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A child finds pure joy hiking a trail at Anahuac NWR. Credit: Steve Hillebrand, USFWS. Mexican wolf link Lesser prairie chicken link Monarch Butterflies link Pollinators link
Southwest Region Highlights HotTopics

Black-capped vireo. Credit: © Gil Eckrich.

Final Plan to Ensure Long-Term Health of Recovered Songbird Available
FWS and Partners will monitor black-capped vireo for 12 years

September 2018
On April 16, 2018, the Service delisted the black-capped vireo due to recovery as a result of collaborative conservation efforts with our long-standing partners. To ensure that the species continues to thrive, we are announcing the final Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan (PDMP) for the songbird. The PDMP for the black-capped vireo was developed in cooperation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Fort Hood and Fort Sill Military Installations and The Nature Conservancy of Texas.

Read the news release.

Read additional information on the final PDMP and the black-capped vireo.


Thirty-four tribal game wardens, rangers and conservation officers from across the region attend the 2018 NAtive American Conservation Officer Training. Credit: USFWS.
Native American Conservation Officer Training

September 2018
Southwest Region Native American Liaison, Joe Early worked with the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society (NAFWS) to host a 40 hour training course for 34 tribal game wardens, rangers and conservation officers from Laguna Pueblo, Acoma Pueblo, Isleta Pueblo, Cochiti Pueblo, Santa Clara Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo, the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Hualapai Tribe, Jicarilla Apache, White Mountain Apache, Mescalero Apache, Walker River Paiute, Round Valley Indian Tribes, and the Chippewa-Cree Tribe.

Read the entire story.


Desert Bighorn Sheep at Cabeza Prieta NWR. Credit: Sid Sloan, USFWS.
Desert Bighorn Sheep at Cabeza Prieta NWR. Credit: Sid Sloan, USFWS.
Counting Sheep Hunts at Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

September 2018
Autumn is for remembering. The last light of summer yields to the first beautiful days of fall. This time of year is a communion between what was and what might be. Fall brings with it hunting seasons—and naturally, memories of seasons past. Len Anderson of Tucson, Arizona, a retired high school chemistry and biology teacher and baseball coach, remembers desert bighorn sheep hunts. For with him, it’s a family matter. Three generations of Andersons have a particular attachment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and hunting bighorns on craggy mountainsides under the desert sun. Len and his father and his son—all three have harvested desert bighorns on the refuge.

Read the entire story.


Grand Jury Indicts "Joe Exotic" for Murder-For-Hire

September 2018
JOSEPH MALDONADO-PASSAGE, also known as Joseph Allen Maldonado, Joseph Allen Schreibvogel, and "Joe Exotic," 55, formerly of Wynnewood, Oklahoma, has been indicted on two counts of hiring a person to commit murder.

Read the entire news release.








Pieces of fraudulent artwork seized by Service special agents. Credit: USFWS
Owner Of Old Town Albuquerque Jewelry Stores Sentenced To Six Months For Fraudulently Selling Filipino-Made Jewelry As Native American-Made
Conviction under Continuing International Investigation Led by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and FBI into Violations of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act

August 2018
U.S. District Judge Judith C. Herrera of the District of New Mexico today sentenced Nael Ali, 54, of Albuquerque, N.M., for violating the Indian Arts and Craft Act (IACA) by fraudulently selling counterfeit Native American jewelry as Indian-Made. Judge Herrera sentenced Ali, who previously pled guilty to two felony IACA charges, to six months of imprisonment followed by a year of supervised release. Ali also was ordered to pay $9,048.78 in restitution.

Read the News Release





A pair of wild whooping cranes land at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Klaus Nigge, USFWS.
Texas Wintering Whooping Crane Population Breaks the 500 Mark for First Time

August2 2018
The estimates are in and the numbers are impressive! For the 6th year in a row the wild population of endangered whooping cranes that winter at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding habitats in south Texas has increased in size and for the first time the population has topped the 500 mark. Learn more about how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are keeping these magnificent birds on the road to recovery.

Read the News release.
Read the Survey Report
Learn more about Aransas National Wildlife Refuge



Western long-eared myotis, one of many bat species found in New Mexico caves and abandoned mines. Credit: © Kenneth Ingham.

New Mexico Federal Public Lands Take Safety Steps as State Tests for Fungus that Causes Bat Disease

August 2018
Federal agencies that manage popular caves on public lands in New Mexico are taking disease-prevention precautions and restricting entry to some sites to help prevent spreading the fungus that causes the fatal disease in bats known as white-nose syndrome (WNS).

Recent detections of the fungus that causes WNS in Texas and Wyoming and the confirmation of WNS in Oklahoma and South Dakota have prompted federal lands managers in New Mexico to elevate precautions to protect bats in caves and abandoned mines. Among the locations taking additional decontamination or access measures are Carlsbad Caverns National Park and El Malpais National Monument (National Park Service), Fort Stanton Cave in Lincoln County (Bureau of Land Management), and Cottonwood Cave in Lincoln National Forest (USDA Forest Service).

Read the News Release.
Learn more about White nose syndrome.


California condor soaring through Grand Canyon. Credit: © Chris Parish.
California condor soaring through Grand Canyon. Credit: © Chris Parish.
California Condors to be Released at Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona

August 2018
There is nothing quite as iconic in the western United States as a California Condor soaring over the red-rock-canyon landscapes of northern Arizona and southern Utah. Thanks to people working together to recover this species, condors have become a fixture in southwestern skies. On National Public Lands day this year, you’re invited to join the recovery effort by witnessing first-hand a spectacular release into the wild of several captive-bred young condors.

California Condors will be released by The Peregrine Fund atop the spectacular cliffs in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Come join us!

Read the News Release
Learn more about the California Condor in Arizona

Southwest Region Archived News Releases

Search additional archived news releases for the Southwest Region

Wildlife Selfies
Southwest Emphasis Areas
Youth and Students
U.S. Fish and Wildlife News Publication
Southwest Region Weather Emergency
From Wildlife Refuge to Elite Law Enforcement
March 2018
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First Deer Hunt at Buffalo Lake Wildlife Refuge
January 2018
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Turkey Hunting and the Psalm of Life
October 2017
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Mussel Building: A gathering on mussel conservation
December 2017
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Hawaiian Hawk Hatched at Comanche Nation Aviary
She goes by the name of “Wahine.”
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Last updated: September 18, 2018