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.

COVID-19 Update

Due to concerns about the coronavirus, all employees of the Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office are currently teleworking in an effort to curb the spread.  However, our office is still conducting business.  Here's how to contact us:

Since hard copy mail may not be delivered/seen in a timely manner, patrons are advised to send correspondence directly to a staff member via email.  You can find our staff directory at https://www.fws.gov/raleigh/contact_us.html. If you don't know exactly who to direct your email to, please send it to Raleigh_es@fws.gov 

In addition, all of our employees should be reachable by telephone by calling their office phone number as we are checking voice-mail periodically. 

Service finalizes listing the eastern black rail as threatened under the Endangered Species Act

Eastern black rail in flight – Texas, April 2016. Photo © Jesse Huth, used with permission, Huth Avian Services.

October 7, 2020

The eastern black rail, a small, secretive marsh bird historically known to exist in 35 states east of the Rocky Mountains, Puerto Rico, Canada, Brazil, and several countries in the Caribbean and Central America, will be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The final listing includes a rule that will help ensure beneficial conservation actions continue, while minimizing impacts to landowners and other stakeholders. Critical habitat designation for the eastern black rail was deemed not prudent.  Read the full story...

Proposed downlisting of the red-cockaded woodpecker from endangered to threatened


September 28, 2020

Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Fort Benning Garrison Commander, Col. Matthew Scalia, were joined by public and private representatives today to celebrate the proposed downlisting of the red-cockaded woodpecker from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In the Southeast, no fewer than eight Army installations, four Air Force installations and one Marine Corps installation all made commitments to recovery goals for red-cockaded woodpeckers, which is a cardinal-sized bird, 8 to 9 inches in height with a sharp beak, living on land they manage. Read the complete story...

Proposed rule (PDF link)

Service reopens public comment period on proposed listing and critical habitat for declining freshwater mussel

Atlantic pigtoe from Swift Creek (Neuse River Basin), NC; by Tom Dickinson, Three Oaks Engineerin

September 21, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period on a proposal to list the Atlantic pigtoe, a freshwater mussel native to rivers of the Atlantic seaboard, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service is soliciting public input on changes made to the critical habitat that was proposed at the time of the proposed listing in 2018. Critical habitat is defined by the ESA as the specific geographic areas that contain features essential to the conservation of listed species and that may require special management and protection.
Read the complete story


Reopening comment period for the Carolina madtom and the Neuse River waterdog

Neuse River Waterdog by Jeff Beane.

July 30, 2020

Public comment sought on changes to proposed critical habitat and proposed changes to 4(d) rule the Neuse River waterdog; Carolina madtom proposal remains unchanged. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is reopening the public comment period on a combined proposal to list the Neuse River waterdog salamander and the Carolina madtom catfish in North Carolina under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In May 2019, the Service proposed listing the Carolina madtom as endangered and the Neuse River waterdog as threatened following a rigorous scientific review. Critical habitat was also proposed for both species.

DEQ, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Lower Cape Fear River watershed, and specifically near the Town of Navassa. Photo by FWS

release final $12 million Phase 1 Restoration Plan for Kerr-McGee site in Navassa

July 1, 2020

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acting as Natural Resource Trustees, have released the final Phase 1 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment that identifies 10 projects, totaling $12 million, to offset environmental harm due to releases at the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp. Superfund site in Navassa.

Read the full story to find out about project selection criteria.

Buyer beware: Do not buy poached Venus flytrap plants

Venus flytrap in the wild. Photo by Dale Suiter, FWS, June 2016

June 17, 2020

Venus flytrap is North Carolina’s official carnivorous plant. Throughout the world, it is recognized as an iconic insect-eating plant and is a popular potted plant that has captured our imaginations.

The Venus flytrap is endemic to North and South Carolina, but it has been introduced to a few other states. Unfortunately, in the wild, populations continue to decline. The North Carolina Plant Conservation Program lists the Venus flytrap as a species of Special Concern-Vulnerable in North Carolina, and poaching of this plant became a felony in 2014. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service promotes Venus flytrap research and is evaluating a petition to list the plant as an endangered or threatened plant under the Endangered Species Act. Read the full story...

Service and Partners Celebrate American Wetlands
Month Throughout May

Salt marsh by L. Serrano, USFWS, Carteret County, North Carolina, 10/5/18

May 14, 2020

Throughout May, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners will celebrate the history, diversity and importance of wetlands in America, as well as the people, collaborations and cutting-edge tools involved in conserving them. Learn what wetlands do for you and how the Service is helping conserve them through our podcasts, stories, interactive tools and more. Press release.

The picture on the right of a beautiful marsh was taken from the boardwalk behind the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Coastal saltwater marshes like this one are ecological powerhouses! They provide habitat to many species, protect our shorelines from erosion and improve water quality! It is the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wetlands Inventory to map these important resources to promote their understanding and conservation. Learn more at www.fws.gov/wetlands.

Celebrate Earth Day 

April 22, 2020

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and learn ways you can engage to make a better planet for fish, wildlife, their habitats and people.

This year, as the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we offers ways with our programs and partners to take care of mother Earth and to help ourselves and the planet thrive. We all can take steps to help protect the environment. Find out more...

Video: https://youtu.be/wM8DkeDjDSw

Virtual activities:  https://www.fws.gov/home/earthday/events.html

Eco-tips: https://www.fws.gov/home/earthday/ecotips.html

Service proposes critical habitat for yellow lance mussel

February 11, 2020

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to designate critical habitat for the yellow lance freshwater mussel within Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, including 154 river miles of habitat that overlap with other federally protected mussels and fish. Only areas currently occupied by the mussel, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2018, are included in the proposal. A draft economic analysis on the impacts of this action indicates minimal costs for stakeholders and private landowners. Read the full story...

North Carolina Boy Scouts pledge stewardship of the environment

The Cape Fear Council of the Boy Scouts of America has been helping restore longleaf pine. Photo by Jacob Jay.

January 8, 2020

Reveille sounds. Long lines of uniformed Boy Scouts circle the flagpole. Pledges and singing follow. Out beyond this morning ritual, stately young longleaf pine trees proudly peek over swaying grasses. The Cape Fear Council of the Boy Scouts of America is restoring the longleaf pine ecosystem and awakening its rich history at Camp Bowers in eastern North Carolina..

Read the full story...

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Last Updated: October 7, 2020