Endangered Species
Midwest Region



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Endangered Species Program in the Upper Midwest

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems


Counting Bats Yields Crucial Data

Biologists survey bats in winter hibernacula.

Biologists survey in caves where large numbers of bats hibernate.

Photo by Georgia Parham;USFWS

March 25, 2015


On a relatively warm, sunny day in January, a group of state and federal biologists, consultants and volunteers gathered at Wyandotte Cave in southern Indiana for the biennial Indiana bat count. Conducted in caves and mines throughout the Indiana bat’s 22-state range, the count provides a periodic picture of the endangered bat’s population and gives wildlife experts a look at how the species is faring under the threat of white-nose syndrome.


The count is conducted only every two years to limit disturbance to the hibernating bats. Bats rely on fat reserves to survive the winter. Disturbing bats during hibernation causes them to wake and use up precious energy they need to make it through until spring. During surveys, great effort is taken to conduct the counts as quickly as possible.


Continue Reading »


Bat Survey Slideshow


Indiana Bat Home


Northern Long-eared Bat Home


White-nose Syndrome




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What We Do

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act. To fulfill our responsibilities, we do the following:


Candidate Conservation: identify and assess declining species that may need Endangered Species Act protection and take steps to conserve those species.


Listing: take steps to list candidate species as endangered or threatened and designate critical habitat. We also remove species from the Threatened and Endangered Species List ("delist") when they no longer need Endangered Species Act protection.


Recovery: protect, conserve and restore listed species. Recovery Report to Congress: 2009 to 2010 (PDF 3.1MB)


Section 7 Technical Assistance

Section 7 consultation guidance for Federal agencies and their applicants (i.e., project proponents).

Section 7 Consultation: all Federal agencies have a responsiblity to conserve threatened and endangered species and to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species. Under the authority of Section 7 of the Act, we consult with Federal agencies to help them fulfill their obligations.


Permits: issue permits to "take" listed species, under certain conditions.


Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs): work with Incidental Take permit applicants to help them prepare HCPs that minimize and mitigate the effects of their incidental take.


Grants: provide grants to States under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act. These funds may, in turn, be awarded to private landowners and groups for conservation projects.


State Field Offices

We have Ecological Services Field Offices in each of the eight upper Midwest States. For project reviews, Section 7 consultation, or information about endangered species that you do not find on this site, please contact the Field Office in your state.



“Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of
preservation than the rich array of animal life with
which our country has been blessed. It is a many faceted
treasure, of value to scholars, scientists,
and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part
of the heritage we all share as Americans.”


Bloom of the prairie bush clover.  Photo by USFWS: Phil Delphey

Last updated: March 26, 2015