Dr. Benjamin N. Tuggle has been named as the new Regional Director of the Southwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Region encompasses the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Dr. Tuggle has served as the Region's Acting Regional Director since January and has served in leadership positions throughout the organization for the past 25 years.
His prior assignments included serving as the Acting Special Assistant to the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service H. Dale Hall and prior to that as Chief of the Division of Habitat and Resource Conservation, a position he held since 1997.
"Benjamin began his career researching wildlife diseases," said Dale Hall, Director of the Service. "He still has that same curiosity and desire for answers. These are attributes that make for a great leader. I'm partial to the Southwest having served as its Regional Director myself, so I took great care with this appointment."
Dr. Tuggle brings an exceptional range of skills to the realm of environmental management, including water issues, resource development and associated wetland and upland habitat protection and mitigation, habitat conservation and restoration, transportation, energy development, marine mammal protection and other related conservation issues that impact fish and wildlife resources.
"I'm looking forward to continuing the great work already being accomplished throughout this region, especially in collaboration and partnership with other federal, state and local resource agencies, tribal members, landowners and the non-governmental environmental groups," said Tuggle. "These partnerships will benefit everyone in the Southwest and will secure the conservation of fish, wildlife and their habitats for the future."
Dr. Tuggle holds advanced degrees in zoology from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (Ph.D., 1982 and master of science, 1977) and a bachelor of science in biology from Fort Valley State College in Ga. (1975). As a result of Dr. Tuggle's academic pursuits, he has written a total of 16 publications in eight referred scientific journals and three chapters in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service resource publication.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas.
It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts.
It also oversees the Federal Assistance Program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
Visit the Service's Web site at http://www.fws.gov.