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Stories from the Home Page

America's Wild Read Credit: USFWS
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America’s Wild Read is Back!

January 5, 2021

The USFWS Conservation Library is relaunching America’s Wild Read, a virtual book club centered on inspiring readers to engage with conservation literature and nature writing. Read along with us, and look out for posts on the USFWS Conservation Library blog where we’ll weave together the perspectives of Fish and Wildlife Service thought leaders through their commentary and conversation. Join in on the discussion by posting your thoughts and responses. Our first selection is J. Drew Lanham’s The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature.

America's Wild Read »»

America's Wild Read Credit: USFWS
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Double-crested cormorant. Credit: USFWS
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Service Finalizes New Special Permit for Cormorant Management in Lower 48 States

December 22, 2020

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a final rule and final environmental impact statement to responsibly manage conflicts associated with double-crested cormorants in the United States. The final rule establishes a new special permit for state and federally recognized tribal wildlife agencies in the contiguous 48 United States to undertake additional cormorant control activities when permissible under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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Double-crested cormorant. Credit: USFWS
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Watching Director Aurelia Skipwith sign the Memorandum of Understanding are from left: Kellis Moss, Ducks Unlimited; Kaitlyn Glover, Public Lands Council; Ethan Lane, National Cattlemen's Beef Association; and Chris Comer, Safari Club International. Credit: USFWS
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Trump Administration Finalizes Endangered Species Critical Habitat Designation Rule

December 18, 2020

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Public Lands Council, Ducks Unlimited and Safari Club International. The agreement outlines a shared commitment to habitat conservation through sustainable multiple use. Working together, the partners will cultivate healthier ecosystems, wildlife populations, and local economies through hunting, fishing and livestock grazing.

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Watching Director Aurelia Skipwith sign the Memorandum of Understanding are from left: Kellis Moss, Ducks Unlimited; Kaitlyn Glover, Public Lands Council; Ethan Lane, National Cattlemen's Beef Association; and Chris Comer, Safari Club International. Credit: USFWS
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Monarch on New England Aster. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS
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Service Announces Listing Determination for the Monarch Butterfly

December 15, 2020

After a thorough assessment of the monarch butterfly’s status, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that adding the monarch butterfly to the list of threatened and endangered species is warranted but precluded by work on higher-priority listing actions. With this decision, the monarch becomes a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act, and its status will be reviewed each year until it is no longer a candidate. 

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Monarch on New England Aster. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS
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The definition addresses a 2018 Supreme Court ruling in a case regarding dusky gopher frog critical habitat. Credit: John A. Tupy/Western Carolina University
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Service and NOAA Fisheries Finalize Regulatory Definition of Habitat

December 15, 2020

To improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries have defined the term “habitat” under the act. Not previously defined by the act, the definition will help stimulate more effective conservation, and improve consistency and predictability around critical habitat designations.

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The definition addresses a 2018 Supreme Court ruling in a case regarding dusky gopher frog critical habitat. Credit: John A. Tupy/Western Carolina University
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USFWS Director Aurelia Skipwith meets with Federal Wildlife Officers. Credit: USFWS
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More Than 13,600 Pounds of Illegal Narcotics Seized on National Wildlife Refuges in 2020

December 15, 2020

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes the public safety protection efforts of Federal Wildlife Officers who in 2020 successfully led the seizure of 13,615 pounds of illegal narcotics on national wildlife refuges. The 2020 street value of the seizures was $43 million -- 17 times more than in 2019, which was $2.5 million. The Trump Administration has made it a priority to end the drug overdose epidemic that kills approximately 70,000 Americans each year.  

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USFWS Director Aurelia Skipwith meets with Federal Wildlife Officers. Credit: USFWS
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Wisdom incubates her newest egg. Credit: Jon Brack/Friends of Midway Atoll NWR
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As Usual, Wisdom the Albatross Returns to Midway Atoll

December 10, 2020

Wisdom, the world’s oldest known and banded wild bird, has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial. At least 69 years old, Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross), was first seen at her nest this year at the end of last month. Biologists have confirmed that she has laid an egg.

A Reason for Hope »»

Wisdom incubates her newest egg. Credit: Jon Brack/Friends of Midway Atoll NWR
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Find a shooting range near you. Credit: USFWS
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Interactive Map for Shooting Sports Supports Safety, Conservation

December 5, 2020

Finding a place to shoot safely is now easier than ever thanks to a new interactive tool premiered today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of its 83-year partnership with states, industry and individual firearms users who help pay for wildlife and natural resource conservation, hunter education and public shooting ranges through the Wildlife Restoration Program. The new map identifies a total of 623 ranges across the United States, including 183 archery ranges, 285 firearms ranges and 155 archery and firearms combined shooting ranges, highlighting opportunities and access from California to Massachusetts.

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Find a shooting range near you. Credit: USFWS
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Splash-backed poison frogs at the time of seizure. Credit: Alberto J. Gonzalez/USFWS
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Splash-backed Poison Frogs Fly Home to Brazil

December 4, 2020

In September, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife inspectors carefully placed a container of 21 splash-backed poison frogs, including 19 of a rare blue-morph coloration, on a plane home to Brazil. The country doesn’t allow the frogs to be exported, but they are prized by collectors. U.S. wildlife inspectors seized the frogs as part of the fight against wildlife trafficking. In Brazil, the frogs will have a permanent home at the São Paulo Zoo, one of Brazil’s premier institutions.  

Frogs are Anything But ‘Blue’ »»

Splash-backed poison frogs at the time of seizure. Credit: Alberto J. Gonzalez/USFWS
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One-to-five-day-old least tern chicks using their camouflage to hide among the sand and wrack. Credit: Helen Manning/USFWS
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Sense of Wonder in the Field

December 1, 2020

As Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine celebrates 50 years of conservation, technicians, biologists and others have been reflecting on the legacy of the famed conservationist. 

The Wonder of Nature’s Stories »»

Series »»

One-to-five-day-old least tern chicks using their camouflage to hide among the sand and wrack. Credit: Helen Manning/USFWS
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Video: Desert Tortoise Rescue. Credit: USFWS
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'Zip-tie,' Family Get Helping Hand

November 20, 2020

Mojave desert tortoises occur in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts north and west of the Colorado River in southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, southeastern California and northwestern Arizona. They live on a variety of terrain from sandy flats to rocky foothills but face numerous obstacles when seeking suitable habitat in the wild. Roadways are one of the greatest dangers, accounting for the deaths of more than 200 tortoises a year. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works closely with the U.S. Marine Corps and other organizations to treat injured tortoises.  

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Video: Desert Tortoise Rescue. Credit: USFWS
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A Service firefighter lights a prescribed burn at Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho. Credit: Justin Hughes/USFWS
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Trump Administration Reduces Wildfire Risk by Record 5.4 Million Acres

November 18, 2020

The Department of the Interior announced today that it has once again made substantial progress in Fiscal Year 2020 to reduce the risk of wildfire nationwide by treating a ten-year best 1.5 million acres of public lands.In continued efforts to reduce wildfire risk across much of the United States, the Service has exceeded yearly milestones to ensure National Wildlife Refuge System lands remain healthy, resilient and accessible to the public. The Service completed a significant amount of fuels treatments to reduce hazardous fuel loads, provide wildfire suppression efforts across the country, and increase protection of local communities surrounding fire-prone areas.

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A Service firefighter lights a prescribed burn at Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho. Credit: Justin Hughes/USFWS
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Little brown bat with white-nose syndrome in Greeley Mine, Vermont. Credit: Marvin Moriarty/USFWS
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Service Announces Winner of National Prize Challenge to Defeat Bat-Killing Fungus

November 10, 2020

A team of six researchers from Oregon State University and the University of California have won a national prize challenge to combat white-nose syndrome, a lethal wildlife disease that has killed millions of bats in North America and pushed some native bat species to the brink of extinction. The winning team – Emily Dziedzic, Jenny Urbina Gonzalez, Jared LeBoldus, Michael Gordon, A. Marm Kilpatrick and Taal Levi – conceived of an aerosol spray to genetically silence the fungus that causes the disease without harming the bats, the places they hibernate, or other non-targeted organisms. The team will receive $20,000 for its proposal, which is intended to spur collaborations with scientists, designers and engineers to potentially bring the solution to life. 

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Little brown bat with white-nose syndrome in Greeley Mine, Vermont. Credit: Marvin Moriarty/USFWS
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Some of the veterans now with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Credit: USFWS
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Veterans Conserve the Nature of America

November 9, 2020

We, the nation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, owe a huge debt to military veterans. They defend our country and its interests, willing to put their lives on the line. Then, some choose to put their diverse talents to work for the Fish and Wildlife Service. 

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Some of the veterans now with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Credit: USFWS
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Bison with calf at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. Credit: Doreen Van Ryswyk/USFWS Credit: Doreen Van Ryswyk/USFWS
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Trump Administration Provides 5th Grade Students with Free Entrance to National Parks, Refuges and Other Public Lands

October 29, 2020

While at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt signed a Secretary’s Order that waives entrance fees to national parks, national wildlife refuges and other public lands and waters managed by the Department of the Interior for 5th grade students and their families from now until Aug. 31, 2021.

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Bison with calf at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. Credit: Doreen Van Ryswyk/USFWS Credit: Doreen Van Ryswyk/USFWS
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