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


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates

Critical Habitat for Two Prairie Butterflies

Under the Endangered Species Act

Photo courtesy of Robert Dana


September 30, 2015


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced final critical habitat designations for the Dakota skipper and Poweshiek skipperling, two species of prairie butterflies listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2014.


The Service designated about 19,900 acres of critical habitat in 38 units in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota for the threatened Dakota skipper, and about 25,900 acres in 56 units in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin for the endangered Poweshiek skipperling. Of the total 33,742 acres of critical habitat, about 12,050 acres is common to both species.


News Release »


More About the Critical Habitat Designation


Dakota Skipper Home


Poweshiek Skipperling Home



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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: October 5, 2015