Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


Meet the Fish and Wildlife Service


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a bureau in the Department of Interior. They run the endangered species program in the country, adding (and sometimes removing) species from the list.

The Service was created during a reorganization of the Department of Interior in 1940.

According to their website, the Service has three objectives:

  1. “Assist in the development and application of an environmental stewardship ethic for our society, based on ecological principles, scientific knowledge of fish and wildlife, and a sense of moral responsibility.”
  2. “Guide the conservation, development, and management of the Nation’s fish and wildlife resources.”
  3. “Administer a national program to provide the public opportunities to understand, appreciate, and wisely use fish and wildlife resources.”
The Service is responsible for enforcing federal wildlife laws, protecting endangered species, and the conservation and management of some fisheries, wetlands and migratory birds.
According to the Service’s website, they “manage the 150 million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System of more than 551 National Wildlife Refuges and thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas.” They “also operate 70 National Fish Hatcheries, 65 fishery resource offices and 86 ecological services field stations.”

Latest Posts

In Texas, Using Fire to Protect and Expand Water Supplies

Fire and water may seem at odds with each other, but Austin’s city-owned water utility is using prescribed burning in an effort to help more rainfall make its way underground to the Edwards Aquifer. Austin Water’s Wildland Conservation Division is conducting the burns on over 380 acres of Hay County that feed into the Barton Springs Segment of […]

Is the Increasingly Rare Alligator Snapping Turtle Next on Endangered List?

A new study places one of Texas’ strangest—and most imposing—reptiles in a very precarious position. Published in Zootaxa, the study confirms that the alligator snapping turtle, thought to be just a single species, is actually three genetically distinct species. Alligator snapping turtles, dinosaurian creatures that range throughout river systems in the American Southeast, are the […]

How Budget Cuts and Oil Spills Threaten ‘World’s Most Endangered Sea Turtle’

Around this time every year, female Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles arrive like clockwork on Matagorda Island, on the Texas Gulf Coast. “During the day they’ll craw up, usually closer to the dunes, and they’ll dig out an area and they’ll lay a nest of several eggs,” says Jeremy Edwardson, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife […]

Experts Fear Impacts of Oil Cleanup on Texas Gulf Coast

MATAGORDA ISLAND, TX — Recovery efforts continue weeks after a barge accident in the Houston Ship Channel dumped tens of thousands of barrels of oil into Galveston Bay. That oil kills wildlife and damages the environment. But some are worried the cleanup itself could also disturb the ecosystem along the Texas Gulf Coast. Nowhere is […]

This is What the Oil Spill Looks Like on Matagorda Island

Weeks after a large oil spill in Galveston Bay, it’s still having an impact on sensitive wildlife habitats along the Texas Gulf Coast. On Wednesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took reporters to see the impacts on Matagorda Island, an important wildlife refuge for migratory birds and several endangered species. Workers are now busy cleaning up […]

Here’s Where Salamanders Will Be Protected in Central Texas

You can welcome two Central Texas salamanders this week to the list of animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. The Austin Blind Salamander, a creature that doesn’t have eyes in the traditional sense and lives in the dark depths of the Barton Springs Pool, has been listed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service […]

Lesser Prairie Chicken Has Energy Industry Worried

From the Texas Tribune: In a few months, a grouse known as the lesser prairie chicken will emerge from its West Texas winter hideaway. Males will do a loud and elaborate mating dance, delighting females — and birdwatchers. But there is less dancing now because the chickens’ numbers have declined. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife […]

Traditional Instrument Makers Struggle Under Federal Endangered Wood Rules

Mandolins, guitars and banjos line the walls of the Fiddlers Green Music Shop in Austin, Texas. Every instrument has its own unique sound, something that depends on craftsmanship and musicianship and something else: wood. “This is a Dreadnought. This would be in the style of a Martin, this has an Adirondack spruce top. And then […]

Meet the Texas Salamanders That Could Be Endangered Soon

Four Central Texas Salamanders have recently been proposed to be listed on the endangered species list by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. You can learn more about the salamanders, and where they live in the region, in the slideshow above. These salamanders are local to specific areas within the Edwards Aquifer region and have […]

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