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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.
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Missouri population of eastern hellbender listed as endangered
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the Missouri distinct population segment of the eastern hellbender as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Endangered species are those that are in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range.
While eastern hellbenders in other parts of the United States are not facing extinction, populations in Missouri are geographically and genetically distinct, meriting separate consideration under the ESA.
“We look forward to working with our state partners and the conservation community to map a path to recovery for eastern hellbenders in Missouri,” said Charlie Wooley, Great Lakes regional director for the Service.
The Service proposed listing the Missouri distinct population segment of the eastern hellbender in April 2019. Of the five historic populations in Missouri, none is considered healthy; four are declining and one has likely disappeared altogether.
The Missouri populations of the eastern hellbender occur in Big River, Big Piney River, Courtois Creek, Gasconade River, Huzzah Creek, Meramec River, Niangua River and the Osage Fork of the Gasconade River.
The threats affecting these populations are habitat destruction and modification from sedimentation and water quality degradation, disease and pathogens, and habitat disturbance. The unauthorized collection of eastern hellbenders, especially for the pet trade, also remains a concern.
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.
Service proposes to list two species of Missouri crayfish as threatened under the Endangered Species Act
We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invite you to learn more about our recent proposal to list the Big River crayfish and the St. Francis River crayfish as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. An online presentation provides an explanation of why the species were proposed, how the crayfishes would be protected and more detailed information on where they occur.
Partnership-driven efforts lead to downlisting of the American burying beetle
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.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines designating critical habitat is not warranted for the rusty patched bumble bee
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.
Rattlesnake-master borer moth does not warrant Endangered Species Act protection
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.
Saving the rusty patch – one garden at a time
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.
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.
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.
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