New York Field Office
Northeast Region

Through a series of laws created over the last century, Americans have declared that we need to collectively protect landscapes, fish, wildlife, and plants.
Several agencies in the federal government put our country's conservation laws into action, and the Ecological Services Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helps lead the way.

We administer the Endangered Species Act, working with experts in the scientific community to identify species on the verge of extinction and to build the road to recovery to bring them back. We work with our partners in federal and state agencies, tribes, local governments, the business community, and private citizens to help protect important habitat, and help increase species' populations and reduce the threats to their survival so that they can be removed from federal protection.
We provide guidance and expertise to avoid and minimize impacts to wildlife for projects such as wind farms and large scale transportation developments meeting our society's growing energy and transportation needs. Our environmental contaminant specialists review project plans, licenses, and even proposed laws and regulations, to avoid or minimize harmful effects on wildlife and habitats. In cases of significant releases of hazardous waste, they work in the field to pinpoint sources of pollution and investigate effects, using this data to secure compensation for lost or damaged wildlife and habitat.

When we protect species and habitats, we conserve the natural resources on which we all depend. We ensure that wetlands persist to protect us from storms and filter our water. We conserve for future generations a continued source of land. Wild things and wild places are part of our shared history. They are part of the natural foundation of the lands we call home.

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Current Issues

Dear Partners and Applicants,

The health and safety of our partners and employees is our top priority.  We are closely monitoring the situation with COVID-19.  The guidance and directions below will be revised and updated as needed to respond to changing conditions.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) New York Field Office and Long Island Field Office remain open; however, all staff are teleworking until further notice in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and provide social distancing.  As a consequence, we have very limited office access, and may not receive hard copy mail (USPS, Fed Ex, UPS) in a timely manner. To help ensure that your questions and project review responses are processed and reviewed as quickly as circumstances allow, we have made the following adjustments.

In an effort to maintain continuity and remain responsive to our many partners, we have set up an electronic mailbox.  We encourage all partners and applicants to submit requests and inquiries to

We ask that when submitting an email, please be as specific as possible in the subject line.  For example, please identify if the email pertains to a section 7 consultation, location and what species.  This will help us ensure that the request/inquiry is provided to the correct staff for appropriate action.

We appreciate your patience as we all are coping with the COVID-19 situation.  The staff of the New York Field Office are working to assist you with your requests and inquiries.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at the address provided, or leave a voicemail message on our main office number (607) 753-9334; voicemails will be reviewed daily.

See our new Podcasts page!

10/15/2021: See our self-produced video on the Ithaca Children's Garden Walikway:

(Audio description:

9/10/2021 Hellbenders in the Susquehanna

Originally collected as eggs and raised in captivity at the Bronx Zoo for the past four years, 124 now-juvenile hellbenders were just released back into their natural home in a tributary of the Susquehanna River in Central New York. All of the hellbenders were outfitted with PIT-tags prior to release so that researchers can monitor their movement, growth, and behaviors. 

This ongoing project aims to restore hellbender populations in the Susquehanna and is a collaborative effort involving the New York Field Office, The Wetland Trust, the Upper Susquehanna Conservation Alliance, SUNY-ESF, and Lycoming College. The project is gaining success with this being the largest release of hellbenders they have ever done, and more captive rearing already planned for the future.

NEW! Storymap blog:

NEW! View our new Upper Susquehanna Conservation Alliance storymap!

10/7/2020: Black Rail final listing and 4(d) rule:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will publish our final listing and 4(d) rule for the eastern black rail on Thursday, October 8.  Effective November 9, the eastern black rail will be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. In October 2018, the Service conducted a Species Status Assessment (SSA) for the eastern black rail followed by the proposed rule to list the species as threatened. We are listing the rail as threatened because we have determined that it is likely to become in danger of extinction (endangered) in the foreseeable future. The final 4(d) rule provides standard protections, and it exempts incidental take resulting from conservation activities, mechanical treatment related to restoration or maintenance for safety and operational needs, wildfire control, and prescribed burns or mechanical treatments in soil management units or converted croplands. Additionally, the Service has determined that designating critical habitat for the eastern black rail is not prudent.

There are no recent documented breeding pairs of the black rail in New York.

Federal Register Link

Federal Register Final 404(d) Rule

9/1/20 Please see our new Chittenango ovate amber snail page!

6/10/20 Custom rare species coloring book available from us (pdf download)!

2/25/20 Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Draft Recovery Plan: The draft recovery plan for the Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is now open for public comment until March 27, 2020.

Access draft recovery plan newsletter.

12/9/19 Copenhagen Wind Habitat Conservation Plan & Draft Environmental Assessment:

See Federal Register Notice (pdf).

We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the receipt of an application from Copenhagen Wind Farm, LLC (applicant), for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The applicant requests the ITP for take of the federally endangered Indiana bat and threatened northern long-eared bat incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with operation of its Copenhagen Wind Farm, a 40-turbine wind farm that has been constructed in Jefferson and Lewis.  We invite comment on this application and the draft environmental assessment until January 9, 2020.

For all supporting documents, go to the Copenhagen HCP, Draft EA and Supporting files page.

Federal Register Notice of Initial Scoping - April 2015
Press Release - April 2015
Maps: Regional Project Location (pdf) and Project Area (pdf)
Project Planning Area (pdf)
Project Location (pdf)

8/19/19 Chautauqua Mussel Survey: NYFO staff Anne Secord, Sandie Doran and Tim Sullivan partnered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to survey for listed freshwater mussels in Chautauqua County.  An army of agency staff found hundreds of live and spent shells of 14 species in 3 reaches of the stream, updating records of several and documenting new occurrences of others. Of particular note was the observation of the federally listed endangered clubshell and rayed bean mussels.  The agencies previously worked together in 2017 to relocate tagged mussels from a bridge replacement construction zone in Pennsylvania to this stream.

Biologists surveying mussels in river

7/15/19 Tagged Mussels in Olean: Biologists Anne Secord and Tim Sullivan and Outreach Coordinator Brad Thomas visited a site along the Allegheny River in Olean, NY to assist surveyors in tagging mussels collected in an area proposed to be dredged of contaminated material. Among the mussels tagged were two federally listed endangered species, the rayed bean and the northern riffleshell. Over 350 mussels were tagged in a brief time with many hundreds more to go.  

6/13/19 Sturgeon Egg Collection: NYFO staff assisted the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in their annual lake sturgeon egg collection effort as part of the lake sturgeon restoration program.  Fingerlings will be raised at a NYSDEC hatchery, as well as the Service’s Genoa National Fish Hatchery (GNFH) in Wisconsin and will be stocked back in the St. Lawrence River system this fall. Funding provided by the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund assists the NYSDEC and helps support the GNFH’s cooperation. 

Tagged sturgeon in tank

5/6/19 Purple Martin Nesting Structures: NYFO Biologist Amy Roe and Outreach Coordinator Brad Thomas assisted New York State Department of Environmental Conservation with the installation of purple martin nesting structures along the Niagara River on Grand Island, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls, New York.  Purple martins are the largest North American representative of the swallow family and nest communally. Eastern North American purple martins nest almost exclusively in birdhouses. The nesting structures were purchased with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding.  

Biologists with purple martin nesting structure after assembly.

4/12/19 Available now! Upper Susquehanna River Basin Study Fish & Wildlife Coordination Act Report - Comprehensive Flood Damage Reduction Study (4 MB PDF)

4/8/19 Check out our new 2018 Chittenango ovate amber snail educational booklet! Designed in conjunction with SUNY ESF, Rosamond Gifford Zoo and other dedicated partners.

3/19/19 New York Field Office Hosts 9th Annual Upper Susquehanna Conservation Alliance Meeting

The New York Field Office hosted the 9th annual Upper Susquehanna Conservation Alliance Meeting with conservationists representing 65 organizations. The gathering kicked off with a presentation from Congressman Anthony Brindisi of New York’s 24th Congressional District, as he invited the attendees to collaborate with his office on conservation planning. The event also included small group break-out sessions and presentations on recent accomplishments, such as the completion of the Service’s report to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Baltimore District and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on environmentally restorative flood management techniques, the protection of more than 400 acres of public land, the completion of 8 projects for Eastern Brook Trout, and the opening of 2.5 miles of stream for aquatic connectivity.

David Stilwell speaking in front of Anthony Brindisi

11/26/2018 Restoration for the Onondaga Lake Natural Resource Damage Assessment is well underway. For more information go here.

Backhoe in action on Onondaga Lake

10/11/2018 First Recorded Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Hatchlings in New York State

In Queens, NY, an adult Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was observed in July 2018 depositing eggs on West Beach on the Rockaway Peninsula located within the Gateway National Recreation Area, National Park Service (NPS).  This is the first recorded case of a Kemp’s ridley, which primarily nests in the Gulf of Mexico and southeast United States, nesting and depositing eggs in New York State. During the week of September 24, ninety-six hatchlings from this nest crawled out to sea.

Kemp's ridley sea turtle hatchlings

Photo: Steve Sinkevich, USFWS 2018

Kemp’s ridley is the smallest of all sea turtles and critically endangered. It was listed in the United States as endangered throughout its range in 1970.  The Service assisted, coordinated and consulted with the NPS along with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.

12/8/2017 Notice of Intent to prepare a draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Buffalo River, Buffalo, New York; request for restoration project suggestions 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Tuscarora Nation, and the State of New York Department of Environmental Conservation (collectively the Trustees) are issuing this notice of intent to prepare a draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for Buffalo River natural resource restoration pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) regulations. The Trustees are requesting public input in identifying specific restoration project ideas to assist the Trustees in the development of the draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Buffalo River, in Buffalo, New York.  In addition to ideas for feasible restoration projects, the draft Restoration Plan will provide criteria and guidance for the Trustees to use in the selection of feasible natural resource restoration projects; it will also identify and evaluate the environmental impacts associated with restoration actions that may be implemented.  More information on the Buffalo River NRDAR, this notice, and the draft Restoration Plan can be found at:  

9/15/2017 Snail survey & release fuels the media! On September 13th, we moved the Chittenango ovate amber snail closer to recovery by releasing 20 captive individuals to the wild.  SUNY ESF technician Cody Gilbertson, has been rearing the snails for 8 months before their release.  The project is funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail close-up

Photo credit: Justin Dalaba, USFWS

Video: Near-Extinct Snail Coaxed into Reproduction at ESF

Biologists searching snail habitat

Photo credit: Justin Dalaba, USFWS

7/17/2017 Service Provides 1 Million to States to Combat Bat-Killing Fungal Disease: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced over $1 million in grants to 37 states and the District of Columbia to help combat white-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that has killed millions of North American bats in recent years. Funds will help states find ways to prevent the spread of WNS while increasing survival rates of afflicted species.

The full press release can be viewed here.

6/8/2017 Annual Lake Sturgeon Egg Take: With supportive funding from the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund, a partnership effort between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the New York Power Authority, aims to recover sturgeon populations within the St. Lawrence River. A crew of NYFO biologists helped with the annual lake sturgeon egg take on the St. Lawrence River. The eggs collected and raised at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin and the Oneida Lake Fish Cultural Station in New York to be stocked as fall fingerlings.

See the New York Time's story.

Collecting Sturgeon eggs

Photo credit: Justin Dalaba, USFWS

3/7/2017 Notice of Final Settlement with Atlantic Richfield Company for Natural Resource Damages at the Sinclair Refinery Superfund Site: Located in Allegany County, New York under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The Settlement Agreement was finalized on February 28, 2017. The Natural Resource Trustees (USFWS and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation) will use $264,500 of the $273,500 settlement to fund projects to restore, rehabilitate, replace, and/or acquire the equivalent of the natural resources injured at the Site. This includes the costs of restoration planning and oversight activities.

More information about the Superfund Site and Settlement can be found at:

1/27/2017 New Biological Technical Publication - Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Great Lakes Basin: A Report on Sediment, Water, and Fish Tissue Chemistry Collected in 2010-2012: The report summarizes sediment and water chemistry data collected from 2010 to 2012 and fish liver tissue chemistry data collected in 2012; characterizes the sampling locations with respect to potential sources of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in the landscape; and provides an initial interpretation of the variation in CEC concentrations relative to the identified sources. 

The Biological Technical Report can be found at:

More information about the CEC Project can be found at:




11/16/2021 Honeywell and Others to Fund Restoration of Natural Resources and Conserve Natural Habitat Along the Buffalo River in Buffalo, New York

The United States, the State of New York, and the Tuscarora Nation, as Trustees for natural resources, lodged on November 15, 2021, in the U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, a proposed Consent Decree that resolves natural resource damage claims against Honeywell International, Inc. and others for the Buffalo River, New York. The proposed settlement,  with a value of approximately $6.25 million, will restore natural resources and their services, and preserve, in perpetuity, over more than 70 acres of natural undeveloped habitat along the Buffalo River in Buffalo, New York, benefiting fish and wildlife resources and the City of Buffalo community, including low income and minority groups. The proposed settlement is subject to a public comment period (open now through December 2021) and final court approval.

DOJ Press Release

A link to the Consent Decree can be provided using this URL:


Bog Buck Moth – Proposed Listing Rule (NY) – On October 14, 2021, the Service published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to list the bog buck moth (Hemileuca maia menyanthevora) (= H.iroquois ) as an endangered species. Publication of the proposed rule opened a public comment period, which closes December 13, 2021. The proposed rule is available at For more information, contact Sandra Doran in our New York Field Office at

5/18/2021 Pollinator Garden Handbook

Access a digital copy of our new Pollinator Garden Handbook (pdf)! This workbook is primarily for children in grades K-5.

8/3/2021 Ithaca Children's Garden Banner

The Ithaca Children’s Garden recently unveiled a new banner installation called, “Inspiring Environmental Leaders.” The banners feature environmental leaders from historically underrepresented backgrounds who were chosen by local youth to be featured in this wonderful new exhibit at the garden. Find out more about the exhibit online and be sure to stop by and see it for yourself in person too! This was made possible by collaboration between the New York Field Office, the Ithaca Children’s Garden, and The Learning Farm.

4/26/2021 American Hart's-Tongue Fern Propagation

For several years SUNY-ESF and New York State Parks have carefully developed a method to propagate Amercan Hart’s-tongue Fern from spores to augment and establish new populations for recovery of the species. This only took around 100 years to figure out! However, recently New York State Parks reported that they had explored and were successful at producing plants from a tissue culture method of using cuttings from the base of the fronds. This is particularly important as some of our most at-risk populations of the species are so small and depauperate that they no longer produce spores. Using this new technique may allow us to successfully collect and propagate this populations and preserve their genetic diversity!

12/15/2020: Monarch butterfly becomes candidate for listing under ESA:

On December 17, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will publish a 12-month finding in the Federal Register in response to a petition to list the monarch. After a thorough assessment of the monarch butterfly’s status, the Service has found that adding the monarch butterfly to the list of threatened and endangered species is warranted but precluded by work on higher-priority listing actions. With this decision, the monarch becomes a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act, and its status will be reviewed each year until it is no longer a candidate.   
More information about the 12-month finding and how to help conserve monarch butterflies is available here:

9/28/20: Longsolid and Round hickorynut listing proposals:

Following rigorous scientific reviews of the best available science, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the longsolid and round hickorynut freshwater mussels, found in streams and rivers in the Eastern U.S., as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  

With today’s action, the Service is also proposing critical habitat and special rules under section 4(d) of the ESA that tailor protections for each species, along with economic analyses on the costs associated with critical habitat designation. The Service found a third eastern freshwater mussel, the purple lilliput, does not warrant ESA protection. 

The longsolid occurs in The Allegheny River drainage in western NY.  The round hickorynut is extirpated from the State.

Press Release

Federal Register 

Comments due December 28, 2020

8/3/20: Copenhagen HCP Page posted!

5/27/20 Outreach blog on Snail-Induced, Stress and Success:

2/15/20 29th Hydro Settlement Signed in NY: NYFO signed the Upper Mechanicville Offer Settlement, the 29th settlement at NYFO. Located on the Hudson River, the project will provide downstream passage for American eels and other fish species as well as a ladder for upstream eel passage.

12/23/2019 New podcast Interview with Mike Serviss on American Hart's-Tongue Fern!

9/2/19 Snailed it! Biologist, Robyn Niver and Outreach Coordinator, Bradley Thomas, assisted with the final Chittenango ovate amber snail (COAS) survey of the season.  During the survey we released 7 wild-caught COAS intended to be founders for the captive population and released 10 captive-reared COAS.

Captive-reared snails being released from bin.

6/20/19 Fish Sampling Demos for Students: Gian Dodici and Justin Ecret demonstrated fish sampling techniques and share some fish biology with elementary school students from the Dryden Elementary School district. These demonstrations were part of the Trout in the Classroom environmental program where students stock trout that they have raised in their classroom into a nearby creek.

Biologist demonstrating fish sampling techniques for students

5/13/19 Annual Envirothon A Success! NYFO Biologist Amy Roe and Outreach Coordinator Brad Thomas represented the NYFO for the 10th year at the Cortland County Envirothon.  Each year, local high school students compete in this outdoor environmental competition which tests their knowledge in six subject areas: soils, forestry, aquatics (NYFO writes the exam), wildlife, current environmental issues, and problem solving.  Envirothon is sponsored by Soil and Water Conservation Districts.  

Large group of children posing near busses

4/11/19 Visit the New Frosted Elfin Website!

4/2/2019 Missouri Population of Eastern Hellbender Proposed for Endangered Status - Other populations in decline but not currently warranting Endangered Species Act protection.

After conducting a thorough species status review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that most populations of the eastern hellbender are not in danger of extinction and do not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, the eastern hellbender population in Missouri is a distinct population segment (DPS) and the Service is proposing to list this DPS as endangered.

News release


Federal Register Notice

2/15/2019 Annual Fire & Ice Festival a Success!

Fire plume from fire & ice festival

Numerous members of the New York Field Office partnered with the Ithaca Children’s Garden to host the annual Festival of Fire and Ice. NYFO employees moved snow into a giant pile for the children to play on, tended the three bonfires and kept the onlookers safe, and helped all throughout the event. More than 600 children and families from the urban Ithaca community participated in the event, which celebrates the importance of getting out into nature in winter. Thanks to this ongoing partnership between the Ithaca Children’s Garden and the New York Field Office, children were able to play in the snow and ice, watch the fire and fire dancers, and enjoy hot chocolate, smores and many other outdoor activities in the below-freezing weather.

Kids playing on large snowpile

11/6/2018 Neonicotinoid Pesticides in NY/PA streams report:

Biologist sampling for neonecotinoids in a river

You may have heard about a new type of pesticide called neonicotinoids. They are increasingly being used to treat our crops, including crop seeds before they are planted. They end up in farm soil, in wild plants growing near crop fields and in our streams. We found neonicotinoids in almost half of the streams we sampled in New York and Pennsylvania. In two New York streams, neonicotinoids were present at concentrations that could reduce the abundance of beneficial stream insects like mayflies. In one Pennsylvania stream, we found these pesticides in freshwater mussels and in one New York stream, we found them in crayfish. There is also preliminary evidence that neonicotinoids in crops or wild plants may impair the growth and development of butterflies, some of the very insects we need to pollinate our crops.

A report is available here (1MB pdf).

6/7/2018 Aquatic Connectivity in the Genesee River
New York Field Office Partners for Fish and Wildlife staff gave a presentation to the Town of Caneadea members, local farmers, the Genesee RiverWatch, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) on stream restoration practices focusing on adding large trees with intact root wads to stabilize stream banks (instead of rock or rip rap). 

Genesee River bank

After the presentation, NYFO staff visited the site of four eroding streambanks near the Towns of Caneadea and Angelica.  The restoration of eroding streambanks is a preferred restoration option within the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Draft Restoration Plan for the Genesee River.  The goal is to finalize the Restoration Plan for the Genesee River and request project proposals in 2018 and select projects for funding and begin restoration project implementation in 2019.

10/4/2017 Service Finds Migratory Songbird Does Not Warrant Endangered Species Act Protection

The Bicknell’s thrush, a migratory songbird that summers in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, does not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act. Although the agency expects the species to face some range-wide losses in its forested habitat, a review completed earlier this summer suggests that populations are likely to persist through the foreseeable future.The Service found that temperature and precipitation patterns are changing, and deforestation is expected to continue, but these threats are not likely to place the Bicknell’s thrush in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future, considered for this decision to be the next 30 years.

More information -

5/16/2017 Questions and Answers Regarding Habitat and Beach Management at Smith Point County Park, Suffolk County, New York: Recently there have been several statements and inquiries made regarding our involvement in Smith Point County Park vegetation and off-road vehicle management as outlined in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet Stabilization Project. As a result, we are providing clarity regarding our role.

Questions and answers can be viewed here.

4/24/2017 Officials Propose Projects for Restoring Wildlife Habitat and Recreation on Onondaga Lake: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are considering a series of projects to restore and protect wildlife habitat and water quality and increase recreational opportunities at Onondaga Lake. The draft restoration plan and environmental assessment has been released for public comment through July 17th, 2017.

For more info, see:

Biologist in boat with binoculars

1/12/2017 Notice of Availability for Public Comment - Proposed Settlement with Atlantic Richfield Company for Natural Resource Damages at the Sinclair Refinery Superfund Site: Located in Allegany County, New York under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

The Federal Register Notice can be found at:

More information about the Superfund Site and Settlement can be found at:


See our other updates at the Newsroom!

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Last updated: November 16, 2021
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.