Ecological Services
Mountain-Prairie Region

Nebraska Field Office

Platte Riverpiping plovers along shorelineAmerican Burying Beetlewhooping cranes in wet meadow

Our Mission

The Nebraska Field Office is one of the oldest Ecological Services field offices in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, established in 1948 as part of the Missouri River Basin Studies. The Nebraska Field Office provides biological advice to other federal and state agencies, industry, and members of the public concerning the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats. Conservation activities include protecting federally threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems, providing recommendations for ways to avoid, minimize, or compensate for harmful impacts to fish and wildlife resources and their habitats, and investigating the effects of contaminants on fish and wildlife. 

News...


This northern long-eared bat, observed in Illinois, shows symptoms of white-nose syndrome.

Photo by Steve Taylor; University of Illinois

UPDATE November 18, 2014: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Reopens Comment Period
On Proposal to List the Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period on a proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Comments will be accepted through Dec. 18, 2014.   The Service is reopening the comment period to alert the public to additional information provided by state conservation agencies within the range of the species.  The Service will consider this information, and all information received previously, while determining whether the northern long-eared bat warrants listing under the Endangered Species Act.  Reopening of the comment period will allow the public to provide comments on the proposed rule in light of that additional information.  A final decision on the proposal is due on April 2, 2015. Read more>>>

American Burying Beetle

NEWS RELEASE: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Environmental Impacts of Proposed Transmission Line in Nebraska. GRAND ISLAND, NE – Tomorrow, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is publishing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will assess the natural and human effects of issuing a permit to authorize the take of the federally endangered American burying beetle.  The NOI initiates a 60-day comment period for the public to review and comment on any of the topics to be addressed in the EIS. Comments can be provided electronically by accessing http://www.regulations.gov/.  The comment period will end December 29, 2014. Read more>>>

A PDF copy of the NOI can be accessed here.

northern long eared bat Photo by New York Department of Environmental Conservation; Al Hicks

UPDATE June 30, 2014: Six-month Extension and Comment Period Re-opens

A notice for a six-month extension for the final listing determination on the northern long-eared bat published in the Federal Register on June 30, 2014.  We are also reopening the comment period on the proposal to list the bat as endangered; the 60-day comment period ends on August 29, 2014.  A final decision on listing the northern long-eared bat will be made no later than April 2, 2015.  

News Release (June 30, 2014): Service Reopens Comment Period on Proposal to List the Northern Long-eared Bat as an Endangered Species

Questions and Answers: Six-Month Extension of Final Determination and Re-opening Comment Period on the Proposal to List Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered 

Federal Register (June 30, 2014): 6-Month Extension of Final Determination on the Proposed Endangered Status for the Northern Long-Eared Bat

gray tree frog

Landmark Study Reveals Low National Rate of Frog Abnormalities on Wildlife Refuges. An unprecedented 10-year-study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) shows encouraging results for frogs and toads on national wildlife refuges. The study, published today in the peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE, finds that on average, less than 2 percent of frogs and toads sampled on 152 refuges had physical abnormalities involving the skeleton and eyes – a lower rate than many experts feared based on earlier reports. This indicates that the severe malformations such as missing or extra limbs repeatedly reported in the media during the mid-1990s were actually very rare on national wildlife refuges.

To view the journal article, please click here. The complete dataset from the study is being made available online at the Dryad Digital Repository (http://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dc25r ) to facilitate future research to aid in the conservation of amphibians and their habitats.

Salt Creek tiger beetle

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to Revise Critical Habitat for the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public input on a proposed revision of critical habitat for the rare Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana), listed as endangered in 2005 under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  While only a few hundred beetles remain in three small populations in Nebraska on less than 35 acres, this revision will guide conservation efforts for the species, which includes proposed critical habitat for 1,110 acres of saline wetlands. A copy of the proposed rule and more information on how to submit comments can be found at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/invertebrates/saltcreektiger/index.htm


Threatened and endangered species trunk

Check out our free resources for educators, after school coordinators, scout groups and others!

We have Education Trunks available for use in schools, nature centers, libraries and other informal settings. Pick-up and drop-off trunks at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office, 203 W. 2nd St. Grand Island, NE. Trunks can be checked out for a period of two weeks and can be reserved by calling 308-382-6468 ext 14. or email jeanine_lackey@fws.gov.

We also have a "Wildlife for Trade" trunk that can be checked out for a period of 4-6 weeks. This trunk comes with an Educator's guide to discussing the impacts of wildlife trade in a "classroom setting" and confiscated items from the illegal wildlife trade.


piping plover

A Strong Partnership Protects Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers: Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), sand and gravel mining companies in Nebraska agree to help U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in the conservation of piping plovers and Interior least terns. Article by Angelina Wright

You can also read the story in the February edition of the Prairie Fire.


Bridges to Birding flyer

binoculars Bridges to Birding Kits Available now!!!

Bridges to Birding is a program designed to facilitate bird awareness and connect students & educators with the outdoors and the native birds found in Nebraska. Nine birding kits are available for check-out throughout Nebraska. Click here for more information or call Jeanine Lackey at 308-382-6468 x14.


Osprey nest in utility post

Osprey and Energy Infrastructure Conflicts in Nebraska. The USFWS and NGPC have developed a Guidance Document to ensure that problematic Osprey nests are recognized and managed in a proactive, consistent and lawful manner in Nebraska. Ospreys benefit from the presence of power lines by using distribution poles and transmission structures for nesting. However, the bulky nests often cause power outages when sticks interfere with electrical equipment. The guidelines are intended to inform managers of regulations and protocols for addressing problematic osprey nest situations: they are not regulatory in themselves and they are not intended to supplant onsite review or consultation. Avoiding Osprey and Energy Infrastructure Conflicts: Information and Resources for UtilitiesVersion


Last updated: November 18, 2014