Midwest Region Endangered Species Conserving the nature of America

Endangered Species Program


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems.




U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service in the Midwest


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


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

Featured Species


Canada Lynx

Canada lynx running across a road.

Photo courtesy of Minnesota DNR

The Canada lynx, a threatened species was historically found from Alaska across Canada and into the northern U.S. states. Within the lower 48 states, in the east it lived in a transition zone between boreal coniferous forests to the north and deciduous forest to the south and in the west it lived subalpine coniferous forests in the mountains.


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Dakota Skipper

A Dakota skipper sipping nectar from a purple coneflower.

Photo by Kim Mitchell; USFWS

The Dakota skipper is a small butterfly that lives in high-quality mixed and tallgrass prairie. It has been extirpated from Illinois and Iowa and now occurs in remnants of native mixed and tallgrass prairie in Minnesota, the Dakotas and southern Canada. The Dakota skipper is listed as threatened under the Endangered species Act and critical habitat has been designated.


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Freshwater Mussels

A variety of freshwater mussels displayed on a rock.

Mussels, or clams, are a group of animals so inconspicuous they are often mistaken for rocks. Laying on the bottom of lakes, rivers, and creeks, they rarely move and eat by filtering water for microscopic food particles.


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Gray Wolf

Gray wolf walking in snow among pine trees.

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

Historically found in most of the lower 48 states, at the time the gray wolf was listed as endangered in 1973 the only reproducing population in the U.S. (outside of Alaska) was in northeastern Minnesota. Wolf recovery efforts have restored this top predator and improved our understanding of the complex interactions among species in their natural environments.


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Hine's Emerald Dragonfly

Hine's emerald dragonfly in the palm of hand.

Photo courtesy of Paul Burton

The Hine's emerald dragonfly was first discovered in Ohio, but by the mid-1900's it was believed to be extinct. In 1988 a specimen collected in the Des Plaines River Valley (southwest of Chicago) in Illinois was later identified as this species. 

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Indiana Bat

Indiana bat

Photo by Ann Froschauer; USFWS

The Indiana bat was listed as endangered in 1967 due to episodes of people disturbing hibernating bats in caves during winter, resulting in the death of large numbers of bats. Other threats include commercialization of caves, loss of summer habitat, pesticides and other contaminants, and most recently, the disease white-nose syndrome.


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Karner Blue Butterfly

Monarch butterfly on purple coneflower.

Photo by Kim Mitchell; USFWS

The Karner blue butterfly, an endangered species, is a small butterfly that lives in oak savannas and pine barren ecosystems from eastern Minnesota and eastward to the Atlantic seaboard. 


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Kirtland's Warbler

Monarch butterfly on purple coneflower.

Photo courtesy of Joel Trick

The Kirtland’s warbler is a small songbird that nests in young jack pine forests in northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada. This warbler has one of the most geographically restricted breeding distributions of any bird in the continental United States. 


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Northern Long-eared Bat

Northern long-eared bat with white spots of fungus on its face, symptoms of white-nose syndrome.

Photo courtesy of Steve Taylor

The northern long-eared bat is one of the species of bats most impacted by the disease white-nose syndrome. Due to declines caused by white-nose syndrome and continued spread of the disease, the northern long-eared bat was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2015. 


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Ozark Hellbender

Ozark hellbender being held in the hands of a researcher.

Photo by Jill Utrup; USFWS

A strictly aquatic amphibian, the Ozark hellbender is found in Ozark streams of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. This subspecies of hellbender is listed as endangered because a rapid decline in numbers and range have left only small, isolated populations. 


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Great Lakes Piping Plover

Piping plover standing on a beach with scattered small rocks and pebbles.

Photo courtesy of Jack Cook

The piping plover is a small shorebird that nests on the shores of the Great Lakes. Recovery actions in Michigan, aided by many volunteers, has helped the plover population to steadily increase. 


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Poweshiek Skipperling

Monarch butterfly on purple coneflower.

Photo courtesy of J. Becker; Nature Conservancy of Canada

Poweshiek skipperlings are small butterflies most often found in remnants of native prairie in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin and in fens in Michigan. However, this skipperling has been extirpated from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa within the last 10 years.


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Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Rusty patched bumbel bee feeding on a wild bergamot flower.

Photo courtesy of Joel Trick

The rusty patched bumble bee has declined by 87 percent in the last 20 years. The species is likely to be present in only 0.1% of its historical range.


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Whooping Crane

Profile of an adult whooping crane, from the torso and head.

Photo by Ryan Haggerty; USFWS

Reintroduction of migratory whooping cranes to the eastern U.S. began in 2000. The purpose of the reintroduction is to establish a migratory population of whooping cranes that breeds in the upper Midwest and migrates to the southeast for winter.


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Midwest Endangered Species