Endangered Species
Midwest Region


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Endangered Species Program in the Upper Midwest

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems


Parent-reared whooping cranes migrated

to wintering sites

Whooping crane pair with young.

Photo courtesy Tom Benson/Creative Commons. https://flic.kr/p/dyUrnS


February 2017


The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership’s 2016 Parent-Rearing Project has concluded now that all the young whooping cranes released in the fall have arrived at wintering sites. This was the first year that the partnership exclusively employed a method called “parent-rearing,” a practice in which captive-hatched chicks are raised by pairs of adult whooping cranes. Previously, chicks were raised by costumed humans.


From mid-September through mid-November 2016, 12 young cranes making up the 2016 parent-rearing project were released in several locations near adult whooping crane pairs. Teams of staff and volunteers from the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, including Operation Migration, International Crane Foundation and Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, monitored the released birds to observe behavior, associations with other whooping and sandhill cranes and vigilance towards predators. Data collected are entered into the Partnership’s growing database, a valuable resource for whooping crane researchers.



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Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership



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What We Do

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act. To fulfill our responsibilities, we do the following:


Candidate Conservation: identify and assess declining species that may need Endangered Species Act protection and take steps to conserve those species.


Listing: take steps to list candidate species as endangered or threatened and designate critical habitat. We also remove species from the Threatened and Endangered Species List ("delist") when they no longer need Endangered Species Act protection.


Recovery: protect, conserve and restore listed species. Recovery Report to Congress: 2009 to 2010 (PDF 3.1MB)


Section 7 Technical Assistance

Section 7 consultation guidance for Federal agencies and their applicants (i.e., project proponents).

Section 7 Consultation: all Federal agencies have a responsiblity to conserve threatened and endangered species and to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species. Under the authority of Section 7 of the Act, we consult with Federal agencies to help them fulfill their obligations.


Permits: issue permits to "take" listed species, under certain conditions.


Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs): work with Incidental Take permit applicants to help them prepare HCPs that minimize and mitigate the effects of their incidental take.


Grants: provide grants to States under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act. These funds may, in turn, be awarded to private landowners and groups for conservation projects.


State Field Offices

We have Ecological Services Field Offices in each of the eight upper Midwest States. For project reviews, Section 7 consultation, or information about endangered species that you do not find on this site, please contact the Field Office in your state.



“Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of
preservation than the rich array of animal life with
which our country has been blessed. It is a many faceted
treasure, of value to scholars, scientists,
and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part
of the heritage we all share as Americans.”


Bloom of the prairie bush clover.  Photo by USFWS: Phil Delphey

Last updated: February 14, 2017