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Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel, successfully recovered due to efforts of stakeholders and the Endangered Species Act. Credit: Guy Willey
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Delmarva Fox Squirrel Leaps Off Endangered Species List

November 13, 2015

Due to the successful conservation efforts of states, landowners, conservation groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel has been recovered and will be delisted from the Endangered Species Act. The recovery was announced by Department of Interior official Michael Bean and Sen. Tom Carper (DE) today at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Milton, Delaware. 

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Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel, successfully recovered due to efforts of stakeholders and the Endangered Species Act. Credit: Guy Willey
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Roseate Spoonbills. Credit: USFWS
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Service Releases Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment

November 13, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released its Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment, a comprehensive report that evaluates the effects of climate change, sea level rise and urbanization on four Gulf Coast ecosystems and 11 species that depend on them. The report was initiated by four Landscape Conservation Cooperatives that cover the Gulf of Mexico and will help guide future conservation and restoration efforts in the region. 

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Roseate Spoonbills. Credit: USFWS
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Refuge Manager Danny Moss “gets his goose on” earlier this year in Afghanistan. Credit: USFWS
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Fish and Wildlife Service Thanks Our Veterans

November 10, 2015

The U .S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proud to introduce veterans to a conservation career. We’re lucky many have chosen to continue their public service with us to conserve the nature of America.

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Refuge Manager Danny Moss “gets his goose on” earlier this year in Afghanistan. Credit: USFWS
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The universally accessible boardwalk at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place for nature lovers who want to veer slightly off the beaten path on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Credit: Photo by Rick Long
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Conserving Tropical Island Habitats

November 9, 2015

Island ecosystems tend to be highly sensitive to changes, and the Service works to conserve island habitats and the species found there (sometimes only there). The Service manages 31 national wildlife refuges in the Caribbean, the Pacific and Hawaii – and it co-manages four marine national monuments in the Pacific. The November/December issue of Refuge Update highlights tropical island habitats at a few of them.

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The universally accessible boardwalk at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place for nature lovers who want to veer slightly off the beaten path on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Credit: Photo by Rick Long
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Juvenile bald eagle. Credit: Ken Thomas
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Convicted of Poisoning Bald Eagles, Man to Pay Thousands

November 4, 2015

A New York farmer who killed three juvenile bald eagles and then removed the evidence has been sentenced to probation and a $1,000 criminal fine. He also must pay $3,000 to New York’s Bald Eagle Program. An investigation by the Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation found that the farmer placed a pile of meat contaminated with an insecticide in a field to kill coyotes, but the eagles ate it. A witness photographed the dead eagles before the farmer removed them.

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Juvenile bald eagle. Credit: Ken Thomas
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A refuge volunteer loads sugar cane, after it has been pressed through the grinder, at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge’s annual Pioneer Day celebration in Georgia. Credit: USFWS
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Make the Season Bright at a National Wildlife Refuge

November 4, 2015

Chop your own fir tree. Take a sleigh ride past wintering elk. Participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count. Check out some of the free, family-friendly holiday-season activities that national wildlife refuges will host through the New Year. Refuges offer chances to see an almost unparalleled array of wildlife, including many of the nation’s most beloved and spectacular species. 

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A refuge volunteer loads sugar cane, after it has been pressed through the grinder, at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge’s annual Pioneer Day celebration in Georgia. Credit: USFWS
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Loggerhead sea turtle eggs collected illegally and intended for commercial distribution. Credit: Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement
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Twice-Convicted Turtle Egg Thief Sentenced to 21 Months In Prison

November 3, 2015

A Georgia man has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for violating the Lacey Act by stealing viable sea turtle eggs from Sapelo Island, Georgia. The Lacey Act makes it unlawful for any person to acquire, receive or transport endangered species or their parts, including loggerhead sea turtle eggs. The man was on federal supervised release for an earlier conviction of egg theft when he was caught stealing turtle eggs for the second time.

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Loggerhead sea turtle eggs collected illegally and intended for commercial distribution. Credit: Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement
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jumping black-footed ferret. Credit: J. Michael Lockhart / USFWS
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Service Gives Black-footed Ferrets a Conservation Boost in Wyoming

October 30, 2015

Underscoring the flexibility of the Endangered Species Act, a new rule designates the state of Wyoming as a special area for ferret reintroductions. This will make it easier for willing landowners to host black-footed ferrets, one of the most endangered mammals in North America, on their property.

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jumping black-footed ferret. Credit: J. Michael Lockhart / USFWS
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Aerial view of dredge work draining flooded coastal marsh areas in Delaware, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: \Richard Weiner
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Three years after Sandy: Building a More Resilient Atlantic Coas

October 29, 2015

Three years after Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other Department of the Interior bureaus have been investing in hundreds of projects and working with partners to build a stronger Atlantic Coast. This includes projects to clean up and repair damaged refuges and parks; restore coastal marshes, wetlands and shoreline; connect and open waterways to improve flood control; and increase our scientific understanding of how these natural areas are changing. These efforts help protect local residents from the next big storm while creating jobs, engaging youth and veterans, and restoring habitat for wildlife.

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Aerial view of dredge work draining flooded coastal marsh areas in Delaware, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: \Richard Weiner
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Prussian carp. Credit: CAFS
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Proposal to List 11 Foreign Species as ‘Injurious’ Will Protect Nation’s Wildlife

October 29, 2015

The Service today announced a proposed rule to list 10 nonnative freshwater fish species and 1 nonnative freshwater crayfish species as “injurious wildlife” under the Lacey Act. Except for one fish, these species aren’t present in U.S. waters. However, all have the potential to become highly invasive if introduced into the wild in the United States, hurting freshwater habitats, native species and the local economies they support. The rule would prohibit the importation and interstate transport of any live animal, viable egg and more, except by permit.

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Prussian carp. Credit: CAFS
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Pallid bats can hear their prey’s footsteps. Credit: Ann Froschauer / USFWS
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Secretary of the Interior Proclaims This Week National Bat Week

October 28, 2015

As plant pollinators and controllers of pest insects, bats are integral to human health, the economy and natural ecosystems. Unfortunately, a deadly disease called white-nose syndrome has killed millions in recent years, putting some bat populations at risk of extinction. The Service is working with other federal agencies, states, NGOs and private groups to educate the public about bats, and to learn more about and combat the threats to their survival. The Secretary of the Interior's National Bat Week proclamation demonstrates the commitment of the Service and other Department of the Interior agencies including the Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Geological Survey to conserving bats and their habitats for generations to come.

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Pallid bats can hear their prey’s footsteps. Credit: Ann Froschauer / USFWS
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About 5,000 black rhinos still exist in Africa. Credit: Karl Stromayer / USFWS
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Rhino Trafficker Gets More Than Two Years in Prison

October 22, 2015

The Service-led Operation Crash, a continuing effort to end the black market trade of endangered rhino horns, marked another victory as an Iowa man was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for his role in the illegal sale and transport of two black rhino horns. “This conviction and sentencing demonstrates the resolve of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service to eliminate the illegal trade of rhino horns in the United States,” says Ed Grace, Deputy Chief of the Service’s Office of Law Enforcement.

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About 5,000 black rhinos still exist in Africa. Credit: Karl Stromayer / USFWS
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Habitat destruction, human population growth, and a demand for tiger parts threaten the survival of all tigers, including Siberian tigers. Credit: John Goodrich / WCS
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Lumber Liquidators to Pay More Than $13M for Illegal Timber Import Scheme

October 22, 2015

Virginia-based hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators Inc. pleaded guilty Thursday in the first felony conviction related to the import or use of illegal timber. The more than $13 million penalty Lumber Liquidators will pay is the largest financial penalty for timber trafficking under the Lacey Act and one of the largest Lacey Act penalties ever. The company admitted importation of hardwood flooring, much of which had been illegally logged in far eastern Russia, home of the last remaining Siberian tigers and Amur leopards.

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Habitat destruction, human population growth, and a demand for tiger parts threaten the survival of all tigers, including Siberian tigers. Credit: John Goodrich / WCS
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Chelsea McKinney (right), host of Conservation Connect, with biologist Ariel Elliot, capture and release small mammals at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: Brett Billings / USFWS
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Free, Online Series Brings Outdoors, Conservation Learning to Classrooms

October 21, 2015

Even if you can’t get out into the outdoors, you can still learn plenty about nature, thanks to Conservation Connect, the Service’s online video series targeting young people. Each episode highlights wildlife, careers and new technologies utilized to study and protect wild animals and the habitats on which they depend. Students and teachers who tune into the live broadcast can ask questions and chat with biologists in real time.

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Chelsea McKinney (right), host of Conservation Connect, with biologist Ariel Elliot, capture and release small mammals at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Credit: Brett Billings / USFWS
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Hikers birdwatching on a trail at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: USFWS

Thanksgiving Hikes for City Lovers at National Wildlife Refuges

October 20, 2015

Celebrating Thanksgiving in the city needn’t mean giving nature the slip. Head to a scenic walking trail on a national wildlife refuge – many cities have one closer than you might think. Refuges offer chances to see an almost unparalleled array of wildlife, including many of the nation’s most beloved and spectacular species.

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Hikers birdwatching on a trail at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: USFWS