U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats.

Find us on social media: http://www.fws.gov/social Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/usfws Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/usfws Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/usfws/ GIPHY: https://giphy.com/usfws YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com/usfws Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq Open Spaces blog: http://www.fws.gov/openspaces Medium: https://medium.com/@USFWS

Mission: The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Operating as usual

Who needs eyes when you live your entire life underground and underwater!? Earlier this month, our biologists were in Sa...
11/20/2020

Who needs eyes when you live your entire life underground and underwater!? Earlier this month, our biologists were in San Marcos, Texas surveying the federally endangered Texas blind salamander. It's only found in the Edwards Aquifer (an underground rock formation holding groundwater).

This aptly-named amphibian only lives in Texas and is indeed blind! It has pigmented eye spots (not true eyes). This lightly-pigmented salamander hunts invertebrates, including snails and shrimp, based on wave movements in the water. Adults can grow up to 6-inches long.

Protecting rare amphibians like the Texas blind salamander safeguards clean water. Amphibians - which include frogs, newts, toads, and salamanders - are sensitive wildlife. When they decline in population size, it can be a sign that something is wrong in the environment.

We work with public and private partners across the United States to ensure America’s diversity of wildlife, fishes, and plants continue to thrive in the wild for future generations.

Photos: USFWS

Did you know our fire program protects more land management units than any other federal agency? We work with federal, s...
11/19/2020

Did you know our fire program protects more land management units than any other federal agency? We work with federal, state, and local partners to protect public lands and local communities surrounding fire-prone areas across the U.S.: http://ow.ly/1IH850CozZM

Thank you to all of our dedicated staff and partners who help ensure America’s lands and waters – including the USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System - remain healthy, resilient, and accessible through sound science, fire management, and response. Their hard work protects public safety and benefits our nation’s incredible diversity of wildlife, plants, and fishes.

After a wildfire, we work to stabilize, restore, and enhance burned areas and protect waters, roads, and communities from erosion and sedimentation. We also proactively manage fire-prone areas where wildfires have potential to impact local communities, sensitive ecosystems, and wildlife populations.

Highlights for Fiscal Year 2020 (October 2019 - September 2020):

🔥 251,000+ hours of personnel time fighting wildfires and 64,000 hours of personnel time responding to all-hazard incidents.

🔥 Responsible for managing 75+ million burnable acres; 80% of this land has evolved with fire.

🔥 So far this year, 76 wildfires interacted with the agency’s fuels treatments, successfully slowing the spread of wildfire.

🔥 Completed 590+ individual fuels treatments that directly and positively impacted 356,630 acres of National Wildlife Refuge System-managed lands.

🔥 Provided mission support to nine U.S. Air Force installations across the U.S. to support military readiness and conservation on military lands.

Photo 1: Justin Hughes/USFWS
Photo 2: Josh O'Connor/USFWS

#DOIDelivers #DOIService #WildfirePrevention #RxBurn #FireYear2020

While it may seem like your bird feeder is their only source of food, gray squirrels have widely varied diets. They’ll e...
11/19/2020

While it may seem like your bird feeder is their only source of food, gray squirrels have widely varied diets. They’ll eat berries, seeds, buds, nuts, bark and more. This one was munching on a milkweed seed pod!

Photo: Eastern gray squirrel by Courtney Celley/USFWS.

Many birds are known to sunbathe or "sun" themselves, particularly on cold days or to dry off after bathing. Greater roa...
11/19/2020

Many birds are known to sunbathe or "sun" themselves, particularly on cold days or to dry off after bathing. Greater roadrunners sun themselves frequently. They even have a patch of dark skin and feathers on their rump that they expose while sunning, enhancing the absorption of solar radiation! Have you seen any greater road runners lately?

Photo by Peter Pearsall/USFWS at Ash Meadows NWR in Nevada.

While badgers don’t hibernate, they do become less active when the temperatures drop. When they are out and about, they’...
11/18/2020

While badgers don’t hibernate, they do become less active when the temperatures drop. When they are out and about, they’ve been observed to cover a much smaller territory in the winter months.

Photo: American badger by Tom Koerner/USFWS.

Happy National Take a Hike Day! Explore trails at national wildlife refuges (http://ow.ly/PBbD50CnpgL) and national fish...
11/17/2020

Happy National Take a Hike Day! Explore trails at national wildlife refuges (http://ow.ly/PBbD50CnpgL) and national fish hatcheries (http://ow.ly/sLJ850CnpkW) near you.

Where are your favorite places to enjoy nature and wildlife?

Photo 1: Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming by Tom Koerner/USFWS

Photo 2: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah by Jerrye Stillman/USFWS

The northern slimy salamander might be better named sticky salamander. When threatened, they secrete a gluey substance t...
11/17/2020

The northern slimy salamander might be better named sticky salamander. When threatened, they secrete a gluey substance that discourages would-be predators!

Photo: Northern slimy salamander by Megan Seymour/USFWS.

Every year, around a dozen surveyors abandon the comforts of daily life to survey breeding birds in remote parts of Alas...
11/17/2020

Every year, around a dozen surveyors abandon the comforts of daily life to survey breeding birds in remote parts of Alaska as part of the Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey: http://ow.ly/AmmA50CmqAm

Golden-crowned kinglet in Kenai National #WildlifeRefuge 📷 USFWS/Colin Canterbury

Happy Monday! Have any beautiful sunset photos taken at a national wildlife refuge? We'd love to see them! 🎴Capture your...
11/17/2020

Happy Monday! Have any beautiful sunset photos taken at a national wildlife refuge? We'd love to see them! 🎴

Capture your sunset: http://ow.ly/wZi250CkZkS

Sunset at Klamath Basin Refuges by USFWS

By the end of fall, red fox families disperse and young foxes find their own territories. While males tend to adventure ...
11/16/2020

By the end of fall, red fox families disperse and young foxes find their own territories. While males tend to adventure farther than females, juveniles usually only travel about 9 miles from where they were raised.

Photo: Red fox by Jennifer Cross/USFWS.

It’s time for white-tailed deer to find mates so bucks are looking their best! Antler growth is tied to health and nutri...
11/15/2020

It’s time for white-tailed deer to find mates so bucks are looking their best! Antler growth is tied to health and nutrition, but age and genes can also play a role.

Photo: White-tailed deer buck courtesy of Gordon Garcia.

A mixed flock of ducks at sunset soar over Seedskadee and Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuges in Wyoming by Tom ...
11/15/2020

A mixed flock of ducks at sunset soar over Seedskadee and Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuges in Wyoming by Tom Koerner/USFWS.

11/14/2020
Arctic Bird Fest 2020 Songscape - DJ Ecotone (Ben Mirin)

Experience bird voices mixed with beats during this family-friendly #ArcticBirdFest music experience with Ben Mirin, aka DJ Ecotone! Ben's a PhD student at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Bioacoustics. He's also a wildlife DJ who travels the world recording animal sounds for science and samples their voices to make music.

Don't forget to strut your way here at 9:30 p.m. ET for a special, family-friendly #ArcticBirdFest concert on our Facebo...
11/14/2020

Don't forget to strut your way here at 9:30 p.m. ET for a special, family-friendly #ArcticBirdFest concert on our page with Ben Mirin, aka DJ Ecotone! ow.ly/t3WI50CklKU

An American pipit leads the way. 📷 Lisa Hupp/USFWS

11/13/2020
Arctic Bird Fest 2020 Songscape - DJ Ecotone (Ben Mirin)

Let's party! You're invited to a special Arctic Bird Fest concert experience with Ben Mirin, aka DJ Ecotone! Ben's a PhD student at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Bioacoustics. He's also a wildlife DJ who travels the world recording animal sounds for science and samples their voices to make music. #ArcticBirdFest

This shorebird can be found in Arctic Refuge during the summer breeding season and is a fairly common fall migrant along...
11/13/2020

This shorebird can be found in Arctic Refuge during the summer breeding season and is a fairly common fall migrant along the coast. Have you seen it in your neck of the woods? #ArcticBirdFest

Black-bellied plovers nest in both wet and dry tundra and winter in coastal lagoons and estuaries. When they're not breeding in the Arctic you'll see these shorebirds migrating throughout much of the USA. 📷 Khurram_Khan_Photos https://arcticbirdfest.com #ArcticBirdFest

Unlike most owls, snowy owls hunt at all hours during the continuous daylight of the Arctic summer. Who's got these owls...
11/13/2020

Unlike most owls, snowy owls hunt at all hours during the continuous daylight of the Arctic summer. Who's got these owls on their bird bucket list? 📷 Khurram_Khan_Photos #ArcticBirdFest https://arcticbirdfest.com

Day 5 of Arctic Refuge Virtual Bird Festival, and we want to see YOUR BEST WORST BIRD PHOTOS! While these photos may loo...
11/13/2020

Day 5 of Arctic Refuge Virtual Bird Festival, and we want to see YOUR BEST WORST BIRD PHOTOS! While these photos may look bad to you, they are treasures to us. Share your best #WorstBirdPhoto in the comments below. #ArcticBirdFest

Photo 1: Downy woodpecker
Photo 2: Common eider
Photo 3: Brown-headed nuthatch

Photos by Danielle Brigida

Many birders affectionately refer to the yellow-rumped warbler as “butterbutt." This highly adaptable songbird can be fo...
11/13/2020

Many birders affectionately refer to the yellow-rumped warbler as “butterbutt." This highly adaptable songbird can be found in a variety of habitats and is a pro insect eater, catching prey in flight. A population of these warblers fly all the way to Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from Tennessee!

Photo of a yellow-rumped warbler by USFWS

Many birders affectionately refer to the yellow-rumped warbler as “butterbutt." This highly adaptable songbird can be found in a variety of habitats and is a pro insect eater, catching prey in flight. A population of these warblers fly all the way to Arctic Refuge from Tennessee!

#ArcticBirdFest #teamsongbird

(Photo of a yellow-rumped warbler/USFWS)

Of fifty warbler species regularly found throughout the U.S. and Canada, 11 make their way to Alaska each summer to bree...
11/13/2020

Of fifty warbler species regularly found throughout the U.S. and Canada, 11 make their way to Alaska each summer to breed. Learn more about some of these amazing little songbirds and tell us if you've seen any in your state! http://ow.ly/CxyI50CiLW7.

📷 Portrait of a Wilson's Warbler (Michigan State Bird Observatory/Zak Pohlen) #ArcticBirdFest #TeamSongbird

Speed. Power. Fearlessness — the peregrine falcon has it all. Evolved to hunt other birds, peregrine falcons are super s...
11/12/2020

Speed. Power. Fearlessness — the peregrine falcon has it all. Evolved to hunt other birds, peregrine falcons are super swift hunters. Once prey is targeted, the falcon soars high overhead and then "stoops" down into a stealth-bomber dive, wings tucked to its sides, air rushing past at two hundred miles per hour or more. A population of these birds actually travel from Florida over to USFWS Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's Brooks Range to nest. #TeamRaptor #ArcticBirdFest

11/12/2020
Team Raptor vs Team Songbird

Day 4 of Arctic Refuge Virtual Birdfest, and we’re all about raptors and songbirds today! Believe it or not, some little songbirds and mighty raptors make the incredible journey all the way up to USFWS Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's northern nursery every year.

Tell us, are you #TeamRaptor or #TeamSongbird? Comment below, and we'll add up the total later in the day. The first 50 commentors of the winning team will receive an exclusive Arctic Bird Fest sticker! Compliments of the Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.

Audio descriptions: https://youtu.be/Gv0f0EEAX14

Video courtesy of Mauricio Valadrian #ArcticBirdFest

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to North America's northernmost Dall sheep population. Year-round residents ...
11/12/2020

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to North America's northernmost Dall sheep population. Year-round residents of the refuge, the sheep live mostly above timberline on ridges, dry meadows and steep mountain slopes. The sheep rarely venture far from this rugged terrain, using it to escape predators, including wolves, golden eagles, bears and humans. Natural mountaineers, sheep negotiate this terrain with speed and agility. They rarely fall.

Photo of a Dall sheep ram by Tim Bowman/USFWS

11/11/2020
Cackling goose getting released

Cackling geese migrate to areas all over the West Coast of the United States. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge biologists were interested to see where the geese breeding on the western edge of the refuge would go. They were surprised to find that three of the geese they collared journeyed to Albuquerque, New Mexico! Head over to Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge's page to read more about their journey.

Post a duck, goose or swan photo in the comments below, and we'll tell you if they nest at USFWS Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! Tag the comment with #PostADuck.

Video: Biologist releasing a collared cackling goose by USFWS #ArcticBirdFest

Today, we honor our nation's veterans of all military branches. To all those who have served and those who continue to s...
11/11/2020

Today, we honor our nation's veterans of all military branches. To all those who have served and those who continue to serve, thank you for your service and dedication to our country.

If you are a veteran or active military member, send USFWS Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a direct message. We would like to send you a limited edition Arctic Refuge Virtual Bird Festival poster signed by this year's featured artist, Sara Wolman. Compliments of The Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.

Photo of northern pintails in flight by Khurram_Khan_Photos on Instagram

Today, we honor the courageous women and men who served our country to protect America’s freedom and democracy. In recog...
11/11/2020

Today, we honor the courageous women and men who served our country to protect America’s freedom and democracy. In recognition of our great nation’s valiant veterans, U.S. Department of the Interior public lands are fee free today (November 11), including across the USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System. Explore nearby nature at your closest national wildlife refuge: http://ow.ly/oCnh50CfTo3

Additionally, starting today and every day onward, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and Gold Star families will continue to have free access to Department of the Interior public lands: http://ow.ly/6ziI50CgI5F

Photo: Cow and calf moose at Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado by Brandon Jones/USFWS

#VeteransDay #DOIDelivers #WildlifeRefuge

San Francisco Bay NWR Complex
11/11/2020

San Francisco Bay NWR Complex

#ArcticBirdFest Our species for Baby Bird Day is the Western Snowy Plover. These little puff balls love to nest in dunes at Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge and salt ponds at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The babies are not only adorable but quite self-sufficient at a young age. After only a few hours, the hatchlings can leave their nest to find food for themselves. These quick learners also start to fly at only 28 days old but still require both parents to care for them. While the population of Western Snowy Plovers is a threatened species, there is something that all visitors can do to help protect plover chicks.

Whether it’s learning more about plovers, staying out of closed areas on the beach, or joining a beach clean-up, we can all do something to help this unique and delightful little bird!

If you have any questions about the Western Snowy Plover, let us know in the comments! #AskABiologist

Image1: Western Snowy Plover nest with baby chicks. Photo by Jenny Erbes/Point Blue
Image 2: Western Snowy Plover adult and chick. Photo by Jenny Erbes/Point Blue.
Image 3: Two Western Snowy Plover chicks laying in a gravel nest. Photo by SFBBO wildlife biologist Jessica González.

What does a wildlife biologist do?  Wildlife biologists are responsible for studying the biology, behavior, populations,...
11/11/2020

What does a wildlife biologist do?

Wildlife biologists are responsible for studying the biology, behavior, populations, and habitats of wild animals. Do you have a question about birds or wildlife in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Or have you ever wondered what a typical day is like to be a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? We invite you to #Askabiologist by sharing your question and the hashtag. A biologist will respond to your questions throughout the day! #ArcticBirdFest

In honor of our great nation’s brave servicemen and women, U.S. Department of the Interior public lands will be fee free...
11/10/2020

In honor of our great nation’s brave servicemen and women, U.S. Department of the Interior public lands will be fee free tomorrow (November 11) for Veterans Day, including across the USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System. Find your closest national wildlife refuge: http://ow.ly/oCnh50CfTo3

Where are your favorite places to view wildlife each fall?

Photo: Tule elk at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in California by Steve Martarano/USFWS

#VeteransDay #DOIDelivers #WildlifeRefuge

🚨 Good news alert! 🚨 There’s new hope in the battle against white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that’s killed over 6 m...
11/10/2020

🚨 Good news alert! 🚨 There’s new hope in the battle against white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that’s killed over 6 million bats across North America. A research team from Oregon State University and UC Santa Cruz won our national prize challenge by conceiving of an aerosol spray to genetically silence the fungus that causes the disease without harming bats, the places they hibernate, or other living creatures: http://ow.ly/jkaT50CgMR2

Bats provide many benefits to people and wildlife, including pest control services when they eat insects that could otherwise spread disease or harm crops. By helping bats, we’re safeguarding a balanced natural world for current and future generations. 🦇

#FightTheFungus #SaveBats #WhiteNoseSyndrome

Photo: Tri-colored bat with visible signs of white-nose syndrome by NPS

How purrfect are these little fuzzballs? There are lots of babies born without wings in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!...
11/10/2020

How purrfect are these little fuzzballs? There are lots of babies born without wings in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! The lynx is the only native cat in Alaska. Baby lynx kittens are born with blue eyes that eventually change in color. Similar to birds, mammals are marked with individual identification tags for research purposes. These kittens were part of a study to better understand lynx movement and range. #AskAbiologist

Photo by USFWS #ArcticBirdFest

11/10/2020
Snowy owlets by Lisa Hupp/USFWS

Today we’re featuring all BABIES! This refuge provides a vital nursery for over 201 bird species due to the relatively low number of predators and nearly unlimited food sources.

Interested in getting involved with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or wondering what we do out in the field? Our biologists are standing by today to answer your questions. We invite you to #AskABiologist by sharing your question and the hashtag #ArcticBirdFest.

Snowy owlets are among the first birds to hatch from ground nests in the Arctic tundra. While they may look small, these chicks will grow up to be North America's heaviest owl! Video of blinking snowy owlets by Lisa Hupp/USFWS

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Comments

Stephen Van Buren "Any uses for large feathers? I have a pretty large collection of Turkey and Raven feathers and about 6 hawk or falcon feathers that I have aquired through my outdoor wanderings" on page offgrid living, survival, and prepping.
Symbol of America commenting on 2020. Yep, that's right! Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Wondering if someone could help me im moving to the USA (Utah) in the next 6 months from the Uk and i have pet tarantulas what process would i need to go through to transfer these pets? Thanks in advance
And you've already taken my comment down. Your agency is a joke.
Hello. I see nothing about making it so that now wolves can be shot if a state allows it. Is this not true? Please be transparent. Our "leader" has no interest in saving animals or the environment.
As an American citizen I am ashamed and embarrassed by the US Fish & Wildlife decision to withdraw protection for the gray wolf. Whatever the criteria was to make this terrible decision should be eliminated instead of gray wolf protection.
You're supposed to protect our wildlife & yet you have delisted the grey wolf today-no more ESA protection-You are disgraceful!
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. What a lie! All you care about is placating Prez Fump-wad and his sidekick at DOI.
The Hunt By Artist Chester Davis
The Hunt By Artist Chester Davis
I was down at Reelfoot Lake and took some photo of a dragonfly is this the Emerald Dragonfly that is on the Endanger species?