The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a long tradition of scientific excellence and always uses the best-available science to inform its work to conserve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitat for the benefit of the American public.
Created in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, today's National Wildlife Refuge System protects habitats and wildlife across the country, from the Alaskan tundra to subtropical wetlands. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Refuge System's 560-plus refuges cover more than 150 million acres and protect nearly 1,400 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
While national wildlife refuges were created to protect wildlife, they are for people too. Refuges are ideal places for people of all ages to explore and connect with the natural world. We invite you to learn more about and visit the national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
The Mountain-Prairie Region's Office of Ecological Services (ES) works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, ES personnel work with Federal, State, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to avoid, minimize, and mitigate threats to our Nation's natural resources.
Providing leadership in the conservation of migratory bird habitat through partnerships, grants, and outreach for present and future generations. The Migratory Bird Program is responsible for maintaining healthy migratory bird populations for the benefit of the American people.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program in the Mountain-Prairie Region helps conserve, protect, and enhance aquatic resources and provides economically valuable recreational fishing to anglers across the country. The program comprises 12 National Fish Hatcheries.
Law enforcement is essential to virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation. The Office of Law Enforcement contributes to Service efforts to manage ecosystems, save endangered species, conserve migratory birds, preserve wildlife habitat, restore fisheries, combat invasive species, and promote international wildlife conservation.
External Affairs staff in the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides support to the regional office and field stations to communicate and facilitate information about the Service's programs to the public, media, Congress, Tribes, partners, and other stakeholders in the 8-state region.
Cooperative Whooping Crane Tracking Project
The whooping crane tracking project relies on landowners, volunteers, and biologists throughout the central flyway that report whooper sitings to the Service during the spring and fall migrations. The Service records the sitings and has compiled up to 40 years of fall migration data. This data benefits both scientists and project proponents. For example, this data will be used to help wind companies determine where wind development should occur to minimize impacts to migrating whooping cranes.
Confirmed Whooping Crane Sightings.
Confirmed Whooping Crane Sightings and Migration Corridor in Nebraska
USFWS Wind Power Siting Guidelines
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has provided a released the final Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines. These guidelines are U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's recommendations on measures to take to avoid, minimize, and compensate for effects to fish, wildlife, and their habitats. They were designed to help developers avoid and minimize impacts of land-based wind projects on wildlife and their habitats.
Inter-Regional Central Flyway Habitat Conservation Plan
Nineteen wind energy companies (the Wind Energy Whooping Crane Action Group known as "WEWAG") are developing Great Plains Wind Energy Habitat Conservation Plan in collaboration with the Service and state agencies. The plan's goal is to provide conservation measures for whooping cranes (Grus americana), interior least terns (Sterna antillarum athalassos), piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), and the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), across nine states where wind development is proposed for the great plains.