California has once again welcomed tiny and graceful visitors to beaches, estuaries, river mouths and lagoons. The federally endangered California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni), the smallest of the tern species, returns to California — from the bay to the border — each year during the first or second week of April to feast, rest, and nest.
Least terns hover over the surf zone or shallow estuarine waters and can be seen plunging into the water from 10–30 feet to capture small, slender-bodied fish like anchovies and topsmelt. …
When you think of wildlife, what species come to mind and gets you excited about our natural world? It could be the symbolic bald eagle, revered bison, or iconic wolf. There are probably many charismatic species you’ve come to know and love, but we want to introduce you to some less popular wildlife that also deserve some hype.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works to conserve, protect, and enhance countless wildlife species, and every single one of them contributes to biodiversity. …
She gets this question a lot:
What are those bubbles around the manatee?
Ever the professional, Monica Scroggin answers with a straight face.
Farts. Manatee farts.
And this: They’re pretty strong.
When you’re the head of visitors’ services at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, you learn all about manatees — their behavior, their travels and, yes, their flatulence. You want to know something about Trichechus manatus latirostris, ask Scroggin.
Milk-vetches are part of the largest group of plants in the world known as Astragalus and consists of about 3,000 identified species. This group is part of the legume family, which includes peas. In California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin, some of these milk-vetches grow in habitats that are incredibly inhospitable to most plants. Let’s meet a few of these tough and resilient beauties.
Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae
Historically, women have faced many challenges in STEM fields, but have persevered and paved the way for future generations. Louella Cable, Rachel Carson and others less well-known paved the way for women in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and their legacy continues to inspire women in the Service today.
Despite the accomplishments of these pioneering women, studies suggest women continue to face a number of structural and cultural challenges in their pursuit of reaching their career heights in STEM. For example, as women outperform men in both physical and life science undergraduate courses, men continue to be perceived…
Hibernation season. Soup season. Winter. Whatever you might call it, this is the time of year when you might sit on the edge of your seats with skis or snowshoes in hand ready for the first snowfall of the year. Others might live where winter doesn’t really exist (…we’re looking at you, Florida.) Whether it’s snowshoeing, ice fishing, or hiking, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries are special places to enjoy the winter season.
National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries offer many different winter recreational activities, and they are home to many wildlife…
In October 2020, after years of negotiations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with The Conservation Fund to acquire an additional 2,691 acres of forested wetlands to be added to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The parcel will provide essential habitat for migrating shorebirds, waterfowl, and other native species. Wildlife aren’t the only ones, however, that benefit from the riches of these lands. Beneath the soil there are deep historic roots that may help us piece together previously untold stories.
For years, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge has worked alongside the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Harriet Tubman Underground…
Hi! I’m Stephanie Catino, the Atlantic Flyway Speciator. Yes I know, that sounds like a fictitious title. So what exactly IS a speciator? Good question! When I accepted the job three years ago, I also had no idea what I was getting myself into…
As the speciator, I am responsible for receiving waterfowl parts from all the states along the Atlantic Coast (including Vermont and West Virginia) and determining what species of waterfowl it is from based solely on the wing characteristics. But why are we even getting wings in the mail?
It’s part of our long-term survey, the Parts…
Story, Photos and Videos by Eric Kershner
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to stare into the eyes of an albatross? I know I have! I’ve always dreamed about visiting Midway Atoll to see the millions of seabirds that call the island their home. Well that dream came true for me! I was fortunate enough to serve as the acting refuge manager for Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial for two months beginning in mid-November of 2020.
Now, I’ve studied puffins…
We’re using the the term “bugs” loosely here. True bugs belong in a family known as Hemiptera while beetles are insects of the Coleapotera family. The main differences lie in their mouth parts and how they grow from egg to adult.
Now that we’ve covered that, did you know the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protects over 24 insects in California? Here are four threatened and endangered California crawlies that need some love this Valentine’s Day and beyond.
We’re dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats.