What We Do
Our operations are guided by a Regional Director, Deputy Regional Director, and a team of Assistant Regional Directors. Meet our regional leadership.
Across the southeastern United States, we carry out the Service mission by:
- Protecting and recovering hundreds of southeastern species protected as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act,
- Gathering the best available scientific and commercial data for protected species to perform recovery actions,
- Preserving healthy habitats for wildlife and opportunities for public recreation at 131 National Wildlife Refuges,
- Investigating wildlife crimes such as wildlife trafficking and the illegal shooting of protected species,
- Producing fish for stocking across southeastern rivers,
- Conducting research on the health of southeastern habitats,
- Consulting with state and federal partners on ways to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people,
- Permitting certain public and private development activities to ensure they do not jeopardize the continued existence of endangered species,
- Proactively pursuing opportunities to conserve species at-risk of becoming listed as threatened or endangered,
- Working with private landowners to restore, improve and protect fish and wildlife habitat on their lands,
- Distributing over $250 million annually in grants to state conservation agencies, and
- Communicating and educating the American public about wildlife conservation via social media, educational programs, public hearings, and other forms of outreach.
Latest Stories and Topics
Projects and Research
In 2022, the Service determined the eastern and western portions of the gopher tortoise’s range meet the criteria of Distinct Population Segments (DPS) under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Service found the eastern DPS no longer meets the criteria for ESA listing and therefore withdrew the eastern DPS as a candidate. The gopher tortoise is protected by state regulations range-wide. If state protections for the species change in the future, especially in the core areas of the species, a reevaluation of the adequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms may be required. Additionally, the Service confirmed that the western DPS continued to meet the definition of a threatened species under the ESA. The determination was made after a rigorous analysis of the best available scientific data and commercial information. Read more about our Notice of Findings on the Gopher Tortoise Project Page.
Red Wolf Recovery Program
Once common throughout the Eastern and South Central United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the early 20th century as a result of intensive predator control programs and the degradation and alteration of the species’ habitat. When the red wolf was designated as an endangered species in 1967, the Service initiated the Red Wolf Recovery Program in an effort to conserve and recover the species.