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 else enjoys a winter run to keep warm and stay healthy? Pronghorn live in #SagebrushCountry across the American West...
01/26/2021

Who else enjoys a winter run to keep warm and stay healthy? Pronghorn live in #SagebrushCountry across the American West. They’re North America’s fastest land mammals, reaching speeds over 50 miles per hour! Sagebrush leaves provide pronghorn with food and water during cold winter months. More: http://ow.ly/Bm5K50Di4MR

Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS

#350species #Pronghorn

Southern California has many endemic plants, which means they’re found nowhere else in the world! One such group is know...
01/25/2021

Southern California has many endemic plants, which means they’re found nowhere else in the world! One such group is known as the carbonate plants. They are found in the carbonate belt, an area of the San Bernardino Mountains, which contains unique soils in a series of bands that run east to west along the desert-facing slopes of the mountains. Fun fact, calcium carbonate is used as an ingredient in toothpaste! We work with the U.S. Forest Service and other landowners to conserve these amazing plants.

Photos by the U.S. Forest Service

01/25/2021
Horsehair Worm

Y'all, this is a long one, but it's worth it. Buckle up. We're gonna talk about horsehair worms.

🤔 Say what?

Horsehair worms are insect parasites. They can be easily overlooked, mistaken for a plant vine, or trash, or even horse hairs (hence the name). They're called worms, but are nothing like your average earthworm.

🤔 I've never heard of this.

We don't see them often because they live inside insects most of their lives.

🤔 So what's the deal with horsehair worms?

Adult horsehair worms mate and lay eggs in water, where cockroaches, grasshoppers, or other insects can accidentally drink the eggs. Once consumed, the larval worm (or worms) will makes its way into the body cavity of the insect.

They start out small, but then they grow and grow. Once it looks like a long hair, it’s ready to leave the host insect. Here's the weird part - it will take over the host insect and actually make the host jump into nearby water. Unable to stop itself, the host cricket or grasshopper will go jump into a pool! Like a ZOMBIE! Then, the now adult horsehair worm will burst out of the insect's abdomen, a la the chestburster in Alien, and start over. Shockingly, the insect itself probably doesn't die from this, though it's in a pretty good position to make a tasty snack for a fish.

This is a basic description, it's a bit more complicated but SO interesting!

P.S. Horsehair worms are harmless to humans and pets, unless it's a pet cricket 🦗

🎥 Video: A long, thin, threadlike horsehair worm shown on the ground, then on a hand. The thin body coils slowly and stiffly. No sound. Credit: S.Martinez/FWS

Have you ever looked up at the sky and wondered what kind of raptor you’re seeing? Well, we might be able to help! Check...
01/25/2021

Have you ever looked up at the sky and wondered what kind of raptor you’re seeing? Well, we might be able to help! Check out these ways to help you identify if you’re seeing a bald or golden eagle: http://ow.ly/61bP50DcMYZ

Photo: Golden eagle at Seedskadee and Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuges in Wyoming by Tom Koerner/USFWS

Tips for kid-friendly winter fishing: http://ow.ly/9ym050DgUFt✅ keep them warm✅ bring snacks✅ give them a job✅ catch fis...
01/25/2021

Tips for kid-friendly winter fishing: http://ow.ly/9ym050DgUFt
✅ keep them warm
✅ bring snacks
✅ give them a job
✅ catch fish

We also invite you to listen to the latest episode of Fish of the Week! on Apple Podcasts to learn more about Alaska's fish/winter fishing opportunities: https://www.fws.gov/alaska/pages/fish-of-the-week
📷 USFWS/Katrina Liebich
#Fish150 #AllTheFish

Fox squirrels are the largest squirrels in North America. They typically weigh between 1 and 2 pounds, though this one m...
01/24/2021

Fox squirrels are the largest squirrels in North America. They typically weigh between 1 and 2 pounds, though this one might weigh a bit more than average!

Photo: Fox squirrel in Michigan courtesy of Corey Seeman/Creative Commons. https://flic.kr/p/2kfQncS

We’ve got your #Caturday cravings covered! This camera-shy bobcat was recently spotted via a trail camera at Entiat Nati...
01/23/2021

We’ve got your #Caturday cravings covered! This camera-shy bobcat was recently spotted via a trail camera at Entiat National Fish Hatchery in Washington State. Bobcats are elusive predators found in a variety of habitats across the U.S. Have you ever seen one in the wild?

Photo courtesy of Julia Pinnix.

Acorns, nuts and a variety of seeds make up the bulk of the red-bellied woodpecker’s winter diet. If you live near a woo...
01/23/2021

Acorns, nuts and a variety of seeds make up the bulk of the red-bellied woodpecker’s winter diet. If you live near a wooded area, you may attract them with suet or even peanuts!

Photo: Red-bellied woodpecker courtesy of Jen Goellnitz/Creative Commons. https://flic.kr/p/D3qPfz

Soaring into the weekend! This exquisite scene was captured at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. Trumpeter...
01/23/2021

Soaring into the weekend! This exquisite scene was captured at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. Trumpeter swans are North America’s largest native waterfowl.

Explore nearby nature at your closest national wildlife refuge: http://ow.ly/E5Gs50Dg8OS

Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS

#WildlifeRefuge #Wyoming

Building roads for Yosemite toads! That’s right, we’re hoping these undercrossings will not only help the toad, but othe...
01/22/2021

Building roads for Yosemite toads! That’s right, we’re hoping these undercrossings will not only help the toad, but other frogs and small mammals, as well. More: http://ow.ly/3rQ450DfXYi

Photo: Yosemite toads courtesy of Kris Basin/Caltrans

On this episode of Nest Hunters, this Dallas-area bald eagle couple was looking for a modern industrial style home in th...
01/22/2021

On this episode of Nest Hunters, this Dallas-area bald eagle couple was looking for a modern industrial style home in the suburbs to raise their chicks. After the bonded pair built their nest in an active high-voltage transmission tower at the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, we assisted Oncor Energy with relocating the family to a safe, bespoke new-build tower nearby. Since moving into their new home in 2014, the eagle pair has had at least 14 eaglets including one that hatched yesterday, Jan 21! (edited to update eagle birthday)

Check out a live stream of this happy couple and their love nest here: youtube.com/watch?v=auBp_vUUXqU (Live stream camera shows two adult bald eagles and a tiny grayish bald eagle hatchling in a large nest made of twigs and sticks.)

Photos courtesy of John Bunker Sands Wetland Center

If you’re most active in the late afternoon, dusk or dawn and prefer open country, you may just be a short-eared owl! Sh...
01/21/2021

If you’re most active in the late afternoon, dusk or dawn and prefer open country, you may just be a short-eared owl! Short-eared owls are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. This bird was spotted at Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada.

Photo by Susan Sawyer/USFWS

While we can stay warm and cozy in the confines of our homes, wildlife don't have it as easy. However, many species have...
01/21/2021

While we can stay warm and cozy in the confines of our homes, wildlife don't have it as easy. However, many species have special ways to survive the cold days and long nights. From frogs with organic antifreeze to tree swallow cuddle puddles, check out the wildlife that are best in snow: http://ow.ly/KUyH50DcM4v

Photo: Tree swallow cuddle puddle courtesy of Keith Williams/CreativeCommons

Three reasons why the black-capped vireo is one of Texas’ most underrated pop stars: 1. This fashionista wears spectacle...
01/21/2021

Three reasons why the black-capped vireo is one of Texas’ most underrated pop stars: 1. This fashionista wears spectacles and a snazzy tuxedo all the time. 2. This songbird can hit more than 1,700 notes - look out Beyonce! 3. Thanks to the conservation efforts of our partners, these recovered birds tour and share their sweet tunes with fans across the state.

Read the highlights from our second year of post-delisting monitoring, including a new survey method where biologists are using audio recording units to locate these birds, here: fws.gov/southwest/es/arlingtontexas/

Photo: Black-capped vireo, USFWS

Below the surface of Oklahoma's Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge is an underground labyrinth carved by water and t...
01/20/2021

Below the surface of Oklahoma's Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge is an underground labyrinth carved by water and time. One of the unique inhabitants of the cave system there is the Ozark big-eared bat. Their ears are over an inch long!

Learn more about the Ozark Plateau and its habitats:
fws.gov/refuge/Ozark_Plateau/

Photo: Dante Fenolio

Check out this handsome fella! During winter, elk congregate at lower elevations where snow melts faster. This provides ...
01/20/2021

Check out this handsome fella! During winter, elk congregate at lower elevations where snow melts faster. This provides more food resources compared to higher elevations that have severe winter weather. Learn more about elk: http://ow.ly/L9sJ50DcKIP

Photo: Bull elk at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming by Kari Cieszkiewicz/USFWS

Common and Barrow’s goldeneye (diving ducks) swim along with trumpeter swans wintering at Seedskadee National Wildlife R...
01/20/2021

Common and Barrow’s goldeneye (diving ducks) swim along with trumpeter swans wintering at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. Explore birding tips: http://ow.ly/5ujv50DcYQD

What kinds of birds have you spotted recently?

Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS

We can't all head indoors when the weather turns cold. Mountain yellow-legged frogs in the Sierra Nevada Mountains spend...
01/19/2021

We can't all head indoors when the weather turns cold. Mountain yellow-legged frogs in the Sierra Nevada Mountains spend the winter at the bottom of high elevation lakes. The Southern California population of mountain yellow-legged frogs inhabit mountain streams and creeks throughout the year and become dormant in the winter months. Breeding season for both populations of this species begins after they emerge from their cold weather hibernation.

Photo courtesy of Isaac Chellman/California Department of Fish and Wildlife #EndangeredSpecies

Did you know that those barbed quills aren't the porcupine's only defense against predators? They also stink! It's not q...
01/19/2021

Did you know that those barbed quills aren't the porcupine's only defense against predators? They also stink! It's not quite like a skunk, they don't spray the odor, but it does get stronger when they feel threatened. People describe it as smelling like bad human body odor.

Photo: Heidi Schuyt/Creative Commons. flickr.com/photos/hschuyt/8421640593/

The Alaska Blackfish is one tough cookie! They're one of the few fish species in the world that can breathe atmospheric ...
01/19/2021

The Alaska Blackfish is one tough cookie! They're one of the few fish species in the world that can breathe atmospheric oxygen thanks to their modified esophagus. Check out the latest episode of "Fish of the Week!" here: https://fws.gov/alaska/pages/fish-of-the-week

📷 Katrina Liebich #Fish150 #AllTheFish

There are five species of prairie dogs in North America, including black-tailed prairie dogs. They are related to squirr...
01/18/2021

There are five species of prairie dogs in North America, including black-tailed prairie dogs. They are related to squirrels and their burrows provide important habitat for many wildlife, including burrowing owls and endangered black-footed ferrets. Learn more about these ecosystem engineers: http://ow.ly/zdbc50DbLzB

Photo: Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado by Lee Winnike/USFWS

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a s...
01/18/2021

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” - Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963

Photo: Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana by MaryJo Hill/USFWS

#MLKDay #WildlifeRefuge #Montana

In the winter, moose mostly eat woody plants but they’ll also scrape snow with their hooves to search for food. You may ...
01/17/2021

In the winter, moose mostly eat woody plants but they’ll also scrape snow with their hooves to search for food. You may even see them along roadsides searching for salt.

Photo: Moose by Tom Koerner/USFWS.

When the snow gets deep, marten sightings are rare. That’s because they’ll hunt in tunnels under the snow! If temperatur...
01/16/2021

When the snow gets deep, marten sightings are rare. That’s because they’ll hunt in tunnels under the snow! If temperatures get extremely cold, martens will burrow deep into the snow to stay warm.

Photo: American marten in a tree courtesy of Keith Roper/Creative Commons. https://flic.kr/p/RYvfxU

The Lange's metalmark butterfly is only found at Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in California. There may be fewe...
01/15/2021

The Lange's metalmark butterfly is only found at Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in California. There may be fewer than 50 of these butterflies remaining today. Learn how we're helping protect this endangered species and more at the 55-acre urban refuge: http://ow.ly/Up9P50D3P5K

Photo by Steve Martarano/USFWS

It’s a new year, and it’s a Friday 🥳 — let’s take a moment to celebrate some wildlife wins! For uplifting news: http://o...
01/15/2021

It’s a new year, and it’s a Friday 🥳 — let’s take a moment to celebrate some wildlife wins! For uplifting news: http://ow.ly/8WNo50D9TIs

Photo composite by Jake Sisco/USFWS

We’re proud to award nearly $7.4 million to state and commonwealth wildlife agencies through the Competitive State Wildl...
01/15/2021

We’re proud to award nearly $7.4 million to state and commonwealth wildlife agencies through the Competitive State Wildlife Grant Program! This year’s grantees are working to better understand and protect golden-winged warblers, ornate box turtles, and western bumble bees: http://ow.ly/Jfcs50D9HNX

State wildlife agencies are essential partners in conserving America’s wildlife and wild places. We empower states via the Competitive State Wildlife Grant Program to support on-the-ground conservation at the local level. Together, we can protect imperiled species and their habitats, and potentially prevent them from becoming endangered.

This year’s grantees will implement 17 conservation projects that span 28 states and four commonwealths. Congratulations to this year’s grant recipients! 🎉

Photos: Golden winged warbler by Walt Ford/USFWS; Ornate box turtle by Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS.

#WildlifeConservation

This week we - along with Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Land Management - Utah - announced availability of the...
01/15/2021

This week we - along with Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Land Management - Utah - announced availability of the Records of Decision for the Northern Corridor Project in Utah related to the Mojave desert tortoise. Learn more about this project and Mojave desert tortoise conservation: http://ow.ly/yMUn50D95DH

Photos: USFWS

Red-tailed hawks are the most common hawk in North America and the second largest, after the ferruginous hawk. Despite t...
01/15/2021

Red-tailed hawks are the most common hawk in North America and the second largest, after the ferruginous hawk. Despite their large size, red-tailed hawks only weigh about 3 pounds but will hunt prey as large has 5 pounds!

Photo: Red-tailed hawk by Mark Bohn/USFWS.

We strive to balance America’s energy independence with bald and golden eagle conservation across the nation. We’re post...
01/14/2021

We strive to balance America’s energy independence with bald and golden eagle conservation across the nation. We’re posting the final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact to issue a 30-year eagle take permit for the Dunlap Wind Energy Project in Wyoming: http://ow.ly/pupL50D90TB The final assessment analyzed impacts of the existing 74-turbine wind energy project and evaluated conservation opportunities.

Photo: Bald eagle in Wyoming by Tom Koerner/USFWS

There may be fewer than 50 Lange’s metalmark butterflies remaining today, down from an estimated 25,000 between 50 and 1...
01/14/2021

There may be fewer than 50 Lange’s metalmark butterflies remaining today, down from an estimated 25,000 between 50 and 100 years ago. The butterfly is only found at Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in California. Learn how we’re helping this endangered species and many others at the 55-acre urban refuge: http://ow.ly/6kFC50D8Hl9

Photos by USFWS

Cactus wrens are so good at living in their desert habitat that they barely ever have to drink water. All the water they...
01/14/2021

Cactus wrens are so good at living in their desert habitat that they barely ever have to drink water. All the water they need comes from the juicy bugs and fruit they eat.

Photo: George Jameson At Cibola National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona

Smile for the camera! In the winter, river otters can often be spotted along ice openings. They may even create their ow...
01/14/2021

Smile for the camera! In the winter, river otters can often be spotted along ice openings. They may even create their own openings when necessary.

Photo: River otter courtesy of Jeremy T. Hetzel/Creative Commons. https://flic.kr/p/ow2hjb

Are you a student who’s passionate about working in wildlife conservation (or do you know one)? Apply for the U.S. Fish ...
01/14/2021

Are you a student who’s passionate about working in wildlife conservation (or do you know one)? Apply for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Directorate Fellows Program by January 15: http://ow.ly/uQFg50D80Hu This paid summer fellowship could lead to a full-time permanent job!

Eligibility requirements:

✅ Current student: Undergraduate junior or senior; enrolled or current graduate student

✅ GPA: 3.0 or higher

✅ U.S. Citizen or permanent resident, age 17 or older

✅ Available for 11 weeks during summer 2021

Explore additional conservation career opportunities with us: http://ow.ly/nmzC50D80Nb

Photos: USFWS

One can identify a juvenile bald eagle by their mottled brown and white plumage. They gradually acquire their dark brown...
01/13/2021

One can identify a juvenile bald eagle by their mottled brown and white plumage. They gradually acquire their dark brown body and distinctive white head and tail as they mature.

Photo by Parthiban Kandappan taken at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex in California.

An adult and juvenile bald eagle face off at the Sacramento NWR. What do you think this dispute was about? Photo by Parthiban Kandappan.

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Comments

I am against a partnership with the NRA to train hunters to kill more wildlife. We face a crisis in health and the environment because of the destruction we continue to create by destroying keystone predators and wild life. This is not a viable plan for our future.
Utterly appalling! How do you even put "Conserving the Nature of America" on the same page as "Signs MOU to Recruit, Retain and Retrain Hunters in Partnership with NRA"? https://tinyurl.com/y55jyhot
Found it!
USFWS Member heads out on patrol at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island, Massachusetts on January 13th, 2021
The Arctic Refuge that is at risk of being leased off before the next inauguration. Please oppose to opening the last 5% of Alaska's North Slope to oil and gas exploration and risking the lives of threatened polar bears. Visit the @ProTheArctic link and help #ProtectTheArctic!"
Great for a stocking stuffer just not for hunting but for conservation and the habitat show the love this Christmas promote habitat conservation the critters will thank you
A story about condor encounters in Big Sur and Pinnacles National Park, California:
American bison @ Custer State Park, SD
Has Wisdom the oldest banded bird been back since you posted a few years ago?
It's nuts...I'm seeing salmon in the ditch along Benson Road in Lynden and in Double Ditch near the border....and we're talking several pretty nice fish.