2016

The Service today celebrates World Turtle Day through a final rule addressing the growing threat of unsustainable and illegal trade in four native species. The common snapping, Florida softshell, smooth softshell and spiny softshell turtles will now be protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). As a result of this listing, exporters will be required to obtain a permit before shipping any of these turtles overseas, helping the United States better control trade to ensure it is legal.

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Florida softshell turtle. Credit: Andrea Westmoreland/Creative Commons
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African elephants have been devastated by wildlife trafficking. Credit: Gary M. Stolz / USFWS
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Wildlife Smuggler to Pay Half-a-Million in Fine

May 20, 2016

A Minnesota man has been sentenced after he pleaded guilty to smuggling elephant ivory and rhinoceros horns from the United States to China. He will pay $500,000 to the Lacey Act Reward Fund, which helps fight wildlife crimes. He was also sentenced to 12 days in prison, three years of probation and 150 hours of community service. The man ran an online business that sold items made of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn. “It takes all of us to protect these endangered species, here and around the world,” says Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Law Enforcement Chief Ed Grace.

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African elephants have been devastated by wildlife trafficking. Credit: Gary M. Stolz / USFWS
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Native wildlife such as the monarch butterfly will benefit from State Wildlife Grants. Credit: Laura Perlick
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More Than $5.5 Million in Grants Will Help Protect Imperiled Species

May 20, 2016

Native wildlife such as the monarch butterfly and eastern hellbender will benefit from $5.5 million in grants awarded through the Service’s competitive State Wildlife Grants program. The funds help conserve and protect Species of Greatest Conservation Need), and this year will be distributed to 11 state fish and wildlife agencies and one regional fish and wildlife association.

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Native wildlife such as the monarch butterfly will benefit from State Wildlife Grants. Credit: Laura Perlick
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Collaborative conservation works, as demonstrated by efforts that have helped restore populations of American white pelicans across the continent. Pictured at Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota. Credit: Rick Bohn / USFWS
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North America Unites Behind Call to Conserve Birds, Secure Vital Habitats

May 19, 2016

Partners, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, today released The State of North America’s Birds 2016, the first comprehensive report assessing the conservation status of all bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States and Mexico. This report shows that more than one third of all North American bird species need urgent conservation action and calls for a renewed, continent-wide commitment to saving our shared birds and their habitats. It is a call to action to governments, private industry and the public to come together to support a beloved shared resource: our migratory birds.

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Collaborative conservation works, as demonstrated by efforts that have helped restore populations of American white pelicans across the continent. Pictured at Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota. Credit: Rick Bohn / USFWS
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Florida grasshopper sparrow and chicks. Credit: RSCF / www.rarespecies.org
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First Captive-Bred Florida Grasshopper Sparrow Chicks Hatched

May 17, 2016

The Florida grasshopper sparrow “is teetering on the brink of extinction," with probably fewer than 150 left, says Larry Williams, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s State Ecological Services supervisor in Florida. That’s why it’s so important that earlier this month the first captive-bred Florida grasshopper sparrow chicks hatched at the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation in Loxahatchee, Florida.

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Florida grasshopper sparrow and chicks. Credit: RSCF / www.rarespecies.org
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Coastal wetland. Credit: Lamar Gore / USFWS
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Service Reopens Comment Period on Proposed Revisions to Mitigation Policy

May 11, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a reopening of the comment period for 30 days on its proposed revised Mitigation Policy, which has guided agency recommendations to address the impacts of land and water development on America’s wildlife and their habitats since 1981. The revisions will provide a broad and flexible framework to facilitate conservation that addresses the potential negative effects of development, while allowing economic activity to continue.

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Coastal wetland. Credit: Lamar Gore / USFWS
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Boats at Rybovich Marina. Credit: Kim Betton / USFWS
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Service Awards Nearly $14 Million in Clean Vessel Act Grants

May 11, 2016

Wildlife and recreational boaters in 21 states will benefit from $13.7 million in grants awarded through the Service’s Clean Vessel Act program. The program helps U.S. states and territories maintain clean, healthy waters by providing financial support for safe and reliable pump-out systems, boater education programs, and construction of boat ramps, docks and other infrastructure that creates jobs in local communities.

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Boats at Rybovich Marina. Credit: Kim Betton / USFWS
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Green Sea Turtle - 2016 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest Semi-Finalist. Credit: by Jasmine Singh.
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Partners Across the Globe to Celebrate International Endangered Species Day

May 10, 2016

The 11th annual international Endangered Species Day will be celebrated on May 20, 2016, with special events and programs that highlight the importance of conserving endangered, threatened and at-risk species around the world. In the U.S., National Wildlife Refuges, parks, botanical gardens, schools, libraries, museums, community groups and conservation organizations will hold various conservation oriented activities throughout the month. For more information about Endangered Species Day, including a list of events occurring across the country, visit http://www.endangeredspeciesday.org.

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Green Sea Turtle - 2016 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest Semi-Finalist. Credit: by Jasmine Singh.
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