Endangered Species

Midwest Region



Map of Region 3 Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan


Connect With Us

Facebook icon

Flickr icon
RSS Twitter icon
YouTube icon  


Buy Duck Stamps icon Endangered Species Day icon

Great Lake Restoration Initiative logo


Endangered Species Act 40th Anniversary



Hover over image to stop the slideshow.

News Release - The Endangered Species Act: Four Decades of Conservation Success (Dec. 19, 2013)


To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, we issued weekly articles over the past year that highlighted endangered species conservation in each state. This slideshow highlights the Upper Midwest articles and below are links to those articles.


Larry McCotter, a volunteer monitor of an eastern prairie fringed orchid population in Cook County, Illinois, is hand pollinating this species in Cook County, Illinois. Notice that there are two blooming orchids in close proximity to each other. - Photo Credit: Lisa Culp

Larry McCotter, a volunteer, helps monitor and hand pollinate eastern prairie fringed orchids in Cook County, Illinois.

Photo by Lisa Culp

(Illinois) Illinois' Unique Places and Species

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.

Continue Reading »


(Wisconsin) Helping a Recovery Program Take Flight Working with the Karner blue butterfly in Wisconsin

Just over 20 years ago, the Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeidis melissa samuelis) and I became fast and inseparable friends. Our relationship began in 1992, after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposed listing the butterfly as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Luckily, I was in the right place at the right time—of the seven states where the Karner blue was known to occur, Wisconsin boasted the largest population. So when I became the Service's first Endangered Species Coordinator in Wisconsin in 1993, I also became the Karner blue butterfly Recovery Coordinator. Things haven't been the same since.

Continue Reading »


Purple cat's paw mussel tagged before release back into Killbuck Creek in Ohio.

Purple cat's paw mussels tagged before release back into Killbuck Creek in Ohio.

Photo by USFWS

(Minnesota) Mussels Gain Ground in the Twin Cities

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. Continue Reading »


(Ohio) The Challenge of Preventing the Extinction of an Aquatic Species

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.

Continue Reading »


(Michigan) The Remarkable Recovery of the Kirtland's Warbler

Forty years ago, the Kirtland's warbler was on the brink of extinction. Today, this lively songbird of northern Michigan's jack pine forests is the subject of a great recovery story — rebounding from a low of 167 males in 1987 to a record-breaking 2,090 in 2012.

Continue Reading »


Kirtland's Warbler

Kirtland's warbler

Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick

(Missouri) Recovering Aquatic Life in Missouri 

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.

Continue Reading »


(Indiana) Indiana's Wyandotte Cave Shares History with the Endangered Indiana Bat

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, but some species have been recognized as endangered for almost 50 years. The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) was among the first 78 species to gain federal protection under the Endangered Species Protection Act of 1966, a precursor to today's Endangered Species Act.

Continue Reading »


More about the Endangered Species Act 40th anniversary and other endangered species conservation articles can be found at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/ESA40/


Midwest Endangered Species Home

Last updated: August 8, 2016