U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A sunset at the Great Rivers National Wildlife Refuge in Annada, Mo.
Carmen Cortelyou | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Great River National Wildlife Refuge in Annada, Missouri,  is acquiring two islands on the Mississippi River to protect wildlife and provide more areas for outdoor recreation. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given $677,500 to the refuge in northeast Missouri, a portion of $21.9 million the U.S. Department of the Interior dedicated to conserving public lands in 16 states. A family near the river used to farm on the 702-acre property, called Slim and Haps Islands, but stopped as flooding increased along the Mississippi River.

Southeast Missouri State University graduate student Kathy Hixson prepares to draw blood from a male bluebird at the Madison County Mines Superfund Site in Fredericktown, Missouri
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

In Fredericktown, Missouri, three women walked towards what looked like a Martian landscape.

The rusty patched bumble bee pollinates a flower.
Christy Stewart | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

For the first time, federal wildlife authorities this week have sought protection for a bee species under the Endangered Species Act.

The rusty patched bumblebee was once easy to find in the Midwest and eastern United States. Since the 1990s, its numbers have dropped by 87 percent, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Like many wild native bee species in the country, the bee has declined due to pesticide use, habitat loss and climate change, which has affected flowers it depends on.

Provided by Missouri Department of Conservation

For five years, state officials and researchers have been trying to bring back an endangered beetle species that disappeared in Missouri more than 40 years ago. Now, they're counting the bugs to see if there's enough of them for a sustained population. 

Noah Combs draws an elephant on his sign for the Global March for Elephants, Rhinoceros and Lions while his stepmom Kathryn Combs looks on.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

A group of St. Louisans gathered in Brentwood Saturday to participate in the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions. Local animal rights activist Christina Tenti organized the event, which began with a family-friendly gathering at the Brentwood Community Center.

Music played while kids drew signs and got their faces painted. Several tables manned by people armed with information lined the outskirts of the community room.

Paddlefish can live 100 years.
Dennis Chamberlin | medium.com

Caviar poaching has arrived in in the Ozarks.

Like sturgeon, female paddlefish bloat with tiny eggs, and a single paddlefish can contain 10 pounds of roe, worth as much as $40,000 when labeled and sold as high-grade Russian caviar. Game warden Rob Farr, who patrols rivers and reservoirs in central Missouri, now finds himself battling intrigue that extends to Russia, Kazhakstan and Iran.

Medium.com has the story from the Food and Environment Reporting Network.

(via Saint Louis Zoo)

The American burying beetle is coming back – more than three decades since it was last spotted in Missouri.

The Saint Louis Zoo and the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Tuesday that they have gotten approval to reintroduce the beetle at the Wah'Kon-Tah Prairie in southwest Missouri. Up to 150 breeding pairs will be placed in underground with dead animals for food - the process starts in June.

(Dan Kirk/Saint Louis Zoo)

An endangered beetle could be making its way back to Missouri, with some help from the Saint Louis Zoo and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

If all goes well, the zoo plans to reintroduce the American burying beetle to Wah’ kon-tah Prairie in southwestern Missouri in early June.