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Archive for the ‘Fish and Wildlife Service’ Category

Threatened and Endangered Species from the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 13, 2011

These public domain images of threatened or endangered species are courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Digital Library.

Canis rufus. Red Wolf at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. By Steve Hillebrand. 335.1.01_Hillebrand_LO5S5248a.jpg


Ursus americuans. Black bear at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. By Steve Hillebrand. 335.1.01_Hillebrand_LO5S4773a.jpg


Icaricia icarioides missionensis. Mission Blue Butterfly. By Stuart Weiss.


Alligator mississippiensis. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service_310.1.15_2009-09-29


Mycteria americana. Wood Stork. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Florida. By Steve Hillebrand. Hillebrand_310.1.15_2009-01-29


Mustela nigripes. Black-Footed Ferret at Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Program in Colorado. By Ryan Hagerty. WV-W5B1587


Florida Panther. WO2883-33F

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Surprises from the US Fish & Wildlife Service Digital Library

Posted by Laurie Frost on April 16, 2011

These aren’t images I’d expect to find in the US Fish & Wildlife Service Digital Library, but you never know what you’ll find where, right?

Credit lines should read as follows: Credit: [photographer’s name]/US Fish and Wildlife Service or Credit: [photographer’s name]/USFWS.

The first eight images were made in East Africa (Kenya or Tanzania) by Gary M. Stolz.

Three cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatusz) sitting in Kenya, Africa. [WO5670-007]

Grant’s zebra. [WO5667-007]

Caracal. [WO5677-007]

Serval cat. [WO5675-007]

  Reticulated giraffe. [WO5633-007]

Dwarf mongoose. [WO5648-007]

Leopard. [WO5666-007]

African elephant (Loxodonta africana). [WO5641-007]

African lion. Photographed by Ken Stansell. [WO5105-25]

African lion. Photographed by Ken Stansell. [WO5111Highlights]

A silverback (adult male gorilla) from Rwanda holds up a piece of bamboo. Photographed by Richard Ruggiero. [WOE396]

Mona ground iguana (Cyclura cornuta stejnegeri) photographed by Mike Morel in Puerto Rico. [WO-519MMorel]

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Flowers from the US Fish & Wildlife Service Digital Library

Posted by Laurie Frost on April 8, 2011

It’s April, so how about some flowers? The US Fish & Wildlife Service Digital Library is the source for all of these. Each image is accompanied by a lot of information, like file size, height, width, and full resolution size. I’m giving you the common and botanical name of the plant and the image’s ID number, in case you want to download copies directly from the site. Dr. Thomas G. Barnes of the University of Kentucky photographed these plants in the 1980s.

Credit lines should read as follows: Credit: Dr. Thomas G. Barnes/US Fish and Wildlife Service or Credit: Dr. Thomas G. Barnes/USFWS

Rocky Mountain Columbine [Aquilegia coerulea]. IMG0059.jpg.

Royal Catchfly [Silene regia]. IMG0071.jpg

Spotted Jewelweed [Impatiens capensis] . B1IMG0028.jpg

Wyoming Paintbrush [Castilleja linariifolia]. B1IMG0007.jpg

Adonis Blazingstar [Mentzelia multiflora]. B1IMG0064.jpg

Creeping Phlox [Phlox subulata]. B1IMG0021.jpg

Dwarf Larkspur [Delphinium tricorne]. B1IMG0032.jpg

Green Milkweed [Asclepias viridiflora]. B1IMG0062.jpg

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Happy Birthday, Philip Pullman

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 19, 2010

October 19 is novelist Philip Pullman’s birthday. I started looking for public domain images on the internet when I was compiling a guide to his trilogy, His Dark Materials. So today I’ve decided to indulge myself and return to have a look at some of these.

The characters in His Dark Materials move between worlds. One of them is ours, and one, the setting of the first novel, Northern Lights in the UK and The Golden Compass in the US, is a lot like ours, but has a number of intriguing differences. One is that the soul or conscience, the essence that distinguishes humans, called a dæmon, is externalized in the form of an animal. In childhood a person’s dæmon can change forms, but once puberty is reached, it settles in one species’ form.

In the course of the story, the main character, Lyra, matures into a young woman. As a child, one of her dæmon Pantalaimon’s favorite forms was that of a pine marten, and that is what Pan settles as. Here, courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, is a delightful image of a pine marten.

 Pine Marten. By Erwin and Peggy Bauer. FWS

Another wonderful dæmon is Hester, whose person is Lee Scoresby, a brave and compassionate aëronaut. Hester settled as a hare, and this jackrabbit at Yellowstone National Park reminded me of her. 


 Jackrabbit. By W.L. Miller for the National Park Service

In Lyra’s world, history has taken a different route as well, but some of the peoples, if not nations, are the same as in ours. Lyra’s father tells her he’ll bring her back a carved walrus tusk from his travels to the Arctic, and one of the windows connecting her world to ours is not far from Nunivak, Alaska. So I was pleased to find this image in the Library of Congress:

The ivory carver--Nunivak

The ivory carver–Nunivak by Edward Curtis, 1929. LC-USZ62-74131

A turquoise ring of his mother’s  is important to Lee Scoresby and Stanislaus Grumman, who in our world was an explorer but when he accidentally found himself in Lyra’s took instruction from a Siberian shaman.

Navajo silversmith

  Navajo silversmith by William J. Carpenter, 1915. LC-USZ62-99580

 Goldi shaman priest and assistant

Goldi shaman priest and assistant by William Henry Jackson, 1895.  LC-USZC2-6391

Posted in Exploration, Fish and Wildlife Service, Historical, Library of Congress, National Park Service, People, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

You Asked for It: Mangroves

Posted by Laurie Frost on June 29, 2010

A reader requested a hi-res shot of a mangrove, so I had a look around. On each of these sites there are at least a few — and often many — more images to choose from.

Here are a few from the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library:

WO3690 Black Mangrove Swamp in Texas

Volume1\5CD6962D-A3E0-D2A3-F39EC675A2151B94.jpg (Full Resolution Volume and Filename)

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Posted in Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, NOAA, NOAA Photo Library, Places, Plants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on You Asked for It: Mangroves

Louisiana’s Wildlife Refuges Before the BP Oil Assault

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 25, 2010

Deepwater Horizon 24Hr Trajectory Map Icon 2010-05-24-2000A good source of information about the areas in Louisiana where the BP oil spill has reached is the US Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS]. They have links to NOAA’s Emergency Response pages, which include PDF maps released daily showing the spread of the spill. To the right is a photo of one of these, not much use in itself, but if you go to this NOAA page, you’ll be able to download the PDF. There are some pictures at these sites of what is happening, but what I have today are images of what is being lost at a few of the 32 refuges FWS manages. 

The brown pelicans of Breton Refuge suffered from the natural disasters of Tropical Storm Arlene and Hurricane Katrina in 2005; what progress had been made in re-establishing their populations will likely be entirely lost by this manmade disaster.

Young brown pelican in nest. Breton National Wildlife Refuge. FWS photo by Donna Dewhurst. Item ID SL-03554

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Polar Bears!

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 17, 2010

While browsing at the US Geological Survey’s photo collections, I thought I’d have a look around, and what I found in its Animals album are some more polar bear images for you. Based on blog stats, public domain images of polar bears are popular, so add these to the three posts of mine that featured the bears last year (one, two, three).

Interestingly, a number of these shots were credited to a Coast Guard photographer, so I thought I’d have a look there, too, and while I was at it, check to see if the US Fish and Wildlife Service had any new pictures.


Title: On Thin Ice
Description: A polar bear slides across thin Arctic Ocean ice Aug. 21, 2009.
Date Taken: 8/21/2009
Photographer: Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard

Title: Polar Bear
Description: A polar bear rests on the ice Aug. 23, 2009, after following the Coast Guard Cutter Healy for nearly an hour.
Date Taken: 8/23/2009
Photographer: Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard

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Posted in Animals, Fish and Wildlife Service, Places, US Coast Guard, US Geological Survey | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Last of the Polar Bears

Posted by Laurie Frost on July 8, 2009

Polar bears have featured in several of my earlier posts: FWS [Fish & Wildlife Service] Images of Alaska’s Polar Bears, Walruses and Seals; Where the Polar Bears Roam; and Polar Bears and Blue Angels, Submarines and Ships of the US Navy.

Here’s one more set, which are intriguing because they show the size of the bears in comparison to men. The bears are sedated so that they can be tagged by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

First, a statement from NOAA about the public domain status and use of the images in its library:

Restrictions for Using NOAA Images

Most NOAA photos and slides are in the public domain and CANNOT be copyrighted.

Although at present, no fee is charged for using the photos credit MUST be given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce unless otherwise instructed to give credit to the photographer or other source.

It’s worth repeating that last line. Remember, you are paying nothing, but you must give credit:

…no fee is charged for using the photos credit MUST be given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce

The pictures, then more about NOAA in the Arctic. This one of the bears’ huge padded paws was taken by Captain Budd Christman, NOAA Corps, on Alaska’s Beaufort Sea in May 1982 [credit: NOAA/ US Dept. of Commerce].anim00412

Captain Christman also shot the next two pictures of bear and man. The man is Steve Amstrup of the US FWS. The caption provided for the second picture below notes that the bear’s neck circumference was 45 inches and his estimated weight, 1400 pounds. [credits: NOAA/ US Dept. of Commerce].anim0038

anim0036This last picture shows Cpt. Christman with a bear tagged for monitoring in the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program (OCSEAP) studies [credit: NOAA/ US Dept. of Commerce].anim0035

There are a number of really fine things about the NOAA site, and we will return to those in later posts, but just for now let me direct you to these pages:

The formats represented in this resource include print, CD-ROM, online full-text documents, digital videos, digital images, online cruise data and Web resources. This document provides full-text access, copyright permitting, to significant Polar documents in the NOAA Library collections. There are over one-hundred-and-fifty electronic references to unique historical documents that have been scanned and made available online via NOAALINC, as well as to scientific datasets available online via the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) Ocean Archive System.

Now, leaving NOAA and departing from our images in the public domain theme, here’s a resource specifically on polar bears:

You can’t think about the future of polar bears without considering climate change. Here are some sites about the disappearance of the sea ice on which the bears live. Again, we’ve departed from public domain resources:

Posted in Animals, Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

FWS Images of Alaska’s Polar Bears, Walruses and Seals

Posted by Laurie Frost on June 27, 2009


The Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library  isn’t all about polar bears and Alaska, but since polar bear is one of the search terms by way of which people land on this blog, and because it is just too hot these days, I decided that selections from its Arctic jpg’s would make a good introduction to the FWS as a source for public domain images.  

 But what we need to get our bearings is a map. Here’s one, an 1897 map from the Library of Congress entitled Millroy’s Map of Alaska and the Klondyke Gold Fields. If you visit the site, you can use the zoom feature.








 If you look right below the tip of Siberia as it reaches into the Bering Strait, close to the Alaska-Russia border, you’ll see the island of St. Lawrence.  This area  is where Ellizabeth Labunski took the  picture of the polar bear above. Elsewhere (?) in the Bering Sea she photographed the seals on which they prey, and another huge carnivore of the Arctic, the walrus, for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.









 The first is a ribbon seal; the other, a bearded seal. These walruses also live in northern Bering Sea.



Head north in the Bering Sea and you reach the setting for a few other FWS pictures of polar bears, Cape Lisburne. On the map, if you look directly across from the word Strait, there’s a peninsula, and at its tip is Cape Lisburne, where Gerry Atwell photographed these polar bears:

cape lisburne

In many, maybe most, cases the descriptive information accompanying the FWS images is good. But in others, it is frustrating. Ellizabeth Labunski’s polar bear pictures identify their situation as 40 miles southwest of St. Lawrence Island, but the walruses and seals are far more vaguely documented as found somewhere in the northern Bering Sea. And consider this shot of two polar bear cubs. There is no indication of where the photo was taken, and the photographer is not credited.


I’m sure you’ve noticed by now a lot of ice in these pictures. The FWS categorizes polar bears as marine mammals. They have their young on land, but follow the drifting ice to hunt. As the ice in the Arctic decreases, their survival prospects diminish.

Look below for some sites I came across to learn more about polar bears.

→ → → → → → → → → →

Departing from public domain materials: 

The following are either certainly or perhaps copyright-protected — that is, not public domain.

A video graphic showing how polar bear migration routes off the North Slope are linked to the Arctic ice pack off the North Slope is featured in the polar bear pages of  Wandering Wildlife: Satellite and Radio Telemetry Tracking Wildlife Across the Arctic at theUS Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center. I don’t know the copyright status of this. There is also a disturbing picture and account of the first documented case of cannibalism among polar bears, likely caused by the receding ice fields’ impact on hunting grounds for the bears.

US Geological Survey: a blog , Arctic Chronicles, has a posting with video of a polar bears taken during a 2008 expedition to map the Arctic seafloor. Although this video was shot by a government employee, I’m not certain if it is public domain or  if the copyright is held by their creator, Jessica Robertson, Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Ever wonder what would happen if a walrus and polar bear battled to the death? Then check these videos out (note: Videos are not in the public domain).  Polar Conservation has video of an actual battle. Much blood is involved. For a different outcome, head over to Animal Planet and watch its virtual battle.

Posted in Animals, Fish and Wildlife Service, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Where the Polar Bears Roam

Posted by Laurie Frost on June 23, 2009


It’s not yet noon and outside my window it’s closer to a 100 than to 90. What better time to stop over at the Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS] to have a look at their public domain pictures of polar bears? The FWS site features a digital library described as:

a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video and that are in the public domain. You are free to use them as you wish – no permission is necessary. We do ask that you please give credit to the photographer or creator and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in a format similar to the example below.

Credit: John Doe/USFWS

Items are added on a regular basis to the library, so if you don’t see something you are looking for today, it may have been added the next time you visit.

Most items in the National Digital Library are compressed RGB, JPEG, or PDF files. Most records have low resolution JPEGs that are suitable for web use. This is the display image at the top of the record. High-resolution images are linked below the display image…

Image categories include birds, wildlife, plants, invertebrates, fisheries, habitats, history, and more.

Susanne Miller photographed the polar bear family [above] and these two bears along the Beaufort Sea coast:


walkbeaufort sea

And where, you ask, is Beaufort Sea? It is way, way, up there. Perhaps this map of polar bear dens in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge will help:


More information about this map can be found here. And see that village at the top center of the map? That is Kaktovik. The Kaktovikmiut people despise the FWS radio-collaring of bears (and other animals) that provided the data for the map above. On the City of Kaktovik website a fascinating document, In This Place: A Guide to Those Who Would Work in the Country of the Kaktovikmiut, — and the website as well — declares in a most unusually blunt manner the perspective of the people whose homeland this is:

From the website:

The notion of wilderness came to the North Slope in the early 1950’s with its discovery by a small group of committed outdoor recreationists. With the publication of their view of our homelands in “The Last Great Wilderness” we disappeared, our homeland became something it had not been for thousands of years: devoid of people. Simultaneously, our homeland became the subject of great interest and concern to thousands, perhaps millions, of people who had never laid eyes on it and who in any case could not see that we continued to fully use and occupy the country.

And from In This Place, first on oil exploration, and then a comment on FWS biologists:

The thing that concerns us the most about this oil activity is that we are told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency we find most possessive, most insensitive, most destructive and most obnoxious, will be the one agency assigned to protect the country from harm should oil developmentproceed here. That would clearly be tragic, for us, for our lands and waters, and for the other creatures who share our country. We have no confidence in these people to care, to understand, to respect, or to protect anything here. . . .

We have enough stories about this to fill many books, of the damages done by people who come here to study things, such as the fellow with Fish and Wildlife Service who killed more polar bears figuring out how to radio-collar them than have ever been killed by all the industrial activity in the entire arctic since the beginning of time. His excuse was he had to figure out about polar bears before they were all killed by the oil industry.

The Kaktovikmiut are native Inupiat. Eskimo is a term commonly — but not accurately –used to refer to these natives of Alaska’s Arctic Coast.  The North Slope region referred to above is an 89,000 sq mile borough [NSB] bordered on the north by the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea, which also serves as western border, Canada to the east, and south to the Brooks [mountain] Range. Barrow and Prudhoe Bay are in the NSB, and Barrow is some 1300 miles south of the North Pole and 4,300 miles from Key West.

Yesterday’s high in Barrow was 35, with a low of 29.seaBeaufort Sea with Brooks Range in background

Posted in Animals, Fish and Wildlife Service, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »