Michigan Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Michigan Field Office
2651 Coolidge Road

Suite 101
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: 517-351-2555
Fax: 517-351-1443
TTY: 1-800-877-8339

(Federal Relay)

e-mail: EastLansing@fws.gov

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2015 News


Best year yet for Great Lakes piping plovers –
and guess who turned up in Michigan?

Piping plover

Great Lakes piping plover Of,YG:X,O near a nest at Muskegon State Park, Michigan.

Photo by Vincent Cavalieri/USFWS.


October 8, 2015

2015 is shaping up to be a banner year for endangered Great Lakes piping plovers. This summer, 75 pairs of plovers nested and fledged 128 chicks, a record for a species that was nearly extirpated in the 1980s. Loss of habitat had caused numbers to dip below 20 pairs before the small shorebird was listed as endangered in 1986. Since then, biologists and conservationists have worked tirelessly to save this rare bird from extinction, preserving and restoring habitat, protecting nesting areas and monitoring the birds’ migrations.


Most Great Lakes piping plovers nest along Great Lakes shorelines and spend the winters on the sunny beaches of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. However, last winter, a team of biologists and researchers from the United States and the Bahamas found an ultra-rare Great Lakes piping plover: the bird’s bands - Of,YG:X,O - showed the bird hatched at North Manitou Island in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan. This find and a few other sightings of Great Lakes birds in the Bahamas showed researchers that these islands could also contain important winter habitat for the critically endangered Great Lakes population.


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Piping Plover Home



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List

Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake as Threatened Species

Eastern massasauga

Eastern massasauga

Photo courtesy of Dick Dickinson


September 29, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to list the eastern massasauga rattlesnake as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The Service will not propose critical habitat for the species, deeming it not prudent.


Eastern massasaugas are found in scattered locations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada. The species, which has been a candidate for listing since 1999, has been declining over the past decades due to loss of its wetland habitat and intentional killing by people who fear the snake. More than 30 percent of the historical populations are now extirpated and many more (20 percent) are of uncertain status. Of those populations that are known to remain, most are experiencing ongoing threats, meaning additional population losses are anticipated in the future.


News Release »


Eastern Massasauga Home





U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Will Study the

Status of Four Midwest Species

Rusty patched bumble bee on flower.

The rusty patched bumble bee is found over a large area but appears to have

disappeared from much of its range in recent years.

Photo courtesy of Christy Stewart/Xerces Society

September 17, 2015


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will assess the status of four wildlife species found in the Midwest to determine whether protection under the Endangered Species Act is warranted. The Service is seeking input as it conducts in-depth studies of the northern bog lemming, wood turtle, rusty-patched bumble bee and regal fritillary, a butterfly.


The Service is initiating status reviews in response to a variety of petitions seeking to protect 25 species under the Endangered Species Act.


News Release »


More about the 4 Midwest Species



Sept. 9, 2015: USFWS Biologist provides bald eagle training to airport operations staff

Airport operations staff are often tasked with detecting and removing hazards to allow for safe airport operations. Unfortunately, many species of wildlife, especially birds, pose potential hazards due to the risk of colliding with the aircraft. To ensure the safety of the aircraft, the pilots and passengers, airport staff can obtain a depredation permit that allows them to harass, haze or remove certain hazardous avian species from the airfield.


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Celebrating the Future and Appreciating the Past:

35 Years of Kirtland’s Warbler Management

Male Kirtland's Warbler

Male Kirtland's warbler.

Photo by Joel Trick;USFWS


September 3, 2015


Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Management Area was established on September 3, 1980 in response to the need for more land dedicated to the recovery of the endangered Kirtland’s warbler The management area is made up of 125 tracts of land totaling more than 6,000 acres located throughout eight counties in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. It is one of few wildlife management areas in the Midwest Region.


If you’re hoping to get a good glimpse at the management area’s namesake species, you’re in luck! When the weather is nice, visitors have a good chance of seeing the Kirtland’s warbler, as well as many other neotropical migrant birds. Visitors can view wildlife, take photos, enjoy interpretive tours and learn more through educational field trips. You may even see upland sandpipers, spruce grouse, American badgers, eastern massasauga rattlesnakes and golden-winged warblers! During hunting season, hunters visit in search of migratory game birds, upland game and big game species.


News Release »


Kirtland's Warbler Home





July 14, 2015: Contaminants Specialist is Part of a Team that Wins Bronze medal Regional Award from U.S. EPA



90-Day Substantial Petition Findings on 5 Midwestern

Reptiles and Amphibians: Range of 2 Include Michigan

Blanding's turtle

Blanding's turtles live in swamps, marshes, ponds and slow-moving rivers. Their range extends into

Michigan. In response to a petition to list under the Endangered Species Act, the Service will conduct

a detailed status review of this turtle and the spotted turtle, which also occurs in Michigan.

Photo by USFWS


June 8, 2015 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will assess the status of five reptile and amphibian species found in the Midwest to determine whether protection under the Endangered Species Act is warranted. The Service is seeking input as it conducts in-depth studies of the spotted turtle, alligator snapping turtle, Blanding’s turtle, Illinois chorus frog and green salamander. The Service is initiating status reviews for a total of 20 species of amphibians and reptiles and one plant nationwide in response to petitions from the Center for Biological Diversity.


Continue News Release »

More about the 90-Day Findings



Enbridge Must Restore Environment Injured by

2010 Kalamazoo River Oil Spill

Birds oiled during a 2010 spill in Michigan on a Kalamazoo River tributary.

Birds oiled during a 2010 spill in Michigan on a Kalamazoo River tributary.

Photo by USFWS


June 8, 2015


Federal, state and tribal officials, acting as natural resource Trustees, announced a natural resource damage (NRD) settlement with Enbridge that will result in multiple resource restoration projects along the Kalamazoo River and will pay an additional sum of nearly $4 million. The NRD settlement addresses environmental injuries caused by the 2010 rupture of Enbridge’s Line 6B pipeline in Michigan that resulted in one of the largest inland oil spills in United States history. Trustees arrived at the NRD settlement in conjunction with a comprehensive settlement between the State of Michigan and Enbridge. The NRD settlement, which is being filed in federal court, provides funding to the Trustees to conduct natural resource restoration, reimburses agencies for assessment and restoration costs, and incorporates additional requirements from the state settlement for Enbridge to conduct restoration and monitoring. More details on the NRD settlement can be found at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/es/ec/nrda/MichiganEnbridge/.


Continue News Release »


Michigan Enbridge Natural Resource Damage Assessment




May 14, 2015

Contaminants Specialist is Part of a Team that Wins a National Award from U.S. EPA

U.S. EPA included Dr. Lisa L. Williams of the East Lansing Field Office as part of the Midland Areas Soil Cleanup Team that has just received the 2015 National Notable Achievement Award for Outstanding Use of Innovative Approaches to Achieve RCRA Permitting or Corrective Action Program Goals.

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May 13, 2015

Sharing with Tribes: FWS Role in NRDAR Presented at 2nd National Tribal NRDAR Conference



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects Northern Long-eared Bat as

Threatened under The Endangered Species Act

Northern long-eared bat with symptoms of white-nose syndrome

Northern long-eared bat showing symptoms of white-nose syndrome; a disease caused by the fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans.

Photo Courtesy of Steve Tayler; University of Illinois


April 1, 2015


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it is protecting the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), primarily due to the threat posed by white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has devastated many bat populations.


At the same time, the Service issued an interim special rule that eliminates unnecessary regulatory requirements for landowners, land managers, government agencies and others in the range of the northern long-eared bat. The public is invited to comment on this interim rule as the Service considers whether modifications or exemptions for additional categories of activities should be included in a final 4(d) rule that will be finalized by the end of the calendar year. The Service is accepting public comments on the proposed rule until July 1, 2015 and may make revisions based on additional information it receives.

Continue News Release »


Northern Long-eared Bat Home


Northern Long-eared Bat - Michigan Known Hibernacula and Roost Tree Locations - Updated May 15, 2015 (5-page PDF Adobe PDF Icon)


White-nose Syndrome




Service Teams With Conservation Partners to Launch

Campaign to Save Beleaguered Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterflies on New England aster.

Photo Courtesy of Joel Trick

February 9, 2015


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today launched a major new campaign aimed at saving the declining monarch butterfly. The Service signed a cooperative agreement with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), announced a major new funding initiative with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and pledged an additional $2 million in immediate funding for on-the-ground conservation projects around the country. Introducing the new initiatives at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. were Service Director Dan Ashe, U.S. Senator from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar, NWF President and CEO Collin O’Mara, and NFWF representatives.


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Service Announces Annual Endangered Species Youth Art Contest

Jan. 30, 2015: Youth across the nation are encouraged to apply to the 2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest. The contest encourages kids to express their knowledge and support of conservation efforts through creative and original artwork. The contest also promotes ...

Bulletin »

Learn More »

Blog: Saving Species with Art »


Southern sea otter




U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Special
Rule to Focus Protections for
Northern Long-Eared Bat:

Rule Would Apply if Species is Listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act

Northern long-eared bat

Northern long-eared bats hibernating in a cave in Missouri.

Photo Courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation


January 15, 2015


In response to the rapid and severe decline of the northern long-eared bat – a species important for crop pest control – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a special rule under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would provide the maximum benefit to the species while limiting the regulatory burden on the public.


If finalized, the rule, under section 4(d) of the ESA, would apply only in the event the Service lists the bat as “threatened.” The Service’s proposal will appear in the Federal Register Jan. 16, 2015, opening a 60-day public comment period.


“White-nose syndrome is having a devastating effect on the nation’s bat populations, which play a vital role in sustaining a healthy environment and save billions of dollars by controlling forest and agricultural pests,” said Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius. “We need to do what we can to make sure we are putting commonsense protections in place that support vulnerable bat species but are targeted to minimize impact on human activities. Through this proposed 4(d) rule, we are seeking public comment on how we can use the flexibilities inherent in the ESA to protect the bat and economic activity.”


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East Lansing Field Office Home

Last updated: June 19, 2018
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