Law Enforcement

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					                                          U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

                                          Law Enforcement
                                          Program Overview

The Service’s Office of Law               •	 Training other Federal,                Facts and Figures
Enforcement’s efforts focus on               State, tribal, and foreign law         FY 2008 budget of $59.6 million
potentially devastating threats              enforcement officers; and
to wildlife resources – illegal                                                     As of October 1, 2008, had a network
trade, unlawful commercial                •	 Conducting outreach to increase        of 201 special agents nationwide and
exploitation, habitat destruction, and       compliance with wildlife laws.         114 wildlife inspectors located at 38
environmental hazards.                                                              key ports of entry

Its overall mission is to enforce laws                                              More than 14,000 investigations
that help protect wildlife here and                                                 worked in FY 2008
around the world. It contributes
to Service efforts to recover                                                       More than 188,000 wildlife shipments
endangered species, conserve                                                        processed in FY 2007
migratory birds, preserve wildlife
habitat, safeguard fisheries, combat                                                Wildlife Laws Enforced
invasive species, and promote global                                                Endangered Species Act
wildlife conservation.
                                                                                    Lacey Act
Service officers investigate wildlife
crimes; regulate wildlife trade;                                                    Migratory Bird Treaty Act
help Americans understand and
comply with wildlife protection                                                     Bald and Golden Eagle Protection
laws; and coordinate activities with      USFWS                                     Act
international, Federal, State, and
tribal counterparts to protect wildlife   The Office of Law Enforcement             Marine Mammal Protection Act
resources. The following are just a       fields a force of special agents
few of the many activities conducted      (criminal investigators with the          African Elephant Conservation Act
by Service officers:                      authority to enforce wildlife laws
                                          anywhere in the United States)            Wild Bird Conservation Act
•	 Breaking up smuggling rings            and wildlife inspectors (uniformed
   that target imperiled species;         import/export control officers            Rhino Tiger Conservation Act
                                          stationed at ports of entry and
•	 Preventing the unlawful                border crossings). A headquarters
   commercial exploitation of U.S.        office deals with national operational
   resources;                             oversight, policy, training,
                                          intelligence, professional integrity,
•	 Protecting wildlife from               budget management, and technical
   environmental hazards;                 and administrative support.

•	 Safeguarding wildlife habitat;         The Service also has a state-of-
                                          the-art Forensics Laboratory
•	 Enforcing Federal migratory            located in Ashland, Oregon which
   game bird hunting regulations          conducts scientific analyses to
   and working with States to             help solve wildlife crimes. It also
   protect other game species;            operates the National Wildlife
                                          Property Repository, which supplies
•	 Inspecting wildlife shipments to       confiscated wildlife items to qualified
   ensure compliance and detect           outside groups for educational use,
   illegal trade;                         and the National Eagle Repository,
                                          which provides Native Americans
                                          with eagle parts for religious
                                          purposes under a permit process.
Conservation Successes
•	 Investigations that broke up
   large-scale trafficking rings
   involving elephant ivory, sea
   turtle skin and shell, queen
   conch meat, protected reptiles,
   rare butterflies, and sperm
   whale teeth

•	 Casework that exposed the
   illegal harvest and sale of
   leopard sharks, paddlefish
   caviar, spiny lobster, blue crabs,
   freshwater mussels, ginseng,
   and other U.S. species

•	 Cases that secured millions
   in penalties from companies
   responsible for oil and chemical
   spills that resulted in the death
   of protected wildlife species

•	 Outreach to electric utilities and   USFWS
   oil companies that has helped
   protect migratory birds from
   powerline electrocutions and
   other industrial hazards

Emerging Issue
•	 Need to restore enforcement
   capacity by addressing critical
   agent staffing shortfalls


                                                Benito Perez, Chief
                                                Office of Law Enforcement
                                                November 2008