Southwest Region
Conserving the Nature of America
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Regional Director's Corner  
Amy Lueders
The ability to look beyond our own jobs and our own programs and make a broader contribution. In essence, it means modeling our behavior to function as
“One Service
and One Region”
About Our Leadership

Current Student Opportunities in Region 2

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) employs many students in various career and educational fields. The Student employment program Pathways is a way to attract talented students to work with the Service and it's an opportunity for students to continue their education and apply their academic studies to on-the-job experience. Visit our Youth and Student Opportunity page for more information.

Highlight Series
The Southwest Region highlights each of its programs as a means to introduce the extraordinary activities that the Region's staff bring to the diverse habitats, species and conservation efforts within its boundaries.

Read Highlight Series Archives


Amy Lueders and Matt Butler at the Rachel Carson Awards. Credit: USFWS.
Amy Lueders and Matt Butler at the Rachel Carson Awards. Credit: USFWS.

Matt Butler Honored with Rachel Carson Award

April 2018
Greetings Southwest Region,

Matt Butler with a Lesser prairie chicken. Credit: USFWS.
Matt Butler with a Lesser prairie chicken. Credit: USFWS.

I am honored to share with you that our own Matthew Butler, Biometrician, Division of Biological Sciences, Refuges, has been awarded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Rachel Carson Award for Exemplary Scientific Accomplishment, 2017. Matt was presented the award on March 29 at the 2018 North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Norfolk, Virginia. The Rachel Carson Award recognizes scientific excellence through the rigorous practice of science applied to a conservation problem that achieves extraordinary results in fish and wildlife conservation.

Matt has done phenomenal scientific work on behalf of whooping cranes and lesser prairie-chickens and I am proud that he has been recognized for his efforts. Please read more (link to: about Matt’s outstanding work and its impact on these imperiled species. Congratulations Matt!

~ Amy Lueders ~

Read more of Matt’s work:

Influences on whooping crane recruitment
( )

Impacts of winter drought on whooping crane population growth
( )

Forecasting whooping crane population growth
( )

Land surface phenology predicts lesser prairie-chicken abundance
( )

Spatially explicit modeling of lesser prairie‐chicken lek density
( )



Courtney educates kiids about the skunk at the 2018 EarthX event. Credit: USFWS.
Courtney educates kiids about the skunk at the 2018 EarthX event. Credit: USFWS.

2018 EarthX Event at the Dallas Fair Park

This year's event provided the Service the opportunity to engage with the public and increase awareness of the many ways we work to create a conservation legacy, connect people with the outdoors, and work with our partners.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife booth at the 2018 EarthX event. Credit: USFWS.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife booth at the 2018 EarthX event. Credit: USFWS.

The event highlighted examples of how to help protect endangered species. The Service provided a glimpse at species artifcts. The artifacts not only peaked interest, but also raised awareness of endangered species items that are sold illegally and the negative impacts on the animals used to make them.

Alligator snapping turtle at the 2018 EarthX event. Credit: USFWS.
Alligator snapping turtle at the 2018 EarthX event. Credit: USFWS.

Children and adults alike were fascinated by the live Alligator snapping turtles and Alligator gar brought by Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery. Equally engaging was the Refuge Trailer that provided an interactive experience for visitors. The Blue Goose kept things lively and made several appearances during the weekend. EarthX 2018 was a great event and we appreciate the opportunity to be part of it.

2018 EarthX event globe. Credit: USFWS.
2018 EarthX event globe. Credit: USFWS.

In addition to learning about animals and the environment, attendees were invited to story time and other fun activities such as face painting, nature hikes, and outdoor camping demonstrations. Along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s offices, organizations in attendance included the Turtle Survival Alliance, Fort Worth and Dallas Sierra Clubs, Gulf Restoration Network, Gardens of Texas, Duk University, Clean Water Fund, and Bat Conservation International, Inc. The combined efforts of these organizations presented awareness of current conservation issues.








Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan arrived at Bosque del Apache NWR in time to see the evening fly-in, when waves of cranes and geese come in for the night. Credit: USFWS





Southwest Regional Office Welcomes Principal Deputy Director Sheehan

January 2018
This week, Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan paid a visit to the Southwest Regional Office in Albuquerque, NM to meet with employees and tour the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). During his visit, Sheehan discussed new priorities for the Service and answered questions from staff at an All Employee Meeting. Later in the day, Regional Director Amy Lueders and members of the Southwest Regional Directorate Team provided Sheehan with a tour of Bosque del Apache NWR, the winter home of thousands of snow geese, sandhill cranes and other migratory birds.

Gulf Coast Joint Venture shorebird map

Gulf Coast Joint Venture: A Bird Habitat Conservation Partnership (Migratory Birds)
Two short-billed dowitchers skim the water. Credit: USFWS.
Two short-billed dowitchers skim the water. Credit: USFWS.

The origin and current role of Migratory Bird Joint Ventures (JVs) nationwide, maintains an emphasis on the Gulf Coast Joint Venture and a distinction between the Service's JV Program and multi-organizational JV Partnerships. Details of the GCJV partnership are, including the management board composition, JV staffing, administrative funding, and partnership organization. The GCJV's landscape-level approach to bird habitat planning and assessment requires taking a birds-eye view of habitats without regard to administrative boundaries or landownership, but considering the role of individual organizations and land tracts in fulfillment of landscape-scale objectives. Toward that end, the GCJV employs satellite imagery and spatial landcover data, in combination with detailed information from public lands in a Managed Lands Geodatabase. Details of biological planning, conservation design, habitat delivery, outcome-based monitoring, and assumption-based research for shorebirds is provided as an example of GCJV-led Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) for birds.

Read the entire presentation.

Learn more about the Migratory Bird Program.



Honoring Our Veterans
Every year we set aside one day to honor those who have served in the U.S. Military and express our gratitude to the men and women who have made great sacrifices to preserve our freedom. Few have given more to our nation than our military Veterans, both in peace and in war.

We take special pride in those Veterans who work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The men and women who have served in the armed forces exemplify a commitment to serving this nation. They continue their service to the American people by bringing their skills, knowledge, experiences and dedication to our conservation mission.

The Region's appreciation to, and admiration for, our Veterans, and the many other members of our Service family, goes out to those who continue to serve in the National Guard and Reserves. We owe them a debt of gratitude for all that they have done– and continue to do – to conserve our nation’s treasured natural resources.

To honor our colleagues who have served in the military, we have posted photographs of many members of our Region 2 family who are Veterans. Take a moment to look at images of military Veterans working for the Service nationwide at our Flickr site.

Last updated: June 13, 2018