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

 

Hunting for an Elusive Orchid

Student Conservation Association CA intern Clair with flowering

eastern prairie fringed orchid.
Photo by USFWS

February 1, 2016

 

Open Spaces is featuring posts by Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns working to promote, protect and study wildlife on public lands all over the United States. Since 1957, SCA has been connecting young people from all backgrounds with life-changing, career-making conservation service opportunities. Learn how you can get involved at www.thesca.org. Today, Claire Ellwanger checks in from the Chicago Ecological Services Office.

 

The search for orchids had begun. We were crouched on our hands and knees one day last summer, enveloped in humidity and prairie grasses. As we rustled the sedges and grasses, the mosquitoes floated up to surround us. We searched exhaustively on the ground where orchids had been seen in the last couple of years, sadly to no avail.

 

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Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid 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.”
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: February 11, 2016