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


Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Photo by Hannah McBrearty; USFWS 


Know your community, know your birds: birding Chicago's forest preserves

You love to bird and so do we! At the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service we look for opportunities to get people outside and learn about their natural world. More than 250 nature enthusiasts, bird lovers and city neighbors came out for the 2018 International Migratory Bird Day Celebration in May at Labagh Woods in Chicago, Illinois. Take a moment to learn about how Chicago is rallying around birds.


Labagh Woods provides a needed stopover site for birds migrating through the Chicago area to rest and refuel on their journeys north and also provides a place for city residents to renew themselves by connecting with nature. A new species was spotted at the preserves during the event: the site’s first recorded yellow-crowned night heron.


Learn More »

Learn more about birding at Forest Preserves of Cook County and get involved today!



ESA consultation on road construction provides more protection for eastern prairie fringed orchid population

Eastern prairie fringed orchid


Since 2009, the Chicago Illinois Field Office has been working with the Illinois Department of Transportation to protect a population of the eastern prairie fringed orchid in northeastern Illinois. The orchid is listed under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species and is vulnerable to habitat degradation, such as from increased pollutants associated with dirty water running off roadways after storms.


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



News Archives


Last updated: August 8, 2018