With the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act just a month away, we are gearing up all our efforts to get the word out so our partners can celebrate this monumental law and let people know about all the plants and animals it protects. Our most recent issues of Fish & Wildlife News takes a look at the Act, its history and milestones, success stories from around the nation and more. Check it out!

(Artwork: Meredith Graf)

Wait, is that a hummingbird? No – it’s a bat!

Lesser long-nosed bats that pollinate agave and saguaro cacti in Arizona have been forced to use hummingbird feeders after a widespread failure in the agave bloom in 2006. 

However, many Tucson residents have come to love their new backyard wildlife and have become citizen scientists that conduct monitoring programs and serve as stewards for bat conservation. 

Learn more at    

Photo: A lesser long-nosed bat visiting a hummingbird feeder in Tucson, AZ. These bats will often empty an entire feeder in one night.  (Courtesy Richard Spitzer)


ESA at 40: Lynx to Live in Vermont Permanently?

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

This week, we have an ESA40 double-feature for you, with two great success stories coming from the state of Vermont!

Are they here to stay? 

That’s the question we’ve been asking during the past year.  In 2012, eight Canada Lynx tracks were spotted between February and March. After analysis, biologists determined that four of the tracks were traveling together, suggesting a female Canada Lynx and three kittens. 

A Canada lynx kitten. (James Weliver/USFWS)

Keep reading


By Valerie Fellows, USFWS

As part of the Service’s commemoration of the Endangered Species Act’s 40th Anniversary, each week we feature a different state and its unique story to highlight our continued success in recovering threatened and endangered species.

This week is all about “Wild and Wonderful” West Virginia!

At Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia, conservation efforts are underway to monitor and restore the mountain red spruce habitat of the threatened Cheat Mountain salamander:  

Cheat mountain salamanders, less than 5 inches long, are one of two vertebrates native only to the Mountain State, and are found only on Cheat Mountain and nearby mountaintops with mixed spruce stands.

One of the primary threats to the species is the loss and degradation of its high elevation red spruce and northern hardwood forest habitat.

West Virginia is also home to one of the greatest Endangered Species Act success stories.

After years of habitat protection and restoration, the once-endangered West Virginia northern flying squirrel in Central Appalachia fully recovered and was removed from ESA protection.

Efforts for future conservation are now underway to restore red spruce habitats through the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative:

Valerie Fellows is a Communications Specialist in the Endangered Species Program at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
ESA at 40: Moapa Dace Moves Toward Recovery

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

The Moapa Dace is swimming toward larger populations. 

The species was actually one of the very first species listed as endangered in 1967 under the Endangered Species Preservation Act – the precursor to the ESA.


Since then, we’ve done a lot, in conjunction with our partners, to restore this fish’s habitat and remove non-native species.

The result: it has nearly doubled in population!   

Get more info about the Moapa Dace at:

Kirtland Warbler’s Remarkable Recovery

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

The recurring theme of the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) 40th anniversary is to recognize the success stories that have derived from the ESA itself. 

A male Kirtland’s warbler (USFWS)

The Kirtland’s warbler has made a remarkable recovery. 

This beaut of a bird faced extinction nearly 40 years ago. It was one of the first animals to gain federal protection in 1967. After it was listed, we partnered up with Michigan Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, and other organizations to strategize about conservation plans for this species. 

The results of these conservation efforts have exceeded all expectations.  The original goal was 1,000 breeding pairs and the current population almost doubles that. 

The goal now is to help to secure these numbers. 

For more:

ESA at 40: Channel Engineering Helps Protect Pallid Sturgeon

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

This is Angeline Rogers, the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee coordinator. 


Rogers is holding an endangered pallid sturgeon and is in the process of determining the population of the species.

New reports in the Lower Mississippi River show that the population has increased from fewer than a dozen to more than 1,000 fish! 

Sturgeon spawning and other habitats are being protected and restored through channel engineering. 

To learn more about channel engineering, and the many species that benefit from this conservation method, visit:  

#IvoryCrush by USFWS Mountain Prairie on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
We will not tolerate ivory trafficking and the toll it is taking on elephant populations.
To send a message to ivory traffickers and their customers, this Thursday November 14th, we’re crushing the stockpile of ivory our special agents and inspectors have seized over the years - some six tons worth.