A black bear snoozing on a tree limb.

Florida Black Bear Population Continues to Increase

April 18, 2017Today, after a robust investigation into the population and health of Florida black bears, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) found a petition to list the bear under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) did not present substantial information that listing may be warranted. This finding will be published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2017 and concludes the agency’s work on the petition. In the 1970s, the estimated number of adult Florida black bears had fallen to only 300. Read the full story...

Florida black bear. Photo by FWC.

An acrylic painting of a duck on blue water.

2017 Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Student Art Competition Winners

April 12, 2017Rayen Kang, 17, from the First Fine Art & Design Studio in Johns Creek, Georgia, is this year’s winner of the annual Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition. Five judges unanimously selected her acrylic rendition of an American wigeon as the Georgia Best of Show. The contest was held April 11 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta. Kang receives a $175 scholarship from Georgia Power, a long-time sponsor of the Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Program, as well as a certificate and ribbon. Read the full story...

Rayen Kangs acrylic rendition of an American wigeon.

A light orange salamander with a bright orange stripe

Fish and Wildlife, the military and state of Florida boost conservation at Camp Blanding

April 6, 2017The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined Florida conservation and military officials Thursday in a voluntary effort to keep the striped newt, gopher tortoise and 20 other at-risk species from being federally listed as endangered. Read the full story...

Juvenile striped newt. Photo by FWC.

A group of about a dozen small triangular shellfish in shallow water.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finds Yellow Lance Mussel Warrants Endangered Species Act Protection

April 4, 2017A freshwater mussel native to waters from Maryland to North Carolina along the Atlantic seaboard is declining. Recent surveys showed the yellow lance mussel has lost 57 percent of its historical range. Read the full story...

Yellow lance in the Tar River in North Carolina. Photo by Sarah McRae, USFWS.

Four manatees and a school of fish assemble under crystal clear water.

Manatee Reclassified from Endangered to Threatened as Habitat Improves and Population Expands - Existing Federal Protections Remain in Place

March 30, 2017Read the release in Spanish. On the heels of Manatee Appreciation Day, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the downlisting of the West Indian manatee from endangered to threatened. Notable increases in manatee populations and improvements in its habitat allowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to change the species’ status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The downlisting comes after diverse conservation efforts and collaborations by Florida and other manatee states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Caribbean nations, public and private organizations and citizens, there have been notable increases in manatee populations and improvements in its habitat. Read the full story...

Manatees at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Photo by David Hinkel.

A gopher tortoise walking through an open pine habitat.

Service, Department of Defense Adopt Credit Strategy for Southeast Installations Benefiting Gopher Tortoise and other species

March 24, 2017Tifton, Ga. – A first-in- the-nation conservation plan, crafted by the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, protects at-risk gopher tortoises here while helping military bases to continue training and testing missions across the tortoise’s Southern turf. Read the full story...

Gopher tortoise. Photo by FWC.

Tree-like coral under what looks like snow from spawning coral.

Coral Reef Commons Draft Habitat Conservation Plan Available for Public Review and Comment

March 23, 2017VERO BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments on a developer’s plan to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to eight threatened, endangered, and at-risk species in Miami-Dade County. The plan is part of a process to clear the way for construction to begin on a 137-acre residential and commercial project in south Miami. Read the full story...

Elkhorn coral spawning. Photo by Brett Seymore, National Park Service.