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Fish and Wildlife Service

Plague Confirmed at Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge

usfws logoJune 30, 2017 - Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) near Muleshoe, Texas is informing the public that plague has been confirmed on the Refuge and is currently confined to two populations of prairie dogs.  For public safety, Paul’s Lake and the access road to the lake are temporarily closed to all public access.

Plague is widespread across the western United States and outbreaks are fairly common.  Caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis, plague can be transmitted from animal to animal and from animal to human by the bites of infective fleas.

Read more: Plague Confirmed at Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge

Mexican Wolf Draft Revised Recovery Plan Released for Public Comment

mexican wolfALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft revision to the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan. The plan guides Mexican wolf recovery efforts by the bureau and its partners, with the ultimate goal of removing this wolf subspecies from Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections and returning management to the appropriate states and tribes. The Service is now seeking public input and peer review on the draft revised plan through a public comment period and series of public meetings. The comment period will remain open through August 29, 2017.

Read more: Mexican Wolf Draft Revised Recovery Plan Released for Public Comment

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Delist Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

grizzly bear yellowstoneOn June 22, 2017, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will delist the Yellowstone population of the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).  According to the Service, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Distinct Population Segment (Yellowstone DPS) of the grizzly bear has recovered to the point that federal protections are no longer necessary and overall management of the species can be returned to the states and tribes.

The Yellowstone DPS consists of grizzlies in portions of northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho.  The Service estimates that the population has rebounded from as few as 136 bears in 1975 to approximately 700 today. The Yellowstone DPS now occupies more than 22,500 square miles, more than double its range from the mid-1970s. 

Read more: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Delist Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

Perfect Pairs

usfws logoComplement your national park trip with a stop at a nearby wildlife refuge

Visiting a national park this summer? Pair it with a side trip to a less discovered cousin – a national wildlife refuge.

The National Wildlife Refuge System, part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protects natural habitat for America’s treasured wildlife species, helps clean our air and water and offers access to world-class recreation, such as fishing, hunting and nature watching.

Refuges are surprisingly close to some of the country’s most celebrated canyons, mountains and springs. And often, they are way less crowded. Consider these perfect pairs.

Read more: Perfect Pairs

Migrating, Nesting Shorebirds Need Help From Pet Owners

PORTLAND, Ore. — Beach visitors have been flocking to Pacific Northwest beaches as the sun begins to return after a long, wet winter. While long walks on the beach with your dog may be relaxing for the two of you, it's very stressful (and possibly deadly) for the thousands of shorebirds trying to nest or rest in the midst of a long migration.

“The western snowy plover and other migratory birds really need to be left alone, particularly during nesting season and migrations,” said Laura Todd, field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Newport field office. “Some of these birds are in the middle of a thousand-mile journey that starts in South America and doesn’t finish until they reach the Arctic. The beaches here in Oregon and Washington offer a much-needed spot to feed, rest and nest, and shorebirds rely on humans to let them be to complete their journey or nest successfully.”

Read more: Migrating, Nesting Shorebirds Need Help From Pet Owners

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