Endangered Species
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Iowa's Disappearing Prairie Species

Iowa greeted the earliest European settlers with a vast 30-million-acre sea of tallgrass prairie interspersed with woodlands and wetlands. Today, less than one percent of this original prairie remains... Read More

Stories from - IOWA

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The Topeka Shiner in Iowa

What started out as just an idea with a few skeptical landowners in the early 2000s has now turned into a true success story. Blending the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Partners ...Read More

Featured Species in Iowa

Prairie bush clover , photo credit: Phil Delphey, USFWS

Prairie bush clover

Prairie bush clover is a federally threatened prairie plant found only in the tallgrass prairie region of four Midwestern states.

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Prairie bush clover

Photo credit: Phil Delphey, USFWS

Higgin’s eye pearlymussel , Photo credit: USFWS

Higgin’s eye pearlymussel

The Higgins eye is a freshwater mussel of larger rivers where it is usually found in areas with deep water and moderate currents. Its range includes the upper Mississippi River, the St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin, and the lower Rock River between Illinois and Iowa.

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Higgin’s eye pearlymussel

Photo credit: USFWS

Pallid sturgeon , photo credit:  Ken Bouc, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Pallid sturgeon

Pallid sturgeon are slow growing fish that feed primarily on small fish and immature aquatic insects. This species of sturgeon is seldom seen and is one of the least understood fish in the Missouri and Mississippi River drainages.     More »

 

Pallid sturgeon

Photo credit: Ken Bouc, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Partnership Stories in Iowa

Interior Least Tern, photo credit: USFWS

Helping the Endangered Interior Least Tern

Dams, reservoirs, and other changes to river systems have eliminated most historic least tern habitat. The wide channels dotted with sandbars that are preferred by the terns have been replaced by narrow forested river corridors.   More »

Found in Iowa

  • Prairie bush clover, Photo credit: Phil Delphey, USFWS

    Prairie bush clover (Lespedeza leptostachya) is a prairie plant found only in the tallgrass prairie region of four midwestern states. This plant’s rarity is probably best explained by the loss of its tallgrass prairie habitat to agricultural development. Many of today's prairie bush clover populations occur in sites that escaped the plow because they were too steep or rocky.

    Photo credit: Phil Delphey, USFWS

  • Iowa Pleistocene snail , Photo credit: USFWS

    The Iowa Pleistocene snail (Discus macclintocki), a snail that is no larger than a shirt button in diameter, finds its home in the leaf litter of cool, moist hillsides in five counties in northeastern Iowa—Clayton, Clinton, Dubuque, Fayette, and Jackson. Fossilized shells indicate these animals were once much more widespread during cooler glacial periods. The major long-term cause of snail population decline is climate change.

    Photo credit: USFWS

See other species listed in Iowa
Last updated: December 30, 2013