Endangered Species
Midwest Region


Midwest Region

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


Endangered Species Program

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems



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Kirtland's warbler on a pine tree branch.

Kirtland's warbler

Photo courtesy of Joel Trick


Service and Partners Celebrate Remarkable Conservation Victory as Once Critically Imperiled Songbird Declared Saved from Threat of Extinction

Kirtland’s warbler populations continue to soar; prompting proposal by Service to remove it from Endangered Species Act

Amidst catastrophic population declines leaving fewer than 200 known pairs in existence in the early 1970s, the Kirtland's warbler seemed to be rapidly heading towards extinction. But after decades of partnership efforts among federal and state agencies, industry and conservation groups, this songbird has rebounded, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now proposing to remove the Kirtland's warbler from the list of endangered and threatened species. The proposal opens a 90-day public comment period that will help inform a final decision.


“Kirtland’s warblers were once on the brink of extinction and one of America’s rarest birds, but today they represent the power of partnership to recover imperiled wildlife,” said Tom Melius, Midwest Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Without a doubt, this bird’s recovery is the result of cooperation among states, local residents, federal agencies and conservation groups. This dedicated conservation community is committed to addressing the needs of the Kirtland’s warbler into the future.”


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Kirtland's Warbler


For this Missouri bat ambassador, conservation begins at home

Dave Murphy, a commissioner of the Missouri Department of Conservation, wokring on his farm.

Dave Murphy doesn’t remember the first time he seriously thought about bats. Maybe it was the memories of 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.”


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Indiana Bat


Eureka! Mussel discovery made in a tub

Tricia Anderson, Natural Resource Technician, checks the growth of juvenile mussels.

Tucked away just off the shore of Lake Pepin in Minnesota, the Center for Aquatic Mollusk Programs (CAMP) facility operated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is staffed and equipped for an overarching mission: conserving native mussels. Tubs, tanks and tubes fill the research facility with the sound of running water.


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Freshwater Mussels


Whooping crane chicks expected to head north

Two adult whooping cranes.

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership members are awaiting the return to Wisconsin of 16 young whooping cranes and hoping the coming breeding season exceeds the promising results achieved last year. The 2017 cranes represented a mix of birds hatched in the wild, birds hatched in captivity and raised by adult cranes.


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Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership



South Korean documentarians learn from Ecological Service staff – it’s the bee’s knees!

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

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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Purple Cat's Paw Pearlymussel


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: April 11, 2018