Conserving the Nature of America
Connecting People With Nature: Ensuring the Future of Conservation
Critical Report Documents the Risks of Giant Invasive Snakes in the United States
October 13, 2009
Five giant non-native snake species would pose high risks to the health of ecosystems in the United States should they become established here, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report. The report details the risks of nine non-native boa, anaconda and python species considered invasive or potentially invasive in the United States. Two of these species are documented as reproducing in the wild in South Florida, with population estimates for Burmese pythons numbering in the tens of thousands. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will use the report to assist in further development of management actions concerning the snakes when and where these species appear in the wild.

Burmese python wrangled by Service employee. Credit: USFWS

Connecting People With Nature: Ensuring the Future of Conservation
Don't Buy It — Harrison Ford Encourages the Public to Help Stop Illegal Trade of Tigers and African Elephants
October 8, 2009
Harrison Ford and other entertainment and sports celebrities have lent their voices to help conserve some of the world's endangered wildlife. WildAid, a 2009 "Wildlife Without Borders" grant recipient, has produced several video spots featuring Ford encouraging the public to help stop the poaching of tigers and African elephants and illegal trade in parts and products derived from these species through more knowledgeable souvenir purchase practices.

Harrison Ford. Courtesy of WildAid and the U.S. State Department

National Wildlife Refuge System: Conserving Our Lands and Resources
Celebrate over 100 years of Conservation with the National Wildlife Refuge System
October 6, 2009
Dust off your hiking boots, grab the fishing pole or dig out those binoculars…National Wildlife Refuge Week is heading your way, October 11-17. "It is my hope that citizens across the country will take advantage of this weeklong celebration to experience wildlife in their natural habitats and play a firsthand role in conservation by participating in special events and programs, or simply observing and enjoying the great outdoors at a local refuge," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Find a refuge near you.

Open once a year to the public, Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge provides a secure habitat for many threatened and endangered species found only on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Credit: USFWS
Migratory Birds: Conservation and Management
Efforts Made to Reduce Oil, Bird Encounters
October 1, 2009
A broad-based cooperative effort among state and federal agencies and corporate entities is helping to reduce the number of deaths of migratory birds and other wildlife attracted to oil field waste pits. Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, many operators have taken preventive measures to reduce these losses, currently estimated at least a half-million birds annually.

Snapshot taken from a video of a bird suffering from oiled feathers after landing in an oil pit.

Connecting People With Nature: Ensuring the Future of Conservation
Celebrating Success in Conservation
October 1, 2009
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is gearing up to select the 2009 recipient of the Rachel Carson Award for Scientific Excellence, an award recognizing Service employees who demonstrate superior scientific involvement and application to achieve extraordinary results in fish and wildlife conservation. Rachel Mair, a biologist at White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery, was the first person to receive this award. Learn about Mair's work and why this honorary award is important to the future of conservation.

Visit the White Sulpher Springs National Fish Hatchery this Saturday to attend the Freshwater Festival and learn how mussels and other aquatic species help keep our waters clean.

Snapshot of the video.

Connecting People With Nature: Ensuring the Future of Conservation
Conference Urges "Get Outdoors"
September 30, 2009
Service Director Sam Hamilton recently addressed attendees of a conference held in Atlanta aimed at increasing outdoor participation. The conference, entitled Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great American Outdoors , was designed to illustrate the fact that Americans of every heritage and ethnicity are rising to their personal best as they embrace the challenge of protecting our environment and follow the call of the wild outdoors. Here the Director chats with a group of students attending the conference.

Service Director Sam Hamilton pictured with four recent participants in the Northeast Region Conservation Internship Program hosted by the Service's National Wildlife Refuge System. . Credit: USFWS
Climate Change
Service Releases Climate Change Strategy for Public Review and Comment
Builds on Secretary Salazar’s DOI Climate Change Order
September 23, 2009
As part of the Department of the Interior’s commitment to building a coordinated strategy to respond to the impacts of climate change on the nation’s natural resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today releases a proposed strategic plan that will guide the agency’s efforts to respond to the unprecedented threat posed by global warming.

Melting sea ice is a visible reminder of a warming climate. Credit: Shutterstock

Connecting People With Nature: Ensuring the Future of Conservation
Legacy of Hunting and Fishing Celebrated
September 25, 2009
For over 100 years, generations of hunters and anglers have been at the forefront of the conservation movement. The 38th annual National Hunting and Fishing Day on Saturday, September 26, recognizes the contributions of millions of Americans who continue to engage in these ageless pursuits. Through licenses, permits and special taxes, outdoor sportsmen and women generate more than 1.75 billion per year for fish, wildlife and habitat.

Duck hunting at Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Dr. F. Eugene Hester / USFWS

Connecting People With Nature: Ensuring the Future of Conservation Call to Action: Help Protect Our Nation’s Coasts and Estuaries for Our Future
September 25, 2009
National Estuaries Day on Saturday, September 26 is an annual celebration of the coastal areas where rivers meet the sea. Estuaries provide spawning and nursery areas for fish, offer nesting and brooding habitat for migratory birds and help protect communities from flooding. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Service’s Coastal Program, provides strategic conservation planning and assistance in coastal areas and works closely with Restore America’s Estuaries and its member organizations.

A 2006 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant supported the conservation and recovery of chinook and coho salmon, and bull and steelhead trout in Wiley Slough, an estuary in the Skagit River delta in Washington. Credit: USFWS

National Wildlife Refuge System: Conserving Our Lands and Resources
Service Hosts National Public Lands Day at Refuges Across the U.S.
September 24, 2009
Americans of all ages have the opportunity to help restore the beauty and vitality of our public lands on September 26 as part of the 16th annual National Public Lands Day . Across the nation, people will join the largest coast-to-coast, single-day volunteer effort to improve America’s public lands. Many of this year’s events will focus on water and its importance in healthy ecosystems. National Public Lands Day provides Americans with a great chance to get outside and improve our public lands, while answering the new administration’s call for Americans to participate in public service.

Volunteers at Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge restore habitat by removing noxious weeds and planting native flowers, grasses and shrubs. © Robert Schallmann / NEEF
Last updated: October 14, 2009