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Endangered Species Program in the Upper Midwest

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems

 

Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical

Habitat for Two Freshwater Mussels in 12 States

This rabbitsfoot, a freshwater mussel, was found in the

This rabbitsfoot, a freshwater mussel, was found in the

Tippecanoe River in Indiana.

Photo by Georgia Parham

April 29, 2015

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized critical habitat designations for the Neosho mucket and rabbitsfoot mussels in rivers of 12 states under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  In the Midwest, the rabbitsfoot is found in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio; the Neosho mucket is found in Missouri.

 

The final designations are smaller than those proposed nearly three years ago. The Service altered the critical habitat designations after receiving new relevant information from a number of people and organizations.  The final designations result in a net reduction of about two river miles for Neosho mucket and 217 river miles for rabbitsfoot.  Both species of freshwater mussels are found in river systems in the eastern half of the United States and are indicators of clean water and healthy rivers.  Today’s decision finalizes a proposal released in 2012 and includes the final economic analysis associated with the critical habitat designations.

 

Continue News Release »

 

Rabbitsfoot Critical Habitat and Listing Information »

 

Neosho Mucket Critical Habitat and Listing Information»


 

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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.”
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON—STATEMENT UPON SIGNING THE
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, DECEMBER 28, 1973

 

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

Last updated: May 26, 2015