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Open Spaces

A Talk on the Wild Side.

Even With Ducks Flipping Out, Duck Banding Taught Stacey Kinney a Lot

Stacey Kinney
Stacey says this is the way she was taught to hold ducks, but she was not comfortable holding the wings like this until she was  "reassured that I couldn’t kill the duck this way."
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Open Spaces is featuring monthly posts by Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns working to promote, protect and study wildlife on public lands all over the United States. Today’s featured blogger, Stacey Kinney, spent her summer as an SCA intern at the North Mississippi Refuges Complex, which consists of Coldwater River, Tallahatchie and Dahomey National Wildlife Refuges. Stacey is part of the Career Discover Internship Program (Service’s CDIP website), a collaboration between SCA and the Service that’s strengthening the next generation of conservation leaders by connecting culturally and ethnically diverse college students to wildlife-focused career opportunities. Learn more about all of SCA’s programs at www.thesca.org.

As part of my SCA  internship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this summer I had the opportunity to join an expedition banding wood ducks at Coldwater River National Wildlife Refuge in Lambert, Mississippi. I had a lot to learn about banding birds, but that's OK because I was with a couple of experts: Refuge Manager Amber Breland of Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge and wildlife biologist Becky Rosamond of the North Mississippi Refuges Complex. 


Interstate Reptile Trafficking Exposed by Service and State Investigation

More good work to report from Service Law Enforcement agents. Last week, an Alabama man was indicted for the illegal possession, transportation and sale of protected reptiles, activities in violation of the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act is a federal wildlife law which makes it unlawful to transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase wildlife which was taken, transported, possessed or sold in violation of state, federal or Indian tribal laws or regulations. 

For the past six years the man traveled back and forth to Arizona where he hunted and captured reptiles like the gila monster featured below:

According to the felony and misdemeanor charges filed in federal court the man transported some of the illegally captured reptiles back to Scottsboro for his own collection and some were distributed to others.  In addition, he provided guiding services to others for the capture of Arizona protected reptiles

The investigation was conducted by our agents, Office of Law Enforcement and the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, Special Operations Unit. 

An indictment is merely an allegation, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

For more information about the indictment check out the press release from the Justice Department.

How you can Follow the Conserving the Future Conference Online

Well, it's almost here. The Conserving the Future for the Next Generation Conference being held from July 10th-14th in Madison, Wisconsin is only days away. During the conference, a new vision for the Refuge System will finally be ratified.  Learn more about the conference at http://americaswildlife.org.

All next week, scores of break–out sessions, workshops and lectures will be held, along with plenary sessions for the 1,200 people gathered at the Monona Terrace Community and Conference Center. The good news is that you don't have to be in Madison to participate. Using a variety of online and social technologies, we'll be working hard to bring the conference directly to you, no matter where you are.