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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Wildlife Inspector Helps Rescue Sea Turtles

man in FWS coat and hat stands behind black pickup holding turtle; pickup bed is full of turtlesWildlife Inspector Jacinto Gonzalez with a sea turtle. Photo courtesy of Jacinto Gonzalez

Wildlife inspectors are our nation’s front-line defense in the fight against wildlife trafficking. These highly trained professionals facilitate the legal wildlife trade, while keeping a vigilant eye out for illegal wildlife being smuggled into and out of the United States. They enforce U.S. federal laws that protect wildlife and plants and can identify wildlife species.

They do so much more, too.

Wildlife Inspector Jacinto Gonzalez, for instance, recently represented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and participated in a sea-turtle rescue in Texas.

   

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Innovative Genetic Research Boosts Black-footed Ferret Conservation Efforts

A black-footed ferret kit looks at the camera, poking through a hole in the floor of its enclosure USFWS National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center photo  

Black-footed ferret recovery efforts aimed at increased genetic diversity and disease resistance took a bold step Dec. 10, 2020, with the birth of Elizabeth Ann, created from the frozen cells of Willa, a black-footed ferret that lived more than 30 years ago. The work results from a partnership among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and species recovery partners and scientists. Until Elizabeth Ann, all black-footed ferrets were descended from seven individuals, which can create recovery challenges. 

'First Cloning of a Native Endangered Species in North America'

African Americans Played Huge, But Little-known Role in Creation of Wildlife Refuges

b&w photo of African-American men with shovels on dirt hillBuilding Grassy Lake dam. Photo by Civilian Conservation Corps

Richard Kanaski, one of our archaeologists, is compiling information about the little-known history of the African-American Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees throughout the South. His immediate goal: Apply for National Register of Historic Places status for Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge. His ultimate goal: Shine a spotlight on the major, yet largely hidden role played by African Americans in rebuilding this country from the depths of the Great Depression.

Unsung Heroes of American Conservation

Albatross Wisdom Becomes a Mom Again

Big white bird looks at gray chick in nest under its bellyWisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, banded wild bird, hatched a new chick this week at Midway Atoll. Biologists first observed the egg pipping on January 29. Pipping is when a young bird begins to crack the shell of the egg when hatching. After several days, the chick hatched on February 1.

10 Surprising Facts About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Conserving the nature of America for over 150 years. #WeAreUSFWS

3 pics of birds next to image with words: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 150 Years of Conservation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has protected America’s stunning diversity of native fishes, plants, wildlife, and habitats for over 100 years. From counting birds to combating crime — and from stocking fish to genetics and forensics research — we’re an international wildlife conservation leader informed by science and supported by partnerships.

Our work is as diverse as the people and places we serve, conserving America’s natural heritage, wild lands and waters, and imperiled species for future generations.

Discover 10 facts you might not know about the only federal agency focused first and foremost on wildlife conservation for the continuing benefit of all Americans.

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Early Detection and Rapid Response Efforts Take the Fight to Invasives in South Florida

Man Holding big rat in gloved handsThere are a lot fewer Gambian giant pouched rats crawling and Northern African pythons slithering around South Florida today than there were a decade ago thanks to ongoing and successful early detection and rapid response efforts. (At left: John Woolard, USDA Wildlife Services, displays a Gambian giant pouched rat. This is the world’s largest rat, weighing up to nine pounds. The average size is three pounds, measuring 20-35 inches from the head to the tip of the tail. USDA Photo)

 “While invasive species prevention is the first line of defense, even the best prevention efforts won’t stop all exotic species from establishing and eventually spreading across Florida,” says Biologist Art Roybal, our invasive species coordinator for South Florida. “I can say, however, that early detection and rapid response practices have effectively curbed the spread of these particular rats and pythons in Florida over the past decade.”

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Recovering Mexican Wolves

wolf with collar looks at camera A Mexican wolf from the HooDoo pack is released with a new radio collar during the 2019 count. Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team Photo.

Have you ever wondered how biologists “count” wildlife populations? For the Mexican wolf, it takes a coordinated effort across multiple state, federal, and tribal agencies over several months. It’s a process that involves detailed planning, trained aerial darters, multiple aircraft, and good weather. In 2021, biologists are collecting data for the 2020 count with limited staff and under stringent COVID-19 safety measures. To provide an opportunity for wider participation in the 2020 Mexican wolf count, you’re invited to join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners on a virtual count.

Better Walleye Fishing: Iowa Research Leads the Way

person holds big fish in 2 handsAaron Ohrn of Iowa DNR shows off a female walleye. Older big walleye retain PIT tags for long periods new industry-funded research shows. Photo Courtesy of Iowa DNR

Anglers enjoy walleye in two places: on the end of a line beneath glassy water and crackling in hot spattering oil lathered in batter. Walleye possess inherent sporting qualities and their value as table fare is beyond compare. 

Fishery management biologists have intense interest in walleye conservation and that interest is manifest in recent research in tag retention funded through excise taxes paid by manufacturers of fishing gear and on motor boat fuels. Our Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program administers such research grants via Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration.

 

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To Feed or Not to Feed Wild Birds

A nuthatch — in head-down pose – visits a suet feeder A nuthatch visits a suet feeder in Minnesota. Photo by Courtney Celley/USFWS.

Do you feed birds in your yard? Welcome to the club. Bird feeding as never been so popular. But … can you do it without endangering the wild birds you love? 

Feeding Birds Raises Ethical Questions

FWS Celebrates African Manatee Research

manatee underwater with algae on backAfrican manatee. Photo by Lucy Keith-Diagne/African Aquatic Conservation Fund

The African manatee is the least studied and most threatened of the world’s three manatee species, and for more than a decade, Dr. Lucy Keith-Diagne has been working tirelessly to change this. As of 2021, this elusive, understudied, and threatened mammal is benefitting from a strengthened network of researchers and conservationists, some of whom received strong support from one of the successful MENTOR programs within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s International Affairs program.

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