US Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a federal agency under the Department of Interior with a mission of working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is the conservation and management of these important natural resources for the American public.
The Service's origins date back to 1871 when Congress established the U.S. Fish Commission to study the decrease in the nation’s food fishes and recommend ways to reverse that decline. Today, we are a diverse and largely decentralized organization, employing about 8,000 dedicated professionals working out of facilities across the country, including a headquarters office in Falls Church, Virginia, and eight regional offices.
We are responsible for implementing some of our Nation’s most important environmental laws, such as the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Pittman-Robertson/Dingell-Johnson wildlife and sportfish restoration laws, Lacey Act, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act. We fulfill these and other statutory responsibilities through an array of programs, activities, and offices that function to:
- Protect and recover threatened and endangered species;
- Monitor and manage migratory birds;
- Restore nationally significant fisheries;
- Enforce federal wildlife laws and regulate international wildlife trade;
- Conserve and restore fish and wildlife habitat such as wetlands;
- Manage and distribute over a billion dollars each year to states, territories and tribes for fish and wildlife conservation;
- Help foreign governments conserve wildlife through international conservation efforts; and
- Fulfill our federal tribal trust responsibility.