Midwest Region Endangered Species 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.



U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service in the Midwest

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 or office
near you »


Close up of Running Buffalo Clover Flower

Running Buffalo Clover; Photo credit USFWS


Eastern Plant Once Thought Extinct Now Recovered

Federal Protection No Longer Needed


Service proposes to remove running buffalo clover from list of endangered species


Once thought extinct, running buffalo clover, a perennial plant native to parts of the eastern United States, is thriving and is now considered recovered. The change in status for the clover came about thanks to a number of state, federal and private conservation partners working together for over three decades. Because of their efforts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now proposing to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the species.


“Running buffalo clover has recovered because we've worked closely with our partners to ensure the plant’s habitat is conserved while also searching for new populations,” said Service Acting Midwest Regional Director Charlie Wooley. “Our efforts have paid off, and we believe the future of this plant is secure."


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Frequently asked questions »

Running Buffalo Clover »



Service Completes Initial Review on Petition to List Lake Sturgeon

Juvenile lake sturgeon in hand

A juvenile Lake Sturgeon captured during a fisheries assessment in the St. Clair-Detroit River System.

Photo by James Boase/USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed initial review of a petition to list the lake sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service has concluded there is substantial information to consider listing the species as threatened or endangered. The Service will begin an in-depth review of this species to determine if the fish should be listed.



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Two endangered piping plover chicks successfully fledged from Montrose Beach in Chicago



Nest monitors Adelyn Hanchette (left) and Anna Jocham (right) release adult male Kirtland’s after they were color-banded in Wisconsin.

Fledged piping plover chicks at Montrose Beach, Chicago

Photo courtesy of Tamima Itani

In August 10, 2019, we passed a milestone with the first successful fledging of piping plover chicks in Chicago since at least 1961, when a pair of plovers were seen at Wolf Lake during the nesting season. 
Hundreds of people contributed to the success of the nest, and thousands more cheered on the plovers.


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Piping Plover


Returning piping plovers find habitat help and nest protection in Wisconsin




Nest monitors Adelyn Hanchette (left) and Anna Jocham (right) release adult male Kirtland’s after they were color-banded in Wisconsin.

The first endangered piping plovers are returning to Wisconsin this month as partners work to protect the birds' habitat in hopes of boosting nesting success. Flooding in 2018 washed away nests, and along with suspected predation, contributed to a low total of chicks fledging from Wisconsin's longtime nesting site on Chequamegon Point in the Apostle Islands. Predation may have also taken a toll on a plover nesting site in lower Green Bay.


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Piping Plover




Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership Update



Recovery Champions Kris Lah, Mark Hove, Mike Davis and Bernard Sietman.

Photo courtesy of Karen Willes.

The International Crane Foundation, based in Baraboo, Wisconsin, has a new tool for birders and other outdoor enthusiasts to keep track of the whereabouts of individual cranes in the eastern population. The interactive "Where are the whoopers" site highlights locations of cranes down to the county level – care is taken not to publicize precise locations.



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Moving the needle toward recovery: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honors midwest endangered species recovery champions

Recovery Champions Kris Lah, Mark Hove, Mike Davis and Bernard Sietman.

Photos by Minnesota DNR, University of Minnesota and USFWS.

A breakthrough conservation discovery and a career devoted to finding solutions for at-risk species define the winners of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2018 Endangered Species Recovery champions for the Midwest Region. The Midwest champions join individuals and teams across the United States who are recognized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their work last year with endangered and threatened species.



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In search of eastern massasauga rattlesnake near and far

Eastern massasauga rattlesnake in grass

Photo by Abbey Kucera; USFWS

In the spring of 2018, staff from the Illinois-Iowa Field Office took to the field across the Midwest in search of the threatened eastern massasauga rattlesnake. At Carlyle Lake, staff assisted the Illinois Natural History Survey with their annual monitoring efforts.


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Eastern Massasauga »



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