U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Officials: Efforts failing to save sagebrush land in West

BOISE, Idaho — Public lands managers are losing a battle against a devastating combination of invasive plant species and wildfires in the vast sagebrush habitats in the U.S. West that support cattle ranching and recreation and are home to an imperiled bird, officials said. The Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies in a 58-page report released this month says…

Food shortage for brown pelicans: ‘That’s a major concern and threat for this species’

Brown pelicans, which migrate north in the spring from nesting colonies off Southern California and Mexico, spent several decades on the federal endangered species list. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)ASTORIA, Ore. — The Wildlife Center of the North Coast has already cared for several starving young California brown pelicans this spring. Brown pelicans, which migrate north in the spring from…

Endangered bee sighting in Illinois inspires Loyola survey

A rusty patched bumblebee. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)WOODSTOCK, Ill. — The sighting of an endangered bee at a college campus in northeastern Illinois has inspired a survey of the flora and fauna in the area. Loyola University Chicago student Kevin White spotted the rusty patched bumblebee last year at the ecology campus in Woodstock, the Chicago Tribune reported….

Woman attacked by bear was working on Montana grizzly study

KALISPELL, Mont. — Wildlife officials say a field assistant on a government grizzly bear study suffered serious injuries when she was attacked by a bear while working in a remote northwestern Montana mountain range. Amber Kornak, a Grizzly Bear Wildlife Technician for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), was seriously injured in what is being called a surprise attack…

Celebrate Fish Migration Day and Earth Day this weekend

A male (upper) and female (lower) Arctic Grayling at Red Rock Creek, Mont. (Photo by Jim Mogen/USFWS) Saturday, April 21 is World Fish Migration Day. Participate in a related event near you, or visit a local national wildlife refuge or national fish hatchery. And explore the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fish Migration Station website to learn more about the importance of fish passages, aquatic habitat conservation, and…

Zinke signs order to expand recreational opportunities

(U.S. Department of the Interior)WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has ordered his agency to expand recreational opportunities on public lands and waterways. An order signed Wednesday directs the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies to develop plans within 90 days that focus on expanding recreational opportunities. The order also directs bureau heads to…

Charges filed in shooting of white pelicans at Newton Lake

American white pelicans. (Minnesota DNR)NEWTON, Ill. — Thanks to information provided by the public, charges have been filed against two Newton teenagers in connection with the illegal shooting of American white pelicans at Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, discovered on April 3. Five pelicans were found dead at Newton Lake by DNR site staff. Another pelican found shot and wounded was taken…

Trump administration loosens Utah prairie dog protections

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)SALT LAKE CITY — Federal wildlife managers under the Trump administration are loosening contentious endangered-species protections for Utah prairie dogs, which worries animal advocates but relieves people in southern Utah who say their town was overrun by the burrowing creatures. The new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rules finalized late last week make it easier…

Feds propose dropping songbird from endangered species list

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The Kirtland’s warbler, a colorful songbird that was nearly wiped out by habitat loss and a wily rival, has bounced back and is ready for removal from the endangered species list, federal officials said. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed dropping legal protections for the warbler but acknowledged efforts will be…

Endangered woodpecker bounces back from the brink in Virginia

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)RICHMOND, Va. — Endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers are making a comeback in Virginia. The Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary said surveys last year found 96 individual birds. That’s the highest level since the early 1980s. Red-cockaded woodpeckers require old growth pine savannas maintained by fire and their population levels have declined…

Mulling Montana mustangs: In what would be a first, federal protections sought for wild horses

(Bureau of Land Management)BILLINGS, Mont. — Animal rights advocates announced a lawsuit against the federal government on Wednesday in a bid to make a Montana mustang population the first group of wild horses to be protected under the Endangered Species Act. A prior attempt to secure protections for wild horses across the western U.S. as imperiled wildlife failed. But supporters…

In Wyoming, keeping tabs on wolves keeps biologists on their toes

JACKSON, Wyo. — Ken Mills didn’t seem fazed to have a deep-sleeping wolf riding shotgun. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist was on his 29th phone call since waking, and he relayed details of a record 11 wolves captured in a single day. The seat of his pickup was still wet from snow that melted off a sedated and…