Endangered Species
Midwest Region



Midwest Region State Map

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you


Endangered Species Program

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems


Great Lake Restoration Initiative logo

2011 News and Accomplishments


Dec. 21, 2011: Salazar Announces Recovery of Gray Wolves in the Western Great Lakes, Removal from threatened and Endangered Species List

News Release
Western Great Lakes Wolf Delisting


gray wolf


Dec. 8, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA's Fisheries Service Propose Policy to Improve Implementation of Endangered Species Act - Public Comments Requested

News Release
Federal Register Notice (PDF)


November 25, 2011: Pitcher's Thistle and Great Lakes Resources Camp 2011


Pitcher's thistle


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December Feature Story

Decurrent False Aster

Decurrent False Aster

Photo by USFWS; Jody Millar


A "threatened" species, the decurrent false aster is endemic to Illinois and central eastern Missouri, where it is one of the rarest native species. Until two Missouri Botanical Garden botanists rediscovered it north of St. Louis in 1986, the decurrent false aster was thought to have been extirpated from Missouri.


This plant is found on moist, sandy floodplains and prairie wetlands along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Although not very tolerant to prolonged flooding it depends on periodic flooding to scour away other plants that compete for the same habitat.


The decurrent false aster is a perennial plant that grows one to five feet tall and sometimes grows to six feet. It blooms from July to October.


Listen to a podcast about the Decurrent False Aster


Decurrent false aster fact sheet


Decurrent false aster 5-Year Review (20-page PDF)



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November 15, 2011: Keeping Service Divers Safe


Biologist Andy Roberts in diving gear.


October 26, 2011: Lake Erie Watersnake Recovery Project Declared a Great Lakes Success Story


Biologist Megan Seymour at the SOLEC conference.


Oct. 26, 2011: Request for Proposals for White-Nose Syndrome Research (PDF)


Current List of WNS Research Projects (PDF)



Oct. 26, 2011: Service Seeks Proposals from States for 2012 Endangered Species Grants

News Release
Learn More
Fact sheet
Blog Feature Section 6 Projects


Oct. 25, 2011: Service Releases Annual List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act Protection - one midwestern species added.

News Release
Federal Register: Candidate Notice of Review (PDF)
Poweshiek Skipperling Information


 Poweshiek skipperling


Oct. 24, 2011: Young Whooping Cranes Begin Fall Migration


Ultralight in air with whooping cranes following.


Oct. 16 to Nov. 13: America's Wild Read discusses Changing Paths by Bill Sherwonit
Travels and Meditations in Alaskas's Arctic Wilderness

Changing Paths book cover


Oct. 14, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extends comment period on NiSource multi-state, multi-species draft habitat conservation plan and draft environmental impact satement
    News Release
    Background on NiScource Draft HCP


Oct. 6, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finds 11 Aquatic-dependent Species Do Not Warrant Endangered Species Act Protection


Oct. 4, 2011: Tracking Imperiled Blanding's Turtles at Iowa's Nahant Marsh


Biologist holding a Blanding's turtle during a survey.


Oct. 4, 2011: Iowa Mussel Blitz 2011!


Mussel collected during Iowa mussel survey.


Oct. 4, 2011: Endangered Species Act Protection Not Warranted for Oklahoma Grass Pink Orchid
    News Release
    Federal Register Notice (15-page PDF)


October 04, 2011: Endangered Species Act Protection for Northern Leopard Frog is Not Warranted


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October and November Feature Story

Ozark Hellbender Listed as Endangered



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists the Ozark Hellbender as Endangered and Moves to Include Hellbenders in Appendix III of CITES

Hellbenders are among the world’s largest salamanders

(October 6, 2011) 


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today designated the Ozark hellbender as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and also finalized its decision to list the Ozark and eastern hellbender in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).  In combination, these listings will provide significant protection to hellbenders, both domestically and internationally. 


Under the ESA, an endangered species is any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.  The Ozark hellbender, which grows to lengths up to 2 feet, inhabits the White River system in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.  Ozark hellbender populations have declined an estimated 75 percent since the 1980s, with only about 590 individuals remaining in the wild.  It is believed numbers have dropped because of degraded water quality, habitat loss resulting from impoundments, ore and gravel mining, sedimentation , and collection for the pet trade. 


More >>


Summary of the Final Rule to List the Ozark Hellbender as Endangered


Federal Register Final Rule: Endangered Status for the Ozark Hellbender Salamander (23-page PDF)


Federal Register Final Rule: Inclusion of the Hellbender, Including the Eastern Hellbender and the Ozark Hellbender, in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (8-page PDF)


Ozark Hellbender Fact Sheet



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Sept. 30, 2011: Service Agrees that Aerial Application of Fire Retardant on National Forest System Lands are Not Likely to Adversely Affect Indiana Bats


Sept. 29, 2011: Ohio Continues Endangered Species Conservation on Surface Coal Mines


Sept. 28, 2011: American Eel May Warrant Protection under the Endangered Species Act
    News Release


American eel


Save Vanishing Species Stamp: The first U.S. postage stamp issued in the 164-year history of the Postal Service to raise funds for international wildlife conservation.


Saving Vanishing Species Stamp


Sept. 26, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finds 374 Aquatic-dependent Species May Warrant Endangered Species Act Protection
     News Release
     View the petition (PDF)
     Table of the 374 species (PDF)


August 25, 2011: Comment Period Reopens on Revising the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife for the Gray Wolf in the Eastern United States


gray wolf


August 25, 2011: Salazar Announces $53 Million in Grants to Support Habitat Acquisition and Conservation Planning for Endangered Species - Missouri, Wisconsin Among Grant Recipients


Aug. 15, 2011: Salazar Announces Successful Recovery of Lake Erie Watersnake
    News Release


Lake Erie Watersnake


Aug. 1, 2011: Karner Blue Recovery in New Hampshire and New York
New Hampshire Breeding Program
News Article in the New Hampshire Times Union


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August Feature Story

Lake Erie Watersnake Delisted due to Recovery

Lake Erie watersnake on boardwalk near 'Water Snakes Welcome Here' sign.  Photo by USFWS

Protection from direct killing and measures to prevent habitat loss helped Lake Erie watersnake numbers rebound. Public outreach played a key role in the snake's rapid recovery.


News Release (August 15, 2011) Salazar Announces Successful Recovery of Lake Erie Watersnake


Federal Register Final Rule (August 16,2011): Removal of the Lake Erie Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon insularum) From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife


Questions and Answers about the Final Rule to Remove Endangered Species Act Protection for the Lake Erie Watersnake


Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Lake Erie Watersnake on the Offshore Islands of Western Lake Erie


Lake Erie Watersnake Guidelines for Construction, Development, and Land Management - August 2011


Lake Erie Watersnake Fact Sheet


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July 26, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Will Not Propose Endangered Species Act Protection for Midwest Snail

News Release

Federal Register Notice of 12-Month Finding for Frigid Ambersnail (4-page PDF)


July 22, 2011: Proposal Would Return Colorful Endangered Beetle to Southwest Missouri

News Release



American Burying Beetle


July 18, 2011: Iowa State University to Study Topeka Shiner Habitat Restored by the Rock Island Field Office

Surveying for Topeka shiner.


July 15, 2011: Unique Collaboration to Preserve Indiana Bats in Indiana


Indiana bat


July 13, 2011: Service Announces Multi-state, Multi-species Draft Habitat Conservation Plan, Draft Environmental Impact Statement

News Release



July 12, 2011: Service Releases Revised, Draft Wind Guidelines
    News Bulletin
    Questions and Answers (PDF)
    Background and Guidelines


Wind Turbines


July 12, 2011: Service Strengthens Work Plan to Restore Biological Priorities and Certainty to Endangered Species Listing Process
    News Release
    Questions and Answers (PDF)


July 12, 2011: Service Strengthens Work Plan to Restore Biological Priorities and Certainty to Endangered Species Listing Process
    News Release
    Questions and Answers (PDF)


June 28, 2011: Review Finds Endangered Species Protection May Be Warranted fro Two Bat Species

News Release

Eastern small-footed bat

Northern long-eared bat

Federal Register Notice of petition finding and initiation of status review (PDF)


June 27, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat
for the Endangered Tumbling Creek Cavesnail

News Release

Federal Register Final Rule

Information about the cavesnail

Tumbling Creek Cavesnail


June 27, 2011: Listing Ozark chinquapin under Endangered Species Act "not warranted"


June 15, 2011: New Release Sites for “Class of 2011” Whooping Cranes


June 02, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Announces Information Meeting on Wolf Delisting Proposal


June 02, 2011: Michigan DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Announce Information Meeting on Wolf Delisting Proposal


June 2, 2011: Golden-winged warbler may warrant Endangered Species Act protection

  Golden-winged warbler


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June and July Home Page Feature

    Topeka Shiner

    Topeka shiner



    The Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka) is a small fish found in prairie streams in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and South Dakota. It lives in small to mid-size streams where it is usually found in pool and run areas. Suitable streams tend to have good water quality and cool to moderate temperatures.


    The Topeka shiner was listed as endangered in 1998 due to the fact that it is no longer found in 80 percent of its former range and its remaining habitat continues to be lost and degraded. Critical habitat has been designated for the species in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska.


    >>Read more


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May 25, 2011: Fowler Ridge Wind Facility is preparing an EIS for an HCP and Incidental Take permit.

News Release


Indiana bat


May 21, 2011: Conservation Agencies Commit to Long-Term Management of Kirtland’s Warblers

News Release

Memorandum of Understanding (PDF)


Kirtland's warbler


May 13, 2011: Sodalis Nature Park marks unique collaboration between airport, Hendricks County, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


May 12, 2011: Wild Whooping Crane Chicks Hatch at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Central Wisconsin


May 11, 2011: Comment Period Began May 5 on Wolf Delisting Proposal: Public Hearing Set for May 18, 2011


May 4, 2011: USFWS Announces Proposal to Delist Gray Wolves in the Western Great Lakes and National Wolf Strategy


Gary wolf.


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April and May Home Page Feature

America's WILD READ discussion



Looking for an exciting read? We’ve got something to share with you: America’s WILD READ is a virtual book club meant to engage and inspire you to connect with the outdoors and nature.


The WILD READ will feature noted ecologist E.O. Wilson’s first novel Anthill, the story of a boy whose Huck Finn-inspired summer in rural Alabama teaches him deeper understandings of nature and its most ruthless predators, humans. Readers will also share insights on two related essays: Thinking Like a Mountain by Aldo Leopold, an early founder of the land conservation movement, and Once and Future Land Ethic,by Dr. Curt Meine, senior fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Both essays can be accessed
online at http://AmericasWildlife.org/WildRead.


Launched by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week, the WILD READ online discussion will take place at http://wildread.blogspot.com. Right now readers are invited to sign up and introduce themselves online.


Discussions of the essays and Anthill will begin on May 1, 2011, and May 15 , 2011, respectively. Conservation writers Curt Meine and Will Stolzenburg (author of Where the Wild Things Were) and other scholars, poets, and even an ant expert will moderate the virtual book club.


So, join us! Share your comments and become connected to people and wild
places across the nation as we launch the WILD READ.


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April 18,2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, American Wind Energy Association, Wind Developers Sign Agreement to Promote Endangered Species Conservation


March 30, 2011: White-nose syndrome confirmed in Ohio


March 29, 2011: The Ballad of the Hairy-fruited Sedge


March 25, 2011: Fifth Annual Chequamegon Bay Birding & Nature Festival: Make a Weekend Out of It!


March 18, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Endangered Species Recovery Champion Awards - Three Midwesterners Receive Awards


March 10: Predictive Model May Be Useful in Climate Change Assessments for Wetland Plans


March 9, 2011: White-nose Syndrome Confirmed in Indiana


March 2, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Concludes Eastern Cougar Extinct

News Release

More Information


Photo of a western cougar.  Photo by USFWS


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March Home Page Feature

Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid


Photo by USFWS; Joe Haas


Growing in wet prairies, sedge meadows, marsh edges, and bogs, the eastern prairie fringed orchid is a threatened species found in the Upper Midwest with additional populations in Oklahoma, Virginia, New Jersey, and Maine. Volunteers in northern Illinois are helping to recover this orchid by monitoring known populations, collecting data, hand pollinating, and collecting seed for augmenting populations and starting new ones.


Read More>>


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February 24, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Will Not Conduct In-Depth Review to Consider Listing the Wild Plains Bison


February 18, 2011: Second Whooping Crane Found Dead at Weiss Lake, Alabama Reward in Alabama Whooping Crane Deaths now at $23,250 February 10, 2011: Pilot Eagle Reporting System Developed by Midwest Eagle Team
    Report roadside eagles in Michigan


February 9, 2011: Ultralight-led Whooping Crane Found Dead in Alabama: $6,000 Reward Offered for information on the Killing of Whooping Crane 12-04


February 8, 2011: Interior Clears Way for Return of Whooping Cranes to Louisiana

News Release

Final Federal Register Rule (PDF)

Whooping crane FAQ (PDF)

Whooping crane standing in a marsh.  Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick



February 1, 2011: Bat tests positive for white-nosed fungus

Bat with white-nose syndrome.


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February Home Page Feature

February 1, 2011: Service Announces Launch of 2011 National Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest

Grand prize winning poster of a polar bear and beluga whale.

Grand Prize Winning poster in 2010 Art Contest by Carter Chroeder of Anchorage, Alaska.

Photo credit: Endangered Species Coalition

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Coalition, Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans announce the launch of the 2011 national Endangered Species Day art contest. The competition offers young people an opportunity to learn about endangered species and express their knowledge and support through artwork. Endangered Species Day, taking place on May 20, 2011, recognizes the conservation programs nationwide aimed at protecting America’s threatened and endangered species.


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February 1, 2011: Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership Releases Five Year Strategic Plan: Moving Toward a Sustainable Eastern Migratory Population


January 19, 2011: Proposed Rule to List the Sheepnose and Spectaclecase Mussels as Endangered

News Release

Sheepnose Information

Spectaclecase Information

 Four sheepnose mussels.  Photo by USFWS; Kristen Lundh


January 12, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reopens comment period on proposed critical habitat designation for endangered Tumbling Creek Cavensail; invites comment on draft economic analysis

News Release

Background Information


January 5, 2011: Wildlife Agencies Investigating the Deaths of Three Whooping Cranes in South Georgia


Two adult whooping cranes.  Photo by USFWS; Steve Gifford

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Last updated: March 12, 2018