Serving western North Carolina and southern Appalachia by conserving our most imperiled species and working with federal agencies to conserve plants, fish, and wildlife.

About Us

From the top of North Carolina's Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the eastern United States, one can see where streams flow east to the Atlantic Ocean and west to the Mississippi River. Across that landscape are caves and abandoned mines used by bats, wetlands that are home to carnivorous plants and North America's smallest turtle, and rivers rich in a diversity of fishes, mussels, and other aquatic life. We are stewards of those plants and animals, working with partners to conserve the most imperiled of those plants and animals and helping other federal agencies conserve our natural heritage.

 

What We Do

The conservation of our nation’s most imperiled species is at the heart of our office’s work. It drives what we do, from reviewing federally funded or authorized projects, to proactively working recover rare species. All of our work is done in conjunction with partners, including state wildlife agencies, tribes, other federal agencies, private industry, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations.

Our Organization

As a field office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we are charged with implementing certain of the Service's programs. Below you'll find a list, with links to more information about the programs we carryout for western North Carolina and southern Appalachia.

The Ecological Services Program works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, we work with federal, state, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to...
We provide national leadership in the recovery and conservation of our nation's imperiled plant and animal species, 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 a range of public...
We use the best scientific information available to determine whether to add a species to (list) or remove from (delist) the federal lists of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. We also determine whether already listed species should be reclassified from threatened to endangered (uplist...
We work with partners to conserve the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend, developing and maintaining conservation programs for these species to improve their status to the point that Endangered Species Act protection is no longer necessary for survival. This...
We assess the conservation status of species, using the best scientific information available, and identify those that warrant listing as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A species that we find warrants a proposal to list as endangered or threatened, but listing is...
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides free technical and financial assistance to landowners, managers, tribes, corporations, schools and nonprofits interested in improving wildlife habitat on their land. Since 1987, we have helped more than 60,000 landowners restore more than 7...

Our Species

Our staff are experts on several federal threatened and endangered species of the upper North Carolina Piedmont and southern Appalachia. Learn more about the species that are the focus of our conservation efforts.

The northern flying squirrel is a small nocturnal gliding mammal some 26O to 3O5 millimeters (1O to 12 inches) in total length and 95-14O grams (3-5 ounces) in weight. It possesses a long, broad, flattened tail (8O percent of head and body length), prominent eyes, and dense, silky fur. The broad...
FWS Focus

Long, glossy fur, light brown to brown. Ears dark, usually black; longer than in any other myotis; when laid forward extend 1/4 cm (7 mm) beyond nose. Tragus long and thin. Calcar keeled.

FWS Focus

The Indiana bat is a medium-sized Myotis, closely resembling the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) but differing in coloration. Its fur is a dull grayish chestnut rather than bronze, with the basal portion of the hairs on the back a dull-lead color. This bat's underparts are pinkish to...

FWS Focus

Plecotus townsendii is a medium-sized bat with forearms measuring 39 to 48 millimeters (mm) long and weighing 7 to 12 grams. Total body length is 98 mm, the tail is 46 mm, and the hind foot is 11 mm long. This bat's long ears (over 2.5 centimeters) and facial glands on either side of the snout...

FWS Focus

The Carolina heelsplitter is a rare species of freshwater mussel endemic to the Carolinas.  It was federally listed as endangered in 1993, and in 2002, six critical habitat units (one in North Carolina, five in South Carolina) were designated for the species.  Recent survey efforts...

FWS Focus

Green pitcher-plant is a carnivorous herb arising from moderately branched rhizomes that are 1-1.5 cm (0.4-0.6 in.) in diameter. Leaves are of two types: pitchers and phyllodia. The pitcher leaves (tubular leaves), which appear in spring, are 20-75 cm (8-30 in.) long, 6-10 cm (2.4-4 in.) in...

FWS Focus

Swamp pink has smooth, oblong, dark green leaves that form an evergreen rosette. In spring, some rosettes produce a flowering stalk that can grow over 3 feet tall. The stalk is topped by a 1 to 3-inch-long cluster of 30 to 50 small, fragrant, pink flowers dotted with pale blue anthers. The...

FWS Focus
The Virginia spiraea is found in the Appalachian Plateaus or the southern Blue Ridge Mountains in Alabama, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Georgia. It no longer occurs in Pennsylvania. This plant was first discovered in Virginia in 1985. Most of the...
FWS Focus

Projects and Research

Working with partners to conserve plants and animals from the top of the highest mountains in the eastern United States to mountain rivers rich with life is the core of what we do. Learn more about some of our efforts.

Our Library

Resources for those seeking more information.

Get Involved

As a small office with a large work area, partnering with others is a foundation of our work - whether it be funding research, coordinating on-the-ground conservation efforts, or shepherding the next generation of conservation leaders. There may be opportunities for you to get involved conserving some of the rarest species and special habitats of southern Appalachia, either with us, or with one of our myriad partners. 

 

Location and Contact Information