The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works 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 of the U.S. Government with that primary mission. The Service helps protect a healthy environment for people, fish and wildlife, and helps Americans conserve and enjoy the outdoors and our living treasures.Caves and karst areas support many of the Federally listed, candidate, and special concern species the Service is charged with protecting under the Endangered Species Act. Several cave systems have been purchased and incorporated into the National Wildlife Refuge System to protect the rare species they support. Some of our Hatcheries depend upon water from karst systems as a supply for their operations. The protection of cave and karst resources is a high priority for the Service both on and off Service lands, and the Service will continue to be actively involved in the protection of these resources.