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2013 News Archives

 

Endangered Species Daily - Get an Endangered Species Fact a Day, Every Day, in 2014

Canda lynx kitten

Canada lynx by USFWS

 

December 31, 2013

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Region has launched Endangered Species Daily, an electronic calendar featuring 365 facts about rare plants and animals. Endangered Species Daily facts cover life history and conservation efforts for federally endangered in threatened species around the world, with a focus on Midwest species.

 

The Midwest is home to a fascinating variety of rare plants and animals – some instantly recognizable and some less well known. Did you know Missouri’s Ozark hellbender, at almost 2 feet long, is one of the world’s largest salamanders? Or that Indiana bats hibernate in clusters of up to 500 bats per square foot? Or that the purple cats paw mussel survives in only one place in the world: an Ohio creek?

 

Find out how the Endangered Species Act has helped recover the bald eagle, gray wolf and peregrine falcon in the Midwest and learn about recovery efforts for species in danger of extinction, including species around the country and around the globe, like the loggerhead sea turtle, African elephant and giant panda.

 

Educators, students, and anyone interested in wildlife conservation can keep up to date these and other rare plants and animals with Endangered Species Daily. You’ll learn about imperiled species in the Midwest, the United States and around the world.

 

Subscribe to automatically receive the daily fact »

 

Monthly calendar of the Endangered Species Daily Facts»


ES Daily on Twitter »

 

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Dec. 28, 2013: The Endangered Species Act - Four Decades of Conservation Success

News Release
Slideshow


Bald Eagle

 

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FEATURE

The Endangered Species Act:

Four Decades of Conservation Success

Collage of three threatened and endangered species: Kirtland's warbler, eastern prairie fringed orchid and Ozarkhellbender.

Photos: Kirtland's Warbler by USFWS; Joel Trick: Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid by USFWS; Kristen Lundh: Ozark Hellbender by Jeff Briggler

 

December 19, 2013

When President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act on December 28, 1973, the bald eagle, gray wolf and peregrine falcon were struggling to survive in the Midwest and across the continent.  Forty years later, thanks to protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act, these species have recovered.  The Midwest is home to a huge variety of wildlife; some are instantly recognizable, like the bald eagle, and some rare species are not so well known. 

 

“From the Kirtland’s warbler to the eastern prairie fringed orchid to the Ozark hellbender, the Endangered Species Act has helped hold together the fabric of the Midwest landscape,” said Tom Melius, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Regional Director.  “The act, and the light it shines on imperiled plants and animals, has profoundly affected our ability to protect our natural heritage.  When we work to recover threatened and endangered species, we work to conserve the systems that sustain the human population.”

 

Continue reading News Release »

 

ESA at 40 Slideshow

 

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Feature

Mussel and Sediment Survey

Underway in the Big River, Missouri

 

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Service biologists sampling freshwater mussels on the Big River. A square frame is placed on the stream bottom at 150 random locations per site. Divers remove substrate by hand from inside the frame to a depth of 10 cm, place in attached bag, bring to the surface, and sort on a floating sieve to find mussels. They identify and measure the mussels, then return them to the stream. This sampling method estimates the density of mussels living on the stream bottom.

Photo by USFWS; Andy Roberts

 

December 3, 2013

Missouri Ecological Services and Fish and Wildlife Conservation offices are working together to study native freshwater mussel populations and how they might be affected by stream sediments contaminated with heavy metals from lead mining on the Big River in southeastern Missouri. In preparation for this task, we researched published literature and conducted interviews with preeminent mussel biologists to develop and implement the most statistically and scientifically defensible survey methodologies.

 

In the summer of 2013 we completed the first phase of the study, which is locating and delineating survey sites. To accomplish this task, we traveled over 68 miles of the river channel searching for suitable habitat and mussel beds. This represents the first time the river has been thoroughly explored to determine the full extent and distribution of suitable mussel habitat. In all, 76 sites were identified and evaluated as potential survey sites. Suitable habitat was found in 20 of these sites, and these areas were delineated for later sampling. Continue reading Field Notes »

 

Freshwater Mussel Home

 

Environmental Contaminants Home

 

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Nov. 26, 2014: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Extends Comment Period on Proposal to List the Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered


Northern long-eared bat..

 

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Nov. 14, 2013: Indiana's Wyandotte Cave Shares History with the Endangered Indiana Bat

Article

Indiana Bat Home

 

Indiana bat

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Nov. 14, 2013: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves Incidental Take Permit for NiSource Multi-state Habitat Conservation Plan


Indiana bat

 

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Nov. 14, 2013: Topeka Shiner Reintroduction in Missouri

Check out the slideshow!

 

Topeka shiner

 

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Feature

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves

Incidental Take Permit for NiSource

Multi-state Habitat Conservation Plan

 

Fanshell musssel

The NiSource Habitat Conservation Plan addresses 42 species. However, the

incidental take permit only allows for take of 10 threatened and endangered

species (including the fanshell, the freshwater mussel shown here). Measures

to avoid and minimize harm address impacts to the other species.

Photo by Brant Fisher; Indiana DNR

November 14, 2013

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act to NiSource Inc., a natural gas pipeline and transmission company, in conjunction with the company’s comprehensive plan to conserve dozens of endangered species while operating and maintaining its network of pipelines in 14 northeastern, Midwest and southeastern states. 

 

The habitat conservation plan covers activities in 14 states:  Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

 

Continue reading news release »

 

NiSource HCP Home

 

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Nov. 13, 2013: A Great Year for Piping Plover! - - Watch a video about Piping Plover conservation

 

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Nov. 13, 2013: Kirtland's Warbler - scientific name change. Federal Register correction (3-page PDF)

 

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Nov. 8, 2013: Critical Habitat Excluded for Grotto Sculpin due to Strength of Community Conservation Plan

 

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Feature

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Endangered Species Act Protection for Two Butterflies

Dakota Skipper

Dakota skipper on a prairie lily.

Photo by Dr. Robert Dana; Minnesota DNR

 

October 23, 2013

Two butterflies, the Dakota skipper and the Poweshiek skipperling, have been proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act due to steep population declines, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

The Service has proposed the Dakota skipper as a threatened species. Found in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Canada, the Dakota skipper has experienced a dramatic decline in numbers and no longer occurs on half the sites where previously found.

 

The Poweshiek skipperling is proposed as endangered. This butterfly, once found in eight states and Canada, now occurs only in a few native prairie remnants in Wisconsin and Michigan, and in Manitoba, Canada. Surveys indicate that Poweshiek skipperlings are gone from nearly 90 percent of the sites where they were previously found.

 

Continue Reading News Release

 

Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skipperling Proposed Listing and Proposed Critical Habitat

 

Dakota Skipper Home

 

Poweshiek Skipperling Home

 

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Oct. 2, 2013: Northern long-eared bat proposed as endangered

News Release


Northern Long-eared Bat Home

 

Northern long-eared bat

 

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Sept. 30, 2013: Formal Consultation completed on Section 5 of the I-69 Interstate Project in Indiana

 

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Sept. 27, 2013: Rock Island Field Office Hosts Topeka Shiner Field Day in Iowa

 

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Sept. 27, 2013: Service Proposes to List Red Knot as a Threatened Species Under the Endangered Species Act

News Release

Red Knot Home

Proposed Rule (76-page PDF)


Red Knot

 

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Sept. 27, 2013: 2013 Indiana Bat Population Estimates

 

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Sept. 26, 2013: Revised Critical Habitat for Canada Lynx Proposed - no new changes for Minnesota

 

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Sept. 25, 2013: Grotto Sculpin Listed as Endangered

 

News Release

 

Grotto Sculpin Home


grotto sculpin

 

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Feature

Recovering Aquatic Life in Missouri

September 19, 2013

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Captive-reared Ozark hellbenders, ready for release into the wild.

Photo by USFWS

 

 

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is issuing weekly articles that highlight endangered species conservation in each state.  This week’s article focuses on Missouri.  More about the Endangered Species Act 40th anniversary and other endangered species conservation articles can be found at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/ESA40/

 

 

With 110,000 miles of rivers and streams, and over 3,000 springs, Missouri is blessed with an abundance of water. Clean and healthy waterways are a critical need that people and wildlife share. Efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners to recover Missouri's endangered aquatic life have the added benefit of improving water quality.

 

Ozark Hellbenders

Some Ozark Highland streams are home to the federally endangered Ozark hellbender. These large salamanders spend their lives in clear, cool spring-fed streams, under large rocks or in crevices.  For reasons that remain unclear, hellbender populations declined dramatically in the 1990s. In fall 2011, with support from the Service and state fish and wildlife agencies, the St. Louis Zoo successfully fertilized a clutch of eggs—a significant milestone for a captive breeding program that was 10 years in the making. Continue reading article »

 

Ozark Hellbender Home

 

Neosho Mucket Home

 

Grotto Sculpin Home

 

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Sept. 18, 2013: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Neosho Mucket as Endangered and Rabbitsfoot as Threatened

News Release

 

Neosho Mucket Home

 

Rabbitsfoot Home

 

Neosho Mucket

 

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Sept. 16, 2013: The Service and The Nature conservancy: Powerful Partners in Conservation (Indiana bat)

 

The Nature Conservancy in Ohio has been and continues to be an important partner to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Field Office in Columbus. In recent years we have worked closely with The Nature Conservancy toward facilitating the identification and protection of high quality habitat for the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). Continue Reading Field Notes Report

 

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Feature

Saving America's Most Endangered Animals

Sept. 9, 2013

12 purple cat's paw pearlymussels

Purple cat's paw pearly mussels tagged and ready for return in

Killbuck Creek, Ohio.

Photo by USFWS: Angie Boyer

 

from Jeff St. Clair at WKSU Radio in Ohio

 

The eastern U.S. has more freshwater mussel species than anywhere else in the world, and more than half of them are facing extinction

 

Ohio is the last home of one of the rarest animals in the world. It’s a formerly widespread freshwater mussel called the purple cat’s paw. Only about 20 of the mollusks are known to exist.

 

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff  St.Clair examines a species on the brink and how protecting it could help save Ohio’s waterways.


Continue Reading Article or Listen to the Podcast »

 

Purple Cat's Paw Pearlymussel Home

 

About Freshwater Mussels

 

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Sept. 9, 2013: Giving Recovery a Boost for the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Through Seed Capsule Distribution

 

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Sept. 6, 2013: Service Participates in Sixth Annual White-Nose Syndrome Workshop

 

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Sept. 2013: The Winged Mapleleaf Mussel's Return to Minnesota and Wisconsin


Winged Mapleleaf News Release


Winged Mapleleaf Home


winged mapleleaf

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August 29, 2013: Services Solicit Public Comment on Proposed ESA Regulation Revisions

News Release

 

Proposed Rule (6-page PDF)

 

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August 26, 2013: Comment Period Re-Opened - Proposed Critical Habitat for Neosho Mucket and Rabbitsfoot

 

News Release

 

Federal Register (2-page PDF)

 

Neosho Mucket Home

 

Rabbitsfoot Home

 

Rabbitsfoot mussel

 

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August 14, 2013: Rattlesnake-master Borer Moth Finding of Warranted But Precluded

 

News Release

 

Federal Register Notice (19-page PDF)


Rattlesnake-master borer moth By Vern LaGesse

 

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August 14, 2013: Hope After the Storm (A Beetle Story)


Rick Hansen and Paul McKenzie of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service place American burying beetles into constructed burrows the day before the big storm. - Photo Credit: Scott Hamilton (FWS)

 

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August 2, 2013: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Endangered Species Act Protection and Critical Habitat Designation for Three Plants in the Southeast

 

 

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August 2, 2013: Columbus Ohio Field Office Partners with the Metro Parks, Serving Summit County to Monitor and Protect Rare Cliff and Rock Habitat for Federally Listed Species

 

Gated cave to protect bats in Ohio.

 

August 1, 2013: Rock Island Field Office Instructs Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service Staff on Identifying Indiana Bat Habitat

 

FWS training NRCS staff.

 

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Feature

Topeka Shiner: Post-2012 Drought Recolonization Survey in Iowa

July 24, 2013

 

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Biologists pulled seines through oxbow ponds in Iowa to learn how the Topeka

shiner survived the 2012 drought.

Photo by Iowa DNR; John Olson

 

After one of the worst droughts in the state’s history struck Iowa in 2011 and 2012, we conducted surveys in July 2013 to help determine the effect of the drought on the endangered Topeka shiner.


Topeka Shiner Post-2012 Drought Recolonization Survey in Iowa

 

Slideshow - Topeka Shiner Survey

 

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July 23, 2013: Joint Venture Program Awards Grants to Promote Fish and Wildlife Conservation in the Great Lakes

 

Kirtland's Warbler

 

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July 18, 2013: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves Habitat Conservation Plan for Proposed Ohio Wind Farm

News Release

Buckeye Home

 

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Feature

Restoring Endangered Topeka Shiner in Missouri

July 17, 2013

Two Topeka shiners.

Topeka shiners are small minnows found in prairie streams.

Photo by Konrad Schmidt

 

Endangered Topeka shiners will be reintroduced in northern Missouri in a partnership among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation and The Nature Conservancy.  The Service published a final rule in the Federal Register on July 17, 2013, which paves the way for the reintroduction.  Work is expected to begin this summer.

 

The reintroduction is part of an effort to restore populations of the small fish in Missouri in areas where the Topeka shiner once lived before its numbers declined.  The reintroductions would be carried out on lands managed by Missouri Department of Conservation and The Nature Conservancy.


Continue reading News Release »

 

Topeka Shiner Home

 

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July 11, 2013: Wild Whooping Crane Chick Hatches at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

 

Whooping crane on nest with chick.

 

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July 9, 2013: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Boosts State Endangered Species Conservation Efforts with $32 Million in Grants: Two Projects funded in the Midwest Region

 

 

karner blue butterfly

 

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June 26, 2013: First Returning Kirtland's Wabler Fledgling Documented in Wisconsin

 

Kirtland's Warbler

 

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Feature

The Challenge of Preventing the Extinction

of an Aquatic Species

June 25, 2013

Dead shells of the purple cats paw pearlymussel, showing the purple color of the inside of the shells.

The purple cats paw pearlymussel is truly on the verge of extinction. Captive

propagation in concert with water quality and stream habitat
improvement are necessary to maintain its existence.

Photo by USFWS; Angela Boyer

 

One of the rarest freshwater mussels in North America, the purple cat's paw (Epioblasma obliquata obliquata) was widespread in the southern Ohio River and its larger tributaries before these rivers were dammed. The species was listed as endangered in 1990 when it was thought to be functionally extinct, meaning that some live adults existed in the wild, but these individuals did not appear to be producing any young.

 

In 1994, biologists discovered a breeding population in Killbuck Creek, Ohio, which renewed hope for the species' existence. However, water quality in Killbuck Creek has since degraded to such an extent that drastic measures are necessary to ensure the purple cat's paw mussel's survival.


Continue reading the article»

 

Purple Cat's Paw Home

 

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Feature

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Endangered Species Recovery Champion Award Winners

Residents of Illinois and Minnesota Honored

 

May 22, 2013

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Mike Coffey and Nancy Sather are among 61 national Endangered Species Recovery Champions. Photos courtesy of Mike and Nancy.

 

 

The story of endangered species conservation in the United States over the past 40 years involves many heroes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recognized 61 of these heroes for their outstanding efforts to conserve and protect endangered and threatened fish, wildlife and plants by designating them 2012 Recovery Champions. Among the award winners honored for their work were two biologists, one from Illinois and one from Minnesota.

 

“Recovery Champion awards acknowledge individuals and groups who have excelled in their efforts to protect and recover our most imperiled species,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “They exemplify the dedication and determination that has helped save countless animals and plants from extinction and that continues to raise the bar in the field of endangered species conservation.”


Continue reading news release »

 

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May 15, 2013: Celebrate Endangered Species Day at the Lincoln Park Zoo

 

News Release

 

Illinois' Unique Places and Species

 

FWS display at Lincoln Park Zoo on Endangered Species Day 2013.

 

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May 14, 2013: Partners Across the U.S. Celebrate Endangered Species Day!

News Release

Endangered Species Day 2013

 

Endangered Species Day logpo

 

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May 14, 2013: Final 2013 Indiana Bat Summer Survey Guidelines Available

 

Biologist removing little brown bat from mist net.

 

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Feature

Mussels Gain Ground in the Twin Cities

May 14, 2013

Winged mapleleaf

USFWS diver holds an endangered winged mapleleaf (freshwater mussel) from

the St. Croix River in Minnesota

Photo by USFWS; Nick Rowse

 

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is issuing weekly articles that highlight endangered species conservation in each state.  This week’s article focuses on Minnesota.  More about the Endangered Species Act 40th anniversary and other endangered species conservation articles can be found at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/ESA40/index.html

 

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 a suitable place for these animals.

 

In the early 20th Century, the river was grossly polluted, with mats of sewage sludge floating on a river that reeked of hydrogen sulfide gas during the summer. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area relied on the river to physically flush away human and industrial waste. This once pristine reach of the river, with ravines and the glorious St. Anthony Falls, had become a sewage canal.

 

The river's water quality had improved greatly by 2000, thanks to improvements in wastewater treatment. Unfortunately, immense numbers of invasive zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) had begun to smother large, native freshwater mussel beds downstream—beds too far downstream to have been ravaged by Twin Cities' pollution. Recognizing the impending crisis to the federally endangered Higgins eye pearlymussel (Lampsilis higginsii) and other imperiled mussels, biologists began removing adults from affected beds.

 

Continue reading news release »

 

Higgins Eye Pearlymussel Home

 

Winged Mapleleaf Home

 

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May 10, 2013: New Ohio Mussel Survey Protocols Announced

 

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May 9, 2013: Massasauga Partnership and Field Project Marks Fifth Year, Looks Forward to Next Five

 

Eastern Massasauga

 

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May 8, 2013: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Estimates Economic Impacts and Releases Draft Environmental Assessment of Critical Habitat Designation for Neosho Mucket and Rabbitsfoot

 

News Release

Neosho Mucket Home

Rabbitsfoot Home

Public Meetings in Missouri

 

Rabbitsfoot

 

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May 8, 2013: Chicago Field Office Completes Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Five-Year Review

 

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May 7, 2013: Comment Period Reopened on Proposal to List Grotto as Endangered with Critical Habitat

News Release

Grotto Sculpin Home

 

Grotto sculpin

 

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Feature

National Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest Winners Chosen

April 22, 2013

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American Burying Beetle by Ava Bribiesco (Kindergarten)

Grand Prize

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Endangered Species Coalition, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Child Art Foundation proudly announce the winners of the 2013 Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest. The art contest is an integral part of the 8th annual national Endangered Species Day on May 17, 2013.

 

“Each one of the more than 2,000 young artists deserves our nation’s thanks for bringing focus to the plight of the Oahu tree snail, the Florida panther, and other threatened and endangered species that dwell in our mountains, valleys and waters,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “I am inspired by these talented young people who have depicted in art some of our nation's most precious natural resources.”

 

Grand Prize:
Ava Bribiesco (Kindergarten)
St. Louis, MO

 

Read more »

 

Art Contest semi-finalists

 

For more about Endangered Species Day and the annual art contest

 

American Burying Beetle Reintroduction in Missouri

 

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April 22: Happy Earth Day! In honor of Earth Day, CBS News highlighted 12 endangered species, including the Higgins eye pearlymussel and Indiana bat. Check it out!

 

Higgins eye pearlymussel

 

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April 4, 2013: Ozark Hellbender Conservation

 

Ozark hellbender

 

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April 4, 2013: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Input on Draft Habitat Plan for Indiana Wind Farm

News Release
More Information

Two wind turbines

 

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April 3, 2013: Fish, Mussels, and Dragonflies?

 

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March 15, 2013: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Opens Comment Period on Draft Recovery Plan for Federally Endangered Pallid Sturgeon

 

pallid sturgeon

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March 11, 2013: Michigan Low-Effect HCP; Enbridge Line 5

 

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Feb. 28, 2013: White-nose Syndrome Confirmed in Illinois Bats

 

Evidence of white-nose syndrome on this northern long-eared bat.  Photo by University of Illinois; Steve Taylor

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February 20, 2013: Missouri Topeka Shiner Meeting Rescheduled to March 7

 

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Feb. 11, 2013: Service Announces Annual Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest

 

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Feb. 7, 2013: Chicago Office Coordinates Seminar on Endangered Dragonfly Conservation

 

Hine's Emerald Dragonfly

 

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Feb. 1, 2013: Chicago Office and Partners Implement Habitat Management for Two Endangered Species

 

Bluff being planted with plugs.

 

 

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Feature

Illinois' Unique Places and Species

February 2013

Two biologists surveying for the Illinois cave amphipod.

Surveying for the Illinois cave amphipod.

Photo by Dr. Julian J. Lewis

 

As we celebrate conservation successes during the Endangered Species Act's (ESA) 40th anniversary year, Illinois may not be the place one would expect to find unusual endangered species, one-of-a-kind ecosystems, or inspirational conservation success stories. Yet all of these are here in Illinois—in unexpected and unique places.

 

Caves, in Illinois?

Unknown to many, Illinois has a small karst region characterized by numerous surface sinkholes and underlying caves. The Salem Plateau karst region is found in two counties in western Illinois, near St. Louis. Endemic to the cave streams that flow underground through this region is the federally endangered Illinois cave amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes), a small freshwater crustacean. Sinkhole density in the Salem Plateau is as high as 230 sinkholes per square mile. Joints and fractures in the subsurface allow surface water to flow rapidly into caves that the amphipod inhabits. There is an relationship between the Illinois cave amphipod's habitat and the land-use practices on the surface that threaten the species

 

Read more »

 

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January 30, 2013: Spying on Bats - Multiple Surveillance Methods Shed Light

 

Indiana bat

 

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January 23, 2013: Proposed Reintroduction of Topeka Shiners in Missouri

News Release
Q and A's
Federal Register Proposed Rule (15-page PDF)
Topeka Shiner Home


Topeka shiner

 

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January 14, 2013: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Begins Commemoration of 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act

 

Kirtland's Warbler

 

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Jan. 9, 2013: Indiana Bat Summer Survey Guidelines Available for Public Review and Comment

 

Biologist removing a bat from a mist net.

 

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January 8, 2013: Selection of High Speed Rail Route Avoids Critical Habitat for Endangered Dragonfly

 

Hine's Emerald Dragonfly By Paul Burton

 


 

Midwest Endangered Species Home

Last updated: July 16, 2014