Endangered Species
Ecological Services

Stories from - MINNESOTA

View All Stories

Endangered Mussels Gain Ground in Twin Cities

The stretch of the Mississippi River that winds through Minnesota's Twin Cities is now home to four federally endangered mussel species. This reach of the river wasn't always ... Read More

Stories from - MINNESOTA

View All Stories

Returning the Higgins eye Pearlymussel, Nature's Silent Sentinel

Freshwater mussels are often referred to as "silent sentinels" in streams and rivers. Their abundance indicates water quality is good, while their decline or absence sends an alarm ... Read More

Featured Species in Minnesota

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.

More »

 

Prairie bush clover

Photo credit: Phil Delphey, USFWS

Higgins eye pearlymussel, photo credit: USFWS

Higgins 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.     More »

 

Higgin's eye pearlymussel

Photo credit: USFWS

Canada lynx , photo credit: Michael Zahra

Canada lynx

The Canada lynx is a medium-sized cat, similar to the bobcat. It has longer legs and very large well-furred paws, impressive adaptations for maneuvering through deep winter snow. While their name suggests otherwise, the historical and present North American range of the Canada lynx includes Alaska, Canada, and many of the other northern 48 states.

More »

 

Canada lynx

Photo credit: Michael Zahra

Great Lakes piping plover , photo credit: Gene Nieminen, USFWS

Great Lakes piping plover

The Great Lakes population of the piping plover was at a perilously low level. But intensive conservation efforts have seen the number of breeding pairs steadily climb from a low of 12 in 1983.

More »

 

Great Lakes piping plover

Photo credit: Gene Nieminen, USFWS

Winged mapleleaf

The range of the winged mapleleaf once included 13 states where it was found in nearly all rivers and streams feeding into the Mississippi River and in one river flowing into the Missouri River. Today however, the mussel can only be found in limited areas of five rivers in the Midwestern United States.

More »

 

Winged mapleleaf

Photo credit: Phil Delphey, USFWS

Partnership Stories in Minnesota

Wolf Recovery in Minnesota , photo credit: John and Karen Hollingsworth, USFWS

Wolf Recovery in Minnesota

The wolf's range expansion into north central and central Minnesota was due to protection from unregulated killing afforded by the Endangered Species Act, high deer numbers, and dispersal of individuals from existing packs. Today, wolves live in areas with higher road and human densities than previously believed suitable for wolf survival. More »

Found in Minnesota

  • Minnesota dwarf trout lily , Photo credit: Tamara Smith, USFWS

    The Minnesota dwarf trout lily (Erythronium propullans) is a forest wildflower that grows within a small area in Minnesota – in Goodhue, Rice, and Steel Counties – and nowhere else in the world. The rarity of the dwarf trout lily is probably best explained by its unusual mode of reproduction. Unlike many flowering plants that reproduce by seed, the dwarf trout lily grows instead from an underground bulb that renews itself annually.

    Photo credit: Tamara Smith, USFWS

  • Higgins eye pearlymussel  , Photo credit: USFWS

    The Higgins eye pearlymussel (Lampsilis higginsii) is a freshwater mussel of larger rivers, where it is usually found in areas with deep water and moderate currents. The animals bury themselves in the sand and gravel river bottoms and siphon water for microorganisms as algae and bacteria, which they use as food. The species' current range is about 50 percent of its historic distribution, which once extended as far south as St. Louis, Missouri, and in several additional tributaries of the Mississippi River.

    Photo credit: USFWS

See other species listed in Minnesota
Last updated: May 16, 2013