Midwest Region Endangered Species Conserving the Nature of America


Endangered Species Program


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems.




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 near you »


A gray wolf lays in the grass

A gray wolf

Photo by USFWS


Trump Administration Returns Management and Protection of Gray Wolves to States and Tribes Following Successful Recovery Efforts


More than 45 years after gray wolves were first listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Trump Administration and its many conservation partners are announcing the successful recovery of the gray wolf and its delisting from the ESA. U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt was at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge to announce that state and tribal wildlife management agency professionals will resume responsibility for sustainable management and protection of delisted gray wolves in states with gray wolf populations, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) monitors the species for five years to ensure the continued success of the species. 


The Service based its final determination solely on the best scientific and commercial data available, a thorough analysis of threats and how they have been alleviated and the ongoing commitment and proven track record of states and tribes to continue managing for healthy wolf populations once delisted. This analysis includes the latest information about the wolf’s current and historical distribution in the contiguous United States.


“Today’s action reflects the Trump Administration’s continued commitment to species conservation based on the parameters of the law and the best scientific and commercial data available,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “After more than 45 years as a listed species, the gray wolf has exceeded all conservation goals for recovery. Today’s announcement simply reflects the determination that this species is neither a threatened nor endangered species based on the specific factors Congress has laid out in the law.”


In total, the gray wolf population in the lower 48 states is more than 6,000 wolves, greatly exceeding the combined recovery goals for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Western Great Lakes populations.


Gray Wolf >>

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Service proposes to list two species of Missouri crayfish as threatened under the Endangered Species Act



A St. Francis River Crayfish in a stream

St. Francis River Crayfish

Photo courtesy Chris Lukhaup, Missouri Department of Conservation


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft recovery plan for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, a small and timid species that was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2016. The goal of the plan is to ensure the long-term viability of the snake to the point at which it no longer warrants ESA protection.


Frequently Asked Questions>>

Additional Information>>

First News Release >>

Second News Release >>

Partnership-driven efforts lead to downlisting of the American burying beetle



A dakota skipper and a rusty patched bumble bee on flowers in separate pictures

American burying beetle

Photo courtesy of USFS


Thanks in part to the efforts of dedicated partners across this species’ range, the first insect added to the endangered species list is staging a comeback: the American burying beetle. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is downlisting the beetle under the Endangered Species Act, from endangered to threatened.



American Burying Beetle>>

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines designating critical habitat is not warranted for the rusty patched bumble bee



A kirtlands warbler

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Photo by USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that designating critical habitat is not warranted for the endangered rusty patched bumble bee. The rusty patched bumble bee was listed as endangered in 2017 after surveys found its populations had dropped by nearly 90 percent. The bee once was found in 31 states and provinces from Connecticut to South Dakota. It now occurs only in scattered populations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada.


Frequently Asked Questions >>

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Rattlesnake-master borer moth does not warrant Endangered Species Act protection



A rattlesnake-master borer moth

Rattlesnake-master borer moth

Photo by Jon Rapp


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the rattlesnake-master borer moth, a red-brown insect with prominent white spots, does not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act. The species is found in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma.



SSA Report >>

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Saving the rusty patch – one garden at a time



A rusty patched bumble bee on a flower


How many times have you watched a documentary showing the plight of an endangered species sliding toward extinction and wondered what you can do to help? We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have good news for those of you who live in the range of the rusty patched bumble bee: Helping save this endangered pollinator is something you can do without traveling far or spending much money. You don’t even need to leave home – in fact, you can do your part while gardening in your own backyard. Don’t have a yard? No problem – you can still plant containers on your porch, patio or balcony.



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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honors midwest endangered species recovery champions

Pictures of Rich Baker with his dog and Tam Smith in snokeling gear.

2019 Endangered Species Recovery champions Rich Baker and Tamara Smith.

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are pleased to announce biologists Rich Baker and Tamara Smith as the 2019 Endangered Species Recovery champions for the Great Lakes Region. Baker and Smith join individuals and teams across the United States recognized for their work last year with endangered and threatened species.



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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