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Stories from the Home Page

Timber Theft Leads to 10 Months in Prison for Kentucky Man

June 26, 2016

Wildlife crime doesn’t always involve species from far-off countries. A Kentucky man was recently sentenced to 10 months in prison and ordered to pay $80,000 in restitution for illegally harvesting a stand of black walnut trees. The sentence “sends a serious message that we will not tolerate the profiteering of America's natural resource legacy,” said Edward Grace, the Service’s Deputy Assistant Director for Law Enforcement.

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Teresa R. Christopher. Credit: USFWS
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Teresa R. Christopher Becomes Service’s New Associate Director

June 24, 2016

Teresa R. Christopher has been named the Fish and Wildlife Service’s new Associate Director and will begin Monday. As Associate Director, she will serve as principal advisor to the Director on major policy issues and will represent the Service’s priorities within the U.S. Department of the Interior and the broader administration. Christopher served as Senior Advisor for Gulf Restoration to the Secretary of Commerce since October 2012.

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Teresa R. Christopher. Credit: USFWS
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The 2016 Federal Duck Stamp features a pair of trumpeter swans in flight. Credit: USFWS
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Federal and Junior Duck Stamps Now on Sale

June 24, 2016

The 83rd Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp a.k.a. the Duck Stamp is now on sale, having debuted at a special event hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Bass Pro Shops’ flagship retail store in Springfield, Missouri. The stamp art was painted by wildlife artist Joseph Hautman, who won his fifth Federal Duck Stamp Contest and is now tied as leading Duck Stamp artist of all time. The Junior Duck Stamp, depicting a pair of Ross’s geese painted by Stacy Shen, 16, of Fremont, Calif., also goes on sale today.

News Release »»

The 2016 Federal Duck Stamp features a pair of trumpeter swans in flight. Credit: USFWS
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Black rhino. Credit: Richard Ruggiero / USFWS

Stiff Sentence Handed Down in Wildlife Trafficking Case

June 23, 2016

A California auction official was just sentenced to more than a year in prison, a fine and more for conspiring to smuggle wildlife products made from rhinoceros horn, elephant ivory and coral with a market value of at least $1 million. The sentencing is another win for Operation Crash, an ongoing, nationwide, Service-led criminal investigation focused on the unlawful trafficking of rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory.

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Black rhino. Credit: Richard Ruggiero / USFWS

A bee and ladybug on a sunflower. This photo won an internal Service contest for Pollinator Week. Credit: Janine Van Norman / USFWS
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Happy Pollinator Week!

June 22, 2016

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has proclaimed this week Pollinator Week, a celebration of the birds, bats, bees, beetles, butterflies and other animals that help flowering plants reproduce. Without pollinators, many of the foods, beverages, fibers, spices and medicines we use daily wouldn’t be possible. Pollinator populations have been declining, but there are steps everyone can take to help.

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A bee and ladybug on a sunflower. This photo won an internal Service contest for Pollinator Week. Credit: Janine Van Norman / USFWS
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The Discover Nature App encourages visitors to explore the trails on San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge in a whole new way. Credit: Matthew Cicanese / North American Nature Photography Association
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Free, Bilingual Game Apps Bring Education and Fun to South San Diego Bay

June 17, 2016

To help urban, tech-focused youngsters develop a connection with nature, the Service's SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project of Southern California and the Living Coast Discovery Center are launching “Discover Sweetwater” and “Discover South Bay” scavenger-hunt-style apps.  English portions will be automatically translated to Spanish and visa versa. If you aren’t in Southern California, check out the "Discover Nature Apps" for other national wildlife refuges to “play” in.

News Release »»

The Discover Nature App encourages visitors to explore the trails on San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge in a whole new way. Credit: Matthew Cicanese / North American Nature Photography Association
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The Howland nature-like fishway (to the left of the photo) allows fish to bypass the Howland Dam both up and downstream. Credit: Josh Royte / TNC / Lighthawk
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Fish Passageway Enables Maine Fish to Once Again Reach the Sea

June 14, 2016

The Service and partners gathered in Howland, Maine, today to celebrate the newly constructed fish bypass around the dam in Howland. Completion of this large stream-like channel will allow American shad, river herring and Atlantic salmon to freely access important historic habitat for the first time in more than a century. The bypass is the last major milestone in the Penobscot River Restoration Project, which has improved access to nearly 1,000 miles of Maine's largest river for 11 species of native-run fish, all while maintaining energy generation.

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The Howland nature-like fishway (to the left of the photo) allows fish to bypass the Howland Dam both up and downstream. Credit: Josh Royte / TNC / Lighthawk
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Southwest Regional Director Dr. Benjamin Tuggle (center) presents the Military Partner Conservation Award to Colonel Ricardo Martinez, commander of the Marine Corp Air Station Yuma (left) and Brigadier General Scott Pleus, commander of the 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base. Credit: USFWS
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Service Honors Barry M. Goldwater Range with Military Conservation Partner Award

June 10, 2016

The Barry M. Goldwater Range in southern Arizona has been honored as the recipient of the Service’s 2016 Military Conservation Partner Award. Working in close collaboration with partners, the managers of the range provide exemplary landscape-level stewardship for diverse and rare natural resources including three federally protected species: Sonoran pronghorn, lesser long-nosed bat and acuña cactus.

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Southwest Regional Director Dr. Benjamin Tuggle (center) presents the Military Partner Conservation Award to Colonel Ricardo Martinez, commander of the Marine Corp Air Station Yuma (left) and Brigadier General Scott Pleus, commander of the 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base. Credit: USFWS
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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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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 on National Wildlife Refuges »»

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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What People Are Saying »»

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.

News Release (DOJ) »»

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. 

News Release »»

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Video »»

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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NWI FAQs »»

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.

News Release »»

Paul Souza. Credit: Kayt Jonsson / USFWS
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