Bison and calf
Bison and calf
Bison and calf at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Rich Keen/DPRA

June is Great Outdoors Month and #TeamPublicLands at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service presents our top five list to get you outside. There are so many great activities, we hope to pique your interest.

America’s public lands, including national wildlife refuges, national fish hatcheries, parks, and forests, offer tremendous opportunities to explore and enjoy the great outdoors, most from sunrise to sunset every day. Hike, fish, observe, and photograph wildlife! Studies show that spending time in nature benefits physical and mental health, academic performance, and overall quality of life.

These wonderful places offer unique opportunities to see wildlife, but…


Two women wearing life vests kayak on a river.
Two women wearing life vests kayak on a river.
Kayaking the Charles River. Photo by Lamar Gore/USFWS.

National Fishing and Boating Week (June 5 — June 13, 2021) is a great time to learn to fish, reconnect with your kayak, and enjoy the water with friends and family.

Last year more than 55 million people turned to fishing as a safe respite from the screens and stresses of the year — the highest number in over a decade. Here are some great ways you can celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service!


DNA found in scat helps scientists learn about secretive fox

a Sierra Nevada red fox walking through a snowy landscape
a Sierra Nevada red fox walking through a snowy landscape
Recently proposed to be listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the southern population of the Sierra Nevada red fox is estimated to consist of fewer than 50 individuals. Credit: National Park Service

There’s an elusive fox roaming the southern Sierra Nevada, and experts are trying to learn more about its behavior and breeding success by analyzing one of the few traces of its presence — poop.

Living in areas above 9,000 feet in elevation, the fox is smaller than most, has fuzzy paws, and a thick fur coat–all adaptations to help it survive the heavy winter snows and challenging alpine conditions. Its fur can range in color from red to black to grayish-brown.

Recently proposed to be listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the southern population…


two California condors standing while another condor lands in the middle with wings outstretched
two California condors standing while another condor lands in the middle with wings outstretched
Three California condors at Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of Chris Trent.

For those who live in ‘Condor Country,’ this one’s for you!

You may have recently seen images on Twitter of about 20 endangered California condors “having a party” at a residential home near Tehachapi in Southern California. While this is a remarkable sighting, this behavior can be problematic if not quickly discouraged.

Condors are large, curious, wild animals that explore their environment to find food. Occasionally, this leads to condors visiting homes within their habitat which can create dangerous situations for these endangered birds and cause damage to property. It is illegal to place food and water out to attract…


Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Ramsar, is the oldest modern global intergovernmental environmental agreement. The Ramsar Convention encourages the designation of sites containing representative, rare or unique wetlands, or wetlands that are important for conserving biological diversity. The United States boasts 41 Ramsar sites across the United States totaling over 4.6 million acres. Twenty- three of these sites fall completely or partially within National Wildlife Refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Here’s a look at the first four U.S. …


A black-footed ferret with its teeth sticking out
A black-footed ferret with its teeth sticking out
Elizabeth Ann. All photos by the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center/USFWS

Who is Elizabeth Ann, you ask? Well, she is a beloved black-footed ferret that the world has fallen in love with — and you will too! More importantly, Elizabeth Ann is the first cloned U.S. endangered species and her DNA could be an answer to recovering America’s most endangered mammal, the black-footed ferret. Let’s get to know this charming and feisty trailblazer and learn about her curious life.

Black-footed ferrets were believed to be extinct twice. In 1981, a small population of the species, was rediscovered by a Wyoming rancher. Upon that discovery, the Service and the Wyoming Game and…


3 photos: From left, trail with signs, hiker cleaning off shoe, sign with Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! as title
3 photos: From left, trail with signs, hiker cleaning off shoe, sign with Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! as title

Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, and other living organisms that thrive in areas where they don’t naturally live. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is the conservation of the nation’s fish, wildlife, and plants. Team up with us to take down invaders across the nation and help protect our public lands and waters!

Invasive species cause tremendous harm to our environment, our economy, and our health. They can drive out and eat native plants and wildlife, spread diseases, and damage infrastructure. …


Prescribed fire at Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Ruby Valley, Nevada. Photo by USFWS

Much like a doctor uses medication to treat an ailment, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service often prescribes fire to increase the overall health of the land and to protect communities from catastrophic wildfire.

For the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, prescribed fire is the planned application of low to moderate intensity burns onto the landscape by fire and fuel specialists to meet land management objectives.

“Prescribed fire is a tool that national wildlife refuges use throughout the country and, in particular, California and Nevada, to reduce fuel loads and refresh habitats by cleaning up older or dead vegetation/buildup,” said…


We’ve all heard the saying, “April showers bring May flowers,” but at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we like to say, “listed flowers are the prettiest.” Here’s a few threatened and endangered flowers in California and Nevada that we think prove our point.

Kenwood Marsh Checkermallow

bee on a pink Kenwood Marsh checkermallow
bee on a pink Kenwood Marsh checkermallow
Kenwood Marsh checkermallow. Credit: Kate Symonds/USFWS.

If you only wear pink on Wednesdays, you can’t be in the Kenwood Marsh checkermallow’s club. This flower wears pink every day. Sporting a cone-shaped grouping of tiny, hot pink flowers, this rare beauty (also known as the Kenwood Marsh checkerbloom) is endangered and only found in two locations — Kenwood Marsh and Knight’s Valley —…


The Attwater’s prairie-chicken is bouncing back.

a prairie chicken with orange eyebrow ridges and gular sacs dances on the prairie
a prairie chicken with orange eyebrow ridges and gular sacs dances on the prairie
A male Attwater’s prairie-chicken by John Magera/USFWS.

After decades of protection and conservation efforts, Texas’ critically endangered Attwater’s prairie-chicken population is at its highest since 1993. Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy in Texas estimate the current population is at least 178 birds, with 89 males counted during the 2021 spring survey at the Service’s Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge and on private ranch lands participating in grassland management activities as part of the Conservancy’s Refugio-Goliad Prairie Project.

While populations remain at extreme risk, this year’s count demonstrates a remarkable turnaround from near extinction in the wild just a few…

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