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.

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).

Bat, snail, and popular plant may need endangered species protection

Venus flytrap at Holly Shelter Gameland, NC June 2, 2016, by Dale Suiter, FWS.

December 20, 2017

More research is needed on three species before U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials can determine whether to add them to the threatened and endangered species list. More scientific and commercial information will be compiled for the Venus flytrap, located in the Carolinas; oblong rocksnail, located in Alabama; and tricolored bat, located in 38 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Service and its partners will continue to research the species’ life history, biological requirements and habitats to develop a Species Status Assessment (SSA) and 12-month finding. Read the full story...

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries Seek Public Input on Conservation Agreements Policy under the Endangered Species Act.

November 27, 2017

The agencies are committed to strengthening the delivery of voluntary conservation tools, such as Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAA), by making it easier to work together on conservation efforts, thus are soliciting public review and comment on whether to revise the existing CCAA policy and accompanying regulations.

Public comment period open until January 22, 2018. For more information, check out these resources:

Service biologist recognized at the 2017 NC Prescribed Fire Council annual meeting


Raleigh Field Office biologist, Susan Ladd Miller received the NC Prescribed Fire Council Burner of the Year Award! The distinction recognizes individuals for service to the Council and outstanding support for the continued use of prescribed fire as a land management tool in North Carolina. Congratulations Susan! For more information about Susan's work visit the 2017 fire council awards page http://bit.ly/2fLx39u.



Witness History at the 2017 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest

The 2017 Federal Duck Stamp Contest will be held September 15 and 16 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, hosted by the school's College of Natural Resources and the College of Fine Arts and Communications. The winning art selected by a panel of five judges will appear on the 2018-2019 Federal Duck Stamp, which will raise millions of dollars for habitat conservation.

Join us for the contest judging or other events such as a decoy carving contest " exhibition, educational hunting and outdoor activities, a screening of " The Million Dollar Duck," and much more.

Join Us

Artwork will be on display starting at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 15. Viewing of the artwork and judging is free and open to the public. We hope you'll join us! Can't make it in person? Tune in online »

Learn More
Buy Duck Stamp

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finds Yellow Lance Mussel Warrants Endangered Species Act Protection

A freshwater mussel native to waters from Maryland to North Carolina along the Atlantic seaboard is declining. Recent surveys showed the yellow lance mussel has lost 57 percent of its historical range. As a result, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing that it be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Comment period open until June 5, 2017. Read the complete story...

For more information:

Download the frequently asked questions(pdf) for this proposal,

Review the Yellow Lance Species Status Assessment (pdf) or visit the yellow lance species profile.


Manatee Reclassified from Endangered to Threatened as Habitat Improves and Population Expands – Existing Federal Protections Remain in Place


On the heels of Manatee Appreciation Day, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the downlisting of the West Indian manatee from endangered to threatened. Notable increases in manatee populations and improvements in its habitat allowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to change the species’ status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Find out more. Find out more

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Last Updated: March 12, 2018