Chicago Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Map of Chicago Field Office counties of responsibility.






Ecological Services

We work with public and private entities to conserve and restore Chicago metro area endangered species, migratory birds, wetlands, and other important fish and wildlife resources.



For questions about CITES permits, and importing wildlife and wildlife parts, please contact the USFWS Chicago Wildlife Inspection Program (847) 298-3250

Eastern prairie fringed orchid recovery efforts

continue in Illinois

Hand pollinating an eastern prairie fringed orchid.

Hand pollinating an eastern prairie fringed orchid.

Photo Credit: USFWS


The eastern prairie fringed orchid, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, depends on its annual seed set to maintain its population. Year after year, the species’ population at the Lone Grove Forest Preserve in Kane County, Illinois, lacked viable seed production even though flowering plants were abundant. Viable seed set occurs when flowers are cross-pollinated. Successful seed production is measured by how many plump (rather than skinny) seed capsules are formed. Plump capsules contain a higher number of seeds, and a higher percentage of those seeds are viable. The skinny seed capsules often contain no seeds at all, or if they do contain any seed, they’re few in number and many are not viable. Another challenge facing these orchids is that their natural pollinators may not be present in enough numbers for successful cross-pollination.


Learn More »


Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid



Establishing Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid on Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge


Eastern prairie fringed orchid

The Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge was established in 2012. As planned, it will be an urban refuge with noncontiguous properties of varying habitats such as tallgrass prairie patches, wetlands and oak savanna. Located in the northwestern region of the Chicago metropolitan area and southern part of the Milwaukee area.percent).


Learn More »

Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid



2017 Illinois eastern prairie fringed orchid field season summary


Volunteer counting flowers on eastern prairie fringed orchid stem.

Illinois recorded 1,186 blooming eastern prairie fringed orchid plants from all populations in 2017. This number is down by 750 blooming plants from 2016 (n=1936), but the 2016 count was the highest recorded number of blooming plants since we started keeping records in 1991.


Learn More »

Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid




Bat Week - October 24 to 31! Check out what we're doing to help bats.


Few of nature’s animals are as misunderstood as bats. Though often feared and loathed as sinister creatures of the night, bats are vital to the health of our environment and our economy as pest control, pollinators and seed dispersers. For the past decade, however some bats have been dying in alarming numbers due to a fungal disease called white-nose syndrome (WNS). Across the continent, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners are working to protect bats, research treatments to halt the spread of WNS, and raise awareness about just how incredible - and vulnerable - these creatures are.


Check out the Bat Conservation Map


Bat Week



Monarch Festival at Oak Lawn


About 350 to 400 people attended the Oak Lawn Park District’s annual Monarch Festival on Saturday, September 16th. The event included two rooms filled with presenters and exhibits in addition to the outdoor tents with representatives from The Field Museum, Sierra Club, University of Illinois Extension Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, among others. Children had fun making butterfly arts and crafts, participating in an interactive butterfly puppet play, tagging and releasing monarchs, petting bugs, and watching a movie about monarchs. There was a great atmosphere felt on this beautiful sunny day, which was made even livelier by the tunes of the DJ.


Learn more »


About Monarch Butterflies



Hine’s emerald dragonfly larvae released in northern Michigan


Hine's emerald dragonfly larvae

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service staff, in partnership with the University of South Dakota, recently transported and released Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) larvae in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Hine’s emerald dragonfly is a federally endangered dragonfly found in spring fed wetlands and calcareous streams overlying dolomite bedrock. The species is one of North America’s most endangered dragonflies due to habitat loss and degradation, pesticides and environmental contaminants, and changes in ground water.


Learn more »







News Archives


Last updated: February 26, 2018