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A bright pink flower with broad, fuzzy green leaves.
Information icon Vernonia proctorii. Photo by Omar Monsegur, USFWS.

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  • A beach covered in sea turtle eggs and other debris washed ashore from Hurricane Dorian
    Information icon Debris and sea turtle eggs washed up by Hurricane Dorian at Archie Carr NWR. Photo by Erin Seney, UCF Marine Turtle Research Group.

    Dorian report: Sea-turtle nest losses could have been worse

    September 19, 2019 | 5 minute read

    Hurricane Dorian obliterated hundreds of sea-turtle nests at National Wildlife Refuges as it clawed north along the Atlantic coast earlier this month, officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) said. But it could have been much worse. The storm, wildlife refuge staff noted, had dissipated as it neared the fragile, sandy shores where turtles lay eggs. It obliterated some nests, but left others intact. Eroded sand dunes and a lost sea turtle egg at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.  Learn more...

  • Bright yellow flowers, not unlike a dandilion, extend from a chunky central stem
    Information icon St. Croix agave. Photo by Caroline Pott, East End Marine Park.

    Saving rare plants in the U.S. Virgin Islands

    August 14, 2019 | 3 minute read

    Like many other islands in the Caribbean, the history of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands is inextricably bound up with the planting and harvesting of sugarcane. Decades of land clearing for sugar, as well as cotton and livestock, denuded the U.S. Virgin Islands of more than 90 percent of their native vegetation. Tropical lily-thorn. Photo by James Yrigoyen, USFWS. St. Croix agave (also called Egger’s century plant) and tropical lily-thorn are but two of the many plants that once flourished in the subtropical dry forests of St.  Learn more...

  • A hillside with debris and trees snapped in half like twigs.
    Information icon A portion of Jose Roig’s coffee plantation immediately after Hurricane Maria struck. Photo by USFWS.

    Aid in the shade

    August 9, 2018 | 4 minute read

    In September 2017, Puerto Rico was already reeling from Hurricane Irma, which had doused it with torrential rains and caused widespread damage. Then, two weeks later, Hurricane Maria roared through, killing hundreds of residents, wiping out buildings, entire landscapes of vegetation, and practically the entire electrical grid. It was the worst natural disaster on record for the U.S. commonwealth island, which is still recovering from the Category 4 storm.  Learn more...

  • Flags blow in the breeze at the peak of a small mountain.
    The wind catches flags at a resort outside San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo by Mark Davis, USFWS.

    A plea, and an answer

    October 19, 2017 | 5 minute read

    Hurricane Maria had hardly passed over the small island of Vieques, which is about 10 miles east of Puerto Rico. The land, normally in the full green of early fall, was brown, trees stripped of leaves. The town of Vieques was dark, the houses in the hills just as dark.  Learn more...

  • Three green parrots standing on a perch in a cage.
    Jafet Velez, a Service biologist, checks in on Puerto Rican parrots in their aviary home. Despite damage from Hurricane Maria, “We are confident we will have an awesome 2018 breeding season,” he says. Photo by Mark Davis, USFWS.

    Soaring past danger

    October 17, 2017 | 6 minute read

    El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico – They’re old, parenthood behind them, but that hardly means the two senior citizens serve no purpose. They like to talk. Others, sometimes, show up to listen. People here call them Egida, literally, a “house for the elderly.” The Spanish-to-English translation describing their function is not precise, but it’s close enough. The Puerto Rican parrots sit in a cage and call to their wild peers.  Learn more...

  • A man wearing a hard hat and protective gear yeilds an axe.
    Information icon Martin Ramos of Vieques National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico lends a hand at the West Mims fire. Photo by Mark Davis, USFWS.

    Puerto Ricans bring fight to fire

    May 2, 2017 | 3 minute read

    Folkston, Georgia – Martin Ramos will always remember that call: “Report to the Okefenokee”. That was six years ago, when a fire rose to life in the middle of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and steadily grew. By the time the 2011 Honey Prairie fire had been extinguished, it had burned more than 300,000 acres. It also sparked an interest in Ramos, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) fire officer assigned to the Service’s Vieques NWR in Puerto Rico.  Learn more...

  • A large limestone island emerges from the sea covered in green vegetation.
    Monito Island is an uninhabited and mostly inaccessible island of only about 36 acres. It lies west of Puerto Rico and was designated a U.S. National Natural Landmark in 1975. Photo by USFWS.

    Tiny Monito gecko is thriving and proposed for removal from endangered species list

    April 10, 2017 | 3 minute read

    The Monito gecko is a resilient little critter. Living only on one small chunk of rock in the Caribbean Sea, the lizard has become so abundant that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is set to make a decision later this year about its listing status under the Endangered Species Act.  Learn more...

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