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


The Dakota skipper is a prairie butterfly listed as threatened in 2014.

Photo by Phil Delphey; USFWS


Listing a Species as Threatened or Endangered:

Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act

"Listing" is the process used to add plant or animal species to the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; and then protect them under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The names of all species listed as threatened or endangered are included on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (50 CFR 17.11) and the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants (50 CFR 17.12).


Listing Fact Sheet Adobe PDF Icon

Listing a Species as Threatened or Endangered: Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act


How Species are Identified for Possible Listing

There are two avenues through which a species may be listed under the ESA: through the petition process or through the candidate assessment process. Under the ESA, any interested person may petition the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce (for most marine life) to add or remove a species from the endangered and threatened species lists. Through the candidate assessment process, Service biologists identify species as candidates for listing.


Petition Process

Petitions are formal requests to list a species as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.


State Points of Contact in the Midwest Region for Petitions Adobe PDF Icon

At least 30 days before a petition is submitted, petitioners must notify the state natural resources agency in each state where the petitioned species occurs. To help with this requirement, we are providing a list of contacts for each state natural resources agency in the Midwest Region. Here are the Petition Regulations as published in the Federal Register on Sept. 27, 2016.


Midwest Species of Concern

"Species of concern" is an informal term that refers to plants and animals which the Service believes might be in need of concentrated conservation actions. Such conservation actions vary depending on the health of the populations and degree and types of threats. At one extreme, there may only need to be periodic monitoring of populations and threats to the species and its habitat. At the other extreme, a species may need to be listed as a federal threatened or endangered species. "Species of concern" receive no legal protection and the use of the term does not necessarily mean that the species will eventually be proposed for listing as a threatened or endangered species.


National Listing Work Plan

In July 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its final methodology for prioritizing pending Endangered Species Act (ESA) status reviews. Status reviews are the scientifically rigorous process the agency uses to determine whether a species warrants federal protection. The new methodology allows us to strategically address pending status reviews, to be more transparent in how we establish workload priorities, and to collaborate effectively with partners to conserve America's most imperiled plants and wildlife.


Methodology we use for prioritizing our listing work.


National Listing Work Plan 

Provides a schedule for considering species for listing and critical habitat decisions.


Midwest Species on the National Listing Work Plan

A list of species that we will be evaluating over the next 6 years for potential protection under the ESA.


National Endangered Species Listing Information

Midwest Endangered Species Home


Last updated: March 19, 2018