Midwest Region Conserving the nature of America

Conserving the Nature of America

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Whoop, cackle, quack: How restoring habitat brings the birds back

A blue-winged teal duck landing in a wetland
Blue-winged teal landing in a wetland restored by the Ihrkes. Photo courtesy of Ryan Askren.

If Illinois wetlands were a breakfast cereal, you’d hear them say “whoop, cackle, quack,” and being soggy would not only be expected, it would be welcome. We know that wetlands are essential, and when they're healthy, they're full of life. Take a moment to learn about one family who is making a difference for Illinois wetlands and learn how you can get involved.

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Keeping wildlife safe this Independence Day

Fireworks exploding in the sky.
Fireworks exploding in the sky. Photo by Courtney Celley/USFWS.

With freedom comes responsibility. Celebrating Independence Day is part of being an American, but when it’s at the expense of our nation’s iconic wildlife, we ask you to think twice about the impacts your celebration may have on wildlife. Here are a few ways you can help mitigate harm to wildlife and their habitat while you celebrate the Fourth of July.

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Saving the rusty patch – one garden at a time

A rusty patched bumble bee visits a wild bergamot flower
A rusty patched bumble bee visits a wild bergamot flower. Photo by Jill Utrup/USFWS.

How many times have you watched a documentary showing the plight of an endangered species sliding toward extinction and wondered what you can do to help? We have good news for those of you who live in the range of the rusty patched bumble bee: Helping save this endangered pollinator is something you can do without traveling far or spending much money. You don’t even need to leave home – in fact, you can do your part while gardening in your own backyard. Don’t have a yard? No problem – you can still plant containers on your porch, patio or balcony.

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Hellbenders: fantastic beasts of rivers and streams

A biologist holds an Ozark hellbender
A biologist holds an Ozark hellbender. Photo by Jill Utrup/USFWS.

Paddlers enjoying a canoe trip down a Missouri stream may float right over one of the continent’s largest and most imperiled salamanders. The Ozark hellbender, a federally endangered species, is a fascinating, little-known amphibian struggling to survive in a changing world. We're working with partners to make sure the Ozark hellbender, and its close relative the eastern hellbender, remain part of our natural landscape.

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