Endangered Species
Midwest Region


Map of Region 3 Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan

Box outline
Box outline


Connect With Us

Facebook icon

Flickr icon


Twitter icon

YouTube icon


Buy Duck Stamps icon Endangered Species Day icon

Great Lake Restoration Initiative logo

Endangered Species Program in the Upper Midwest

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems


South Korean documentarians learn from

Ecological Service staff – it’s the bee’s knees!


Service staff Tamara Smith and Pete Fasbender  with members of the Chuncheon Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, including Director Jae-Gyu Lee

Service staff Tamara Smith and Pete Fasbender (far right) take a selfie with members of the

Chuncheon Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, including Director Jae-Gyu Lee (front left).

Photo by Pete Fasbender/USFWS.



A documentary film crew from Chuncheon Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, one of the leading South Korean television and radio network companies, were in the United States for only a few days, but traveled from coast to coast to interview key subjects for their documentary about bees. They chose to visit the Minnesota-Wisconsin Ecological Services Field Office because of their role in the evaluating the rusty patched bumble bee for federal listing and their role as the lead office for coordinating the national recovery of the federally endangered bee.


Learn More »

Rusty patched bumble bee


Eastern prairie fringed orchid recovery efforts continue in Illinois

Hand pollinating an eastern prairie fringed orchid.

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.

Learn More »

Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid


Kirtland's warblers find Wisconsin a good place to nest

Kirtland's warbler

The 2017 Kirtland’s warbler nesting season marked the 10th year anniversary of the return of endangered Kirtland’s to Wisconsin. From only 11 Kirtland’s and three nests found in Adams County in 2007 to 53 individuals and 20 total nests among Adams, Marinette and Bayfield counties in 2017.

Learn More »

Kirtland's Warbler


Purple cat’s paw pounces back

Service Biologist Angela Boyer uses a PIT tag reader to locate released mussels.

Not long ago, purple cat’s paw pearlymussels were thought to be functionally extinct. When the species was listed as endangered in 1990, only a few individuals could be found, and they were too old to reproduce. Then, in 1994, a small population of the species was discovered in Killbuck Creek in Ohio.

Learn More »

Purple Cat's Paw Pearlymussel



2017 was another very good year for Great Lakes piping plovers

Piping plover

Despite stormy weather and predators, 2017 proved to be a record year for endangered Great Lakes piping plovers. Biologists and plover monitors once again fanned out throughout the Great Lakes Basin, searching likely habitat for incoming piping plovers in April and May. The overall pair count was excellent, with 76 breeding pairs located throughout the Great Lakes, a record number of pairs since the population was listed in 1985.

Learn More »

Piping Plovers


Piloting new partnerships for bat conservation

Biologist using telemetry to find Indiana bats.


Aircraft aren’t the only things flying around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Endangered Indiana bats patrol the night skies, foraging for insects over the Mad River corridor. This 8,000-arcre installation contains about 700 acres of forested areas along streams, with a wide variety of native trees: maple, oak, hickory and others. The site is prime summer habitat for Indiana bats; managers discovered a maternity colony in 1993 and have been tracking it ever since.

Learn More »

Bat Week

Bat Facts


New technology helps count hibernating bats

Service biologist Shauna Marquardt tests new technology to count hibernating bats.


It’s a challenge – counting bats during hibernation when they’re sensitive to disturbance. Every two years, scientists head into caves, mines and other hibernation sites to count endangered Indiana bats with as little intrusion as possible. Hibernation sites are dark, and bats are too – adding to the challenge. Surveyors quickly take photos of clusters of hibernating bats and then examine the photos later, counting bat noses to determine population numbers.

Learn More »

Bat Week


For this Missouri bat ambassador, conservation begins at homeu

Bat ambassadors Dave and Gunilla Murphy. Photos courtesy of Dave Murphy.


Dave Murphy doesn’t remember the first time he seriously thought about bats. As a kid growing up on a farm in northeastern Missouri, he recalls bats occasionally entering the old farmhouse and flying around inside. “I don’t remember us ever killing one, just catching it and putting it outside.”

Learn More »

Bat Week


News Archive


What We Do

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act. To fulfill our responsibilities, we do the following:


Candidate Conservation: identify and assess declining species that may need Endangered Species Act protection and take steps to conserve those species.


Listing: take steps to list candidate species as endangered or threatened and designate critical habitat. We also remove species from the Threatened and Endangered Species List ("delist") when they no longer need Endangered Species Act protection.


Recovery: protect, conserve and restore listed species. Recovery Report to Congress: 2009 to 2010 (PDF 3.1MB)


Section 7 Technical Assistance

Section 7 consultation guidance for Federal agencies and their applicants (i.e., project proponents).

Section 7 Consultation: all Federal agencies have a responsiblity to conserve threatened and endangered species and to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species. Under the authority of Section 7 of the Act, we consult with Federal agencies to help them fulfill their obligations.


Permits: issue permits to "take" listed species, under certain conditions.


Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs): work with Incidental Take permit applicants to help them prepare HCPs that minimize and mitigate the effects of their incidental take.


Grants: provide grants to States under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act. These funds may, in turn, be awarded to private landowners and groups for conservation projects.


State Field Offices

We have Ecological Services Field Offices in each of the eight upper Midwest States. For project reviews, Section 7 consultation, or information about endangered species that you do not find on this site, please contact the Field Office in your state.



“Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of
preservation than the rich array of animal life with
which our country has been blessed. It is a many faceted
treasure, of value to scholars, scientists,
and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part
of the heritage we all share as Americans.”


Bloom of the prairie bush clover.  Photo by USFWS: Phil Delphey

Last updated: February 5, 2018