Southwest Region
Conserving the Nature of America
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An owl peers from behind the truck of a tree. Credit: USFWS. Mexican wolf link Lesser prairie chicken link Monarch Butterflies link Pollinators link
Southwest Region Highlights HotTopics
American burying beetle. Credit: © Jay Pruett.
American burying beetle. Credit: © Jay Pruett.
Service Proposes Amending Industry Conservation Plan for the American Burying Beetle

March 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to extend the American Burying Beetle Industry Conservation Plan (ABB ICP) application by five years. Extending the ICP timeframe allows industry to minimize or avoid delays for projects and potential impacts to federally listed species. The Notice will publish in the Federal Register on Thursday, March 14, 2019, and public comments will be accepted until April 15, 2019.

Additional information is available on the Oklahoma Ecological website.
( https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/oklahoma/ABBICP.htm ).
Read the news release.

Read the FAQs
Read the Federal Register Notice

 


U.S. Fish adn Wildlife Offie of Law Enforcement Special Agent badge. Credit: USFWS.

Seven Charged for an International Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme

March 2019
A federal grand jury returned a 38-count indictment against four American and three Filipino defendants for violating federal laws including the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. They are accused of creating counterfeit Native American jewelry in the Philippines, smuggling the pieces into the U.S., and fraudulently selling them to U.S. customers as authentic Native American made jewelry.

The Indian Arts and Crafts Board (IACB) promotes the economic development of American Indians and Alaska Natives of federally recognized Tribes through the expansion of the Indian arts and crafts market. The USFWS OLE enforces the laws that regulate this trade.

Read the Department of Justice Press Release

 

 

 

 

Houston wildlife inspectors demonstrate carved and uncarved elephant tusks. Credit: USFWS.
Houston wildlife inspectors demonstrate carved and uncarved elephant tusks. Credit: USFWS.
Houston Wildlife Inspectors Host Live-stream Program

March 2019
During this Virtually Wild! Texas (VW!T) live-stream program, students in class and hospital room settings learned how US Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife inspectors in Houston are able to identify the real from the fake and combat the trafficking of wildlife on a daily basis. Through virtual engagement, students also learned about this important career and what they can do to help stop wildlife trafficking. VW!T is a nature program hosted by the Houston Community Partnerships & Engagement, The Nature Conservancy in Texas and Region 4 Education Service Center.

Watch the video.


Mexican gray wolf. Credit: USFWS.
Mexican gray wolf. Credit: USFWS.
Second Man Pleads Guilty in Arizona Wolf Killing Case

February 2019
Special Agent in Charge, Phillip Land, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement of the Southwest Region, announced today that Donald Justin Davis has pleaded guilty to an accessory after the fact to a violation of the Endangered Species Act, Class B misdemeanor for the unlawful take of a wild born, female Mexican gray wolf in December 2017.

Read the news release.

 

Map series on the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse that includes a link to a video of the same topic.
Biology at Its Best

February 2019
Biologists at Bosque del Apache and Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuges have worked hard to manage and conserve the last population of the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse and preserve the endangered Pecos Sunflower. Balancing the work and requirements for managing habitats and species keeps biologists busy and makes the experiences on these refuges richer.

Interact with the Jumpng mouse map series, and watch videos about the work performed at Bosque and Bitter Lake refuges.
Watch the video on the New Mexico Jumping Mouse to learn more about this species.
Watch the video, Mapping the Pecos Sunflower at Bitter Lake NWR.

 

Additional pieces of fraudulent artwork seized by Service special agents. Credit: USFWS.
Additional pieces of fraudulent artwork seized by Service special agents. Credit: USFWS.

Five Men, Two Businesses Charged With Illegally Importing Native American-Style Goods and Selling Them as Authentic

February 2019

Pieces of fraudulent artwork seized by Service special agents. Credit: USFWS
Pieces of fraudulent artwork seized by Service special agents. Credit: USFWS.

Federal law enforcement officials have announced charges against five men and two businesses for conspiracy, smuggling goods into the United States, and misrepresentation of Indian produced goods and products. The charges, which are contained in a five-count indictment, arise from a multi-year scheme to import Native American-style jewelry, arts, and crafts into the United States from the Philippines and sell these goods to customers based on false representations that the merchandise was made by Native Americans.

Read the news release.

 

 

Eastern screech owls (gray and red morph.). Credit: USFWS.
Eastern screech owls (gray and red morph.). Credit: USFWS.
Man Sentenced for Possessing Protected Eastern Screech-Owl

January 2019
Jorge Fernando Mercado was sentenced to 175 days in federal prison by U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love on January 10, 2019 for unlawfully possessing a protected eastern screech-owl, announced Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Phillip Land of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement of the Southwest Region.

Read the news release.

 

 

Items seized from Presmer LLC. Credit: USFWS.
Items seized from Presmer LLC. Credit: USFWS.

Owner of Presmer, LLC Sentenced for Smuggling Python Skin Merchandise

January 2019
Annsley Popov, owner and manager of Presmer, LLC, was sentenced to three years of probation and a $30,000 fine by Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal on January 10, 2019 for illegally importing items made from python skin and stingray skin. Presmer, LLC was levied an additional $120,000 fine, announced Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Phillip Land of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement of the Southwest Region.

Read the news release.

 

 

 

 

Tobusch fishhook cactus. Credit: Chris Best, USFWS.
Tobusch fishhook cactus. Credit: Chris Best, USFWS.
Recovery Criteria Amended for 42 Endangered Species, To Assist Service and Partners Measure Progress and Address Threats
Additions are the first in comprehensive effort to ensure all Endangered Species Act recovery plans contain quantifiable recovery goals

January 2019
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing the availability of proposed amendments to 26 Endangered Species Act recovery plans that cover 42 species. The amendments are part of an agency-wide effort to add quantitative, measureable criteria for the successful recovery of federally listed species. The recovery plan amendments benefit from years of collaborations among diverse recovery partners across the country to protect and recover listed species. Through these partnerships, we are improving our understanding of species’ biology, threats, recovery needs and opportunities, as well as any issues with management and implementation. Each species for which recovery criteria are being revised in this effort has undergone or is currently undergoing a five-year status review. Publication of the recovery plan amendments initiates a 60-day public comment period. Comments will be accepted through April 1, 2019.

Read the news release.

 

Recaptured Mexican wolf. Credit:California Wolf Center
Recaptured Mexican wolf. Credit: California Wolf Center
Escaped Wolf Recaptured in Colorado
Endangered animal getting evaluated

December 2018
A Mexican wolf that escaped a compound last month has been recaptured and returned to captivity. The young male wolf was recaptured Dec. 11. It had an injury on its right leg which was unrelated to the capture. Veterinarians with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are assessing the animal. The wolf is in good health but will require additional treatment in the future.

Biologists found the wolf about 10 miles north of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, from which it escaped Nov. 11. Based on its tracks and observations, it had ranged as far as 40 miles northwest of the site.

Read more...

 

Desert bighorn sheep are camouflaged against the rugged desert terrain of San Andres National Wildlife Refuge Credit: Christina Rodden, DOD.
Desert bighorn sheep are camouflaged against the rugged desert terrain of San Andres National Wildlife Refuge Credit: Christina Rodden, DOD.
When Bighorn Sheep Fly

December 2018
Always a leader in innovative on-the-ground conservation work, the Southwest Region is known to take wildlife management to a higher level--even if it means making desert bighorn sheep fly. Check out the great results achieved between San Andres National Wildlife Refuge and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, told in photographs, to increase the population of the once declining desert bighorn sheep. More sheep means more outdoor recreational opportunities in New Mexico.

Read the entire story.

 

Sonoyta mud turtle. Credit: USFWS.
Sonoyta mud turtle. Credit: USFWS.

Federal Habitat Protection Proposed for Sonoyta Mud Turtle
Critical Habitat Proposal for Sole U.S. Population

December 2018
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing critical habitat designation for the Sonoyta mud turtle under the Endangered Species Act. The proposed critical habitat designation is limited to 12 acres of the turtle’s occupied habitat at Quitobaquito on Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The proposal will provide habitat protection of the subspecies’ sole location in the United States. Despite the Sonoyta mud turtle’s additional range, south of the national monument across the Mexican border, federal critical habitat designations can be made only in the United States. A 60-day public comment period on the proposed critical habitat designation and an associated draft economic analysis will begin upon publication of the proposal in the Federal Register December 6, 2018.

Read the news release.

 





Southwest Region Archived News Releases

Search additional archived news releases for the Southwest Region

 
 
Wildlife Selfies
 
Youth and Students
 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife News Publication
 
Southwest Region Weather Emergency
 
Spotlight
Black-capped Vireo Endangered No Longer
2018
Read the story...
 

Collaboration and Partnership Help Protect a Texas Treasure for Future Generations
2018
Read the story...

 
Enforcing Federal Wildlife Laws on the US-Mexico Border
2018
Read the story...
 

A Delicate Dance
2018
Read the story...

 
A "Field of Dreams" Moment: Endangered Razorback Sucker Munbers on the Upswing
2018
Read the story
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Last updated: March 14, 2019