Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office
Conserving the Nature of America

Raleigh Field Office

Welcome to the Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office web site. We work to protect endangered and threatened species, migratory birds and migratory fish and their habitat in North Carolina. To accomplish our mission the Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office has these programs: Coastal, Environmental Contaminants, Endangered Species, Project Planning, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife.

USFWS Partners Program awarded at the 2018 Biennial Longleaf Conference.

Photo by USFWS

October 25, 2018

Congratulations to the North Carolina Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program team of John Ann Shearer, Laura Fogo and Kendall Smith for being recognized by The Longleaf Alliance  with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service team achievement award.

 

Fish and Wildlife Service proposes threatened status for declining mussel

Atlantic pigtoes by Lilibeth Serrano, USFWS. Marion, NC 9/14/2018

October 10, 2018

The Service will accept comments received or postmarked on or before December 10, 2018.

Threatened species status proposed for the eastern black rail and the black-capped petrel. 

Eastern Black Rail, by SCDNTE, 2017

October 5, 2018

The Service will accept comments received or postmarked on or before December 10, 2018.

Eastern black rail

The "little devil," or Black-capped petrel. Photo by Kate Sutherland, late fall 2014, off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC.

Black-Capped Petrel

 

Service collected rare plant seeds for safekeeping, before Hurricane Florence made landfall.

Seabeach amaranth. Photo by Dale Suiter

September 25, 2018

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collected seeds from the threatened seabeach amaranth (Amaranthus pumilus), in anticipation of Hurricane Florence impacting the NC coast. Seabeach amaranth is a rare plant on beaches from SC to MA. One of its best populations is located at Emerald Isle, NC within the projected cone of impact. Plants were expected to be washed away by coastal erosion and flooding. The collected seeds will be used in a restoration project at nearby Cape Lookout National Seashore and potentially to augment the Emerald Isle population if surveys indicate that is needed. To learn more about seabeach amaranth go to ...

Service reopens comment period on new management rule for red wolves in North Carolina.

Red wolf (Canis rufus) with pups. Photo by ValerieCC BY-NC-ND 2.0

New Deadline: August 28, 2018

August 14, 2018

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period on a proposed rule to replace the existing regulations governing the nonessential experimental population of the red wolf under section 10(j) of the EndangeredSpecies Act (ESA). . Read the full story...

 

 

Public offers comments on red wolf proposal

Joe Madison, Program Manager for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s North Carolina Red Wolf Non-essential Experimental Population in the Manteo Field Office answering questions about proposed changes. Manteo, North Carolina.
7/10/18 By: L. Serrano, USFWS

July 12, 2018

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted a public hearing on July 10, 2018, regarding the endangered red wolf. The goal was to gather input on proposed revisions to the special rule that governs the red wolf non-essential experimental population in eastern North Carolina, under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The ESA requires the Service to accept public comments on certain, proposals, and the public's right to express their views, a hallmark of democracy, was exercised. Seventy-two people attended the event. Twenty-one expressed their views, and those comments become part of the permanent record. Opposing views were expressed, but all participants were respectful and civil. Before the formal hearing started, the public had one-on-one access to key Service personnel, including managers and biologists that work on the red wolf program. 

The comment period ends on July 30, 2018, so there is still opportunity to provide more input:

  • Submit online at http://www.regulations.gov. (FWS-R4-ES-2018-0035) and follow the link to “Submit a Formal Comment”
  • Send your comments in the mail to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R4-ES-2018-0035, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803

More Information

2018 Earth Day

April 16, 2018

Celebrate Earth Day with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Staff from various offices will be attending events by our conservation partners throughout North Carolina, April 21-22, 2018. Come out and learn ways you can make a better planet for fish, wildlife, their habitats and people. Meet our staff and share your thoughts with us. Follow this link for more details.

Edenton National Fish Hatchery facility tour, NC
Earth Fair OBX V1, Dowdy Park in Nag Head, NC
Family Fishing Fiesta, Jordan Lake State Park, White Oak Recreation Area, Apex, NC

The yellow lance is a clam federally listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The mussel’s colorful name actually comes from its two bright yellow hinged and elongated shells. Yellow lance photo by NCWRC

April 3, 2018

For some, the name yellow lance may conjure up images of medieval knights jousting.  For those more familiar with this freshwater mussel, its name may instead be a reminder that conservationists and partners have more work to do to improve water quality in several streams and rivers across the Mid-Atlantic United States where the yellow lance is slowly disappearing.

To safeguard this species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added the yellow lance to the list of threatened wildlife protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on April 3, 2018, effective on May 3, 2018, 30 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register.  Threatened species are animals and plants that are likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. Endangered species are animals and plants that are in danger of becoming extinct. Read the full story.. 

Partnerships in Conservation for Central and Eastern North Carolina

Click on this image to read in a browser (external link)

2018 Raleigh Field Office Update

April 2, 2018

Our 2018 conservation work is in full swing with follow-through on efforts from previous years and new conservation ventures. In this digital publication you will find updates about the conservation work we did last year, much of which is still in progress. Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office staff are dedicated to using the best available science to further the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) mission. Click on the image to read the interactive publication online (external link) or download this file (PDF 2.2MB).

 

Marines and woodpeckers share the high ground

John Hammond, Fish and Wildlife Biologist. Photo by Dan Chapman, USFWS.

At Camp Lejeune, an endangered species thrives amidst simulated battles

March 26, 2018

Above the distant din of 50-caliber machine gun fire and Cobra attack helicopters, John Hammond hears the unmistakable sound of a red-cockaded woodpecker. He is approaching Combat Town, where U.S. Marines routinely assault a mock Iraqi village at Camp Lejeune.

It is an incongruous spot for an endangered bird to make its home – the middle of a war zone where artillery boom and tanks prowl. Nothing, though, seems out of the ordinary to Hammond, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Read the complete story.

 

Fish and Wildlife Service starting 5-Year reviews of two North Carolina plants

March 12, 2018

The Service is starting 5-Year Reviews of eight protected plants and animals. Two of the plants we will review, the smooth coneflower and Cooley’s meadowrue are in North Carolina. We request any new information about the status of these plants. To help this process, we published a Federal Register Notice. Please visit the notice to submit input by May 11, 2018.

Cooley’s meadowrue occurs in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Smooth coneflower currently occurs in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

What is a 5-Year Review? 
Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Service maintains a list of federally endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. Under section 4(c)(2)(A) of the ESA, we are required to conduct a review of these federally listed species at least once every 5 years. We conduct these reviews to ensure that our classification of each species on the lists is accurate. We account for the projects that help the species, the persistence and severity of threats and determine whether we should change the listing status.

 

Expediting Review of Beach Nourishment Projects in Coastal North Carolina

Loggerhead hatchling by USFWS/Becky Skiba.

A change in sediment color on a beach could change the natural incubation temperatures of sea turtle nests in an area and alter natural sex ratios.

February 2, 2018

Storms, high wind, and tidal changes erode beaches, diminish the area available for recreation, and put at risk homes, businesses and critical infrastructure. Communities on the coast often rely on beach nourishment to overcome beach erosion. To help expedite the evaluation of a beach nourishment project's impacts to threatened and endangered species, members of the Raleigh Field Office's Project Planning team worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to standardize their approach to assessing impacts to wildlife resources from placement of sand on North Carolina beaches and avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating those impacts.

The Statewide Programmatic Sand Placement Biological Opinion (SPBO) created a mechanism to expedite the ESA Section 7 consultation process for beach nourishment, navigation projects, and other activities involving placement of sand on the beach. This is a big time saver and better means to achieve the seasonal work preferences, monitoring, and implementation of the Best Management Practices (BMPs) that we typically request. Coastal communities may now incorporate the requirements of the SPBO into their permit applications and planning documents. For more information please write to Kathryn_matthews@fws.gov or call 919-856-4520, x 27.  Also, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for additional details. To see what others have to say about this, read NC DEQ announcement and follow this link to listen to a story by NPR Radio East. (PDF version).


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Last Updated: October 25, 2018