Endangered Species

Guidelines for Ethical Wildlife Viewing

a juvenile albatross sitting on the water
A juvenile short-tailed albatross that has been spotted along the California coast. 📷 Brad R. Lewis

We need your help

We are asking members of the birding community to be ambassadors for ethical wildlife viewing.

We’ve received reports of illegal chumming and baiting of a critically endangered short-tailed albatross along the central California coast. Feeding or getting too close to this imperiled bird may cause undue stress, lead to habituation, and reduce its chances of being able to survive in the wild. …


Connecting with nature through photography

portrait photo of Alex Miller
Portrait courtesy of Alex Miller

Alex Miller is a Los Angeles-based portrait photographer who was born and raised in Berlin, Germany. With over three years of professional photography under her belt, many within the social media community may recognize Miller as “Liquidverve.” Unlike most photographers, Miller uses natural light in her work 99% of the time. We caught up with her recently to find out how nature impacts her art and why we should preserve these wild places.

Q: What inspires you about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?

A: I really respect and appreciate this agency’s conservation efforts. I…


Daniel standing on a sandy ledge next to a tree
Daniel Cisneros, first-ever Kendra Chan Conservation Fellow, stands beneath an island oak (Quercus tomentella) in a cloud forest on Santa Rosa Island, one of the northern Channel Islands off the California coast. Photo courtesy Daniel Cisneros

Daniel Cisneros stood atop one of the highest peaks on Santa Rosa Island off the California coast, admiring the island oak and bishop pine trees, an ancient forest among the clouds brought back to life after years of human disturbance.

Cisneros, an ecology student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden to conduct a germination study for five rare plant species on the Channel Islands. The work will shed light on the role seed banking can play to help struggling plant populations.

Cisneros’ research is made…


A life-changing opportunity to work in conservation

dirt trail featuring flat grasslands and a forest and mountain range background and blue skies with some clouds
A trail out in Herman’s Gulch, Colorado. Credit: Amy Walsh

Are you an active college or graduate student interested in joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? Well, the Directorate Fellows Program may just be your golden ticket.

“Growing up, I always had an admiration for wildlife,” said Dimitri Pappas, fish and wildlife biologist for the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office. “I was always so impressed that animals didn’t have grocery stores — that they were responsible for surviving off their surroundings. The moment I learned species have gone extinct from human-related causes, was the moment I knew that my dream would involve helping them.”

Pappas, along with many others…


New Science Can Help Determine How to Manage Invasive Carp in the Missouri River Basin.

Silver carp with white background
Silver carp. Photo by Sam Stukel/USFWS

Summer. A time to soak up the warmth of the sun, indulge in some cold treats, and of course — enjoy some exciting water recreation. During the summer, paddleboards, kayaks, fishing boats, and numerous other types of watercraft fill the Missouri River Basin. Anglers are hooked on opportunities to catch trout, walleye, bass, or perhaps even a hefty native paddlefish. The Missouri River Basin, composed of many tributaries and reservoirs, stretches from western Montana east to the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri. If you want to know how big that is, it’s nearly a sixth of the continental United…


A landscape with oak savannah on the flats and juniper forest on the hill slopes
Yellow wildflowers at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Claire Hassler/USFWS

Few people know the rolling hills of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge in Texas as well as Kandace Glanville and Paris Phelps.

These two field technicians have hiked almost every inch of the refuge’s 27,000 acres. They’ve climbed up and down canyons, scaled fences, and shoved their way through brush dense enough to rip ones clothes. They’ve discovered hidden karst caves and animal bones, they’ve seen their fair share of snakes and feral hogs. Their boots have been soaked through with dew, and they’ve been poked by many a cactus.

For what, you may ask? To gather vital information about…


Jorge walks down a path with yellow flowers
Jorge Ayón birding at Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge in California. Credit: Jorge Ayón

As the sun rises early in the morning, the fog fades away to reveal the secrets of the estuary. The fiddler crabs dance in unison before the next high tide, a peregrine falcon is in hot pursuit of breakfast, and all around, the initial silence is broken by birds of all types of feathers. Despite growing up near the Tijuana Estuary, for Jorge Ayón, some of these sights and sounds were not always obvious.

Although Ayón lived in Tijuana, Mexico, up to the age of 5, he was born and raised in Chula Vista, California. He graduated from Chula Vista…


Carl Millegan and daughter Jada visit Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska.
Carl Millegan and daughter Jada visit Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska.

Great Outdoors Month, celebrated each year during June, reminds us to head outside and explore our nation’s abundant natural beauty.

More than 101 million Americans, 40% of the U.S. population age 16 and older, pursue wildlife-related recreation, including hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching. In 2016, these outdoor activities contributed more than $156 billion in economic activity in communities across the United States.

Hunters and anglers play an important role in ensuring the future of diverse and healthy wildlife populations. In the United States, hunting and fishing are outdoor traditions. With a few exceptions that vary by state, everyone must have…


Few things are more frightening than wildfire. Anyone who’s found themselves too close for comfort, or even witnessed large wildfires from afar, can probably attest to a feeling of dread in that moment. Yet, wildfire is a natural part of life and the natural world, and it plays a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

flames consume a stand of trees in a forest fire
Whitewater-Baldy Complex wildfire in Gila National Forest, New Mexico (2012). Photo by Kari Greer/USFS

When we see the hot, red and orange flames of a raging wildfire, it can be easy to focus on the destruction that comes with such an intense demonstration of nature’s power. Yet even in the wake of destructive natural cycles, many plants and wildlife…


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…

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

We’re dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats.

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