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Endangered Species Program

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems


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2014 News Archives


Dec. 29, 2014: Service Initiates Status Review of Monarch Butterfly under Endangered Species Act


Monarch butterfly



Dec. 9., 2014: Service Protects Red Knot as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act


News Release



Red knot


Topeka Shiner MOU in Missouri: Highlights Partnership

Neosho Fish Hatcher

Partners met at the Neosho Fish Hatchery to sign an MOU that sets the stage

for the hatchery to work with other partners to recovery the Topeka shiner.

Photo by USFWS


December 3, 2014

On November 21, 2014, a partnership was forged among Neosho National Fish Hatchery, the Service’s Columbia, Missouri Ecological Services Field Office, and the Missouri Department of Conservation when a memorandum of understanding was signed by all parties involved. This understanding will enable Neosho to assist the Service and the state of Missouri in the propagation of Topeka shiners for reintroduction efforts of the species in northern Missouri to help meet recovery goals established in the state’s 2010 10-Year Strategic Plan for the Recovery of the Topeka Shiner in Missouri.


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Re-opening Comment Period on Proposal

to List Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered


Northern long-eared bat hibernating in Minnesota.

Northern long-eared bats tend to hibernate alone in cracks and crevices

rather than clumped like many other bats.

Photo by USFWS/Jill Utrup


November 18, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period on a proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Comments will be accepted through Dec. 18, 2014.


The Service is reopening the comment period to alert the public to additional information provided by state conservation agencies within the range of the species. The Service will consider this information, and all information received previously, while determining whether the northern long-eared bat warrants listing under the Endangered Species Act. Reopening of the comment period will allow the public to provide comments on the proposed rule in light of that additional information. A final decision on the proposal is due on April 2, 2015.


Continue News Release »


Northern Long-eared Bat Home


Information Received from States

Letter from Midwest and Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Regional Forester Groups (18-page PDF)


Letter from Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (3-page PDF)



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects

Two Prairie Butterfly Species

Under Endangered Species Act

Dakota skippers live in scattered, isolated patches of high quality

prairie in the Dakotas, western Minnesota and southern Canada.

Photo courtesy of Cale Nordmeyer/Minnesota Zoo


October 23, 2014

The Dakota skipper is now protected as threatened and the Poweshiek skipperling is protected as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.  Both species are butterflies that depend on prairie habitat and have suffered population declines due to loss and degradation of their native grasslands. 


Found in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Canada, the Dakota skipper’s numbers have declined dramatically; it no longer occurs on  almost 75 percent of the sites where it was previously found. 


Continue News Release »


Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skipperling Listed Under ESA


Oct. 20, 2014: Evaluating Preventing Water Quality Threats to the Recovery of Imperiled Freshwater Mussels


Mussel sampling


Oct. 8, 2014: Restored Oxbow in Iowa Produces Over 800 Juvenile Topeka Shiners


Topeka shiner


Oct. 1, 2014: Mussel and Sediment Survey Completed on the Big River, Missouri



Sept. 30, 2014: White-nose Syndrome: Settling into the Mdwest

Sept. 30, 2014: New running buffalo clover site discovered in Missouri

Sept. 30, 2014: Update: Range-wide Inidana Bat Summer Survey Guidelines



Sept. 25, 2014: The Search for Hine's Emerald Dragonfly

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program is partnering with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Parks Division (DNR), Huron Pines, and local community volunteers to protect and restore habitat for Hine’s emerald dragonfly.




Laurel Hill Laurel Hill, a biologist with our Coastal Program in the Marquette Office, recently participated in an effort to survey for larval Hine's emerald dragonfly. - Photo Credit: Daria Hyde


Service Invites Additional Comments on

Endangered Species Act Proposals for Two

Prairie Butterflies: Service also seeks comment

on draft economic analysis

Poweshiek skipperling, a butterfly of tallgrass prairies, has been proposed as endangered.

The Poweshiek skipperling, a butterfly of tallgrass prairies, has

experienced recent sharp population declines in most of its range.

Photo courtesy ofMinnesota Zoo/ Erik Runquist


September 23, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened the public comment period on its proposal to designate critical habitat for the Dakota skipper and Poweshiek skipperling, two species of butterflies, under the Endangered Species Act, and on a proposed special rule for the Dakota skipper.  The Service also released a draft economic analysis of the critical habitat designation. Comments on the proposed critical habitat designations and the economic analysis will be accepted through October 23, 2014.   Comments on the special rule are accepted through October 7, 2014.


Continue News Release »


Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skipperling Proposed Listing


Sept. 12, 2014: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Boosts State Endangered Species Conservation Efforts with $35 Million in Grants



Midwest Region Hosts 2014

White-Nose Syndrome Symposium

Tri-colored bat with symptoms of White-Nose Syndrome.

Tri-colored bat with symptoms of White-Nose Syndrome.

Photo courtesy of Darwin Brack


September 11, 2014

This week, the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted the annual White-nose Syndrome Symposium in Missouri. Partners from state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and the academic community convened in St. Louis to share information and plan strategies for battling a disease that has devastated populations of cave-hibernating bats. First documented in New York in the winter of 2006-2007, white-nose has killed more than 5.5 million bats in the Northeast and Canada. In some areas, 90 to 100 percent of bats have died.


Continue News Release »



August 28,2014: Women in Science: Connecting with the Future - Tameka Dandridge, Wildlife Biologis

Tameka Dandridge, wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's East Lansing Michigan Field Office



Northern Long-eared Bat

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Offers Online
Information Sessions
On Proposal
to List Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered

northern long-eared bat

Northern long-eared bat hibernating in a cave formation in Missouri.

Photo by Ann Froschauer/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


August 13, 2014


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold three public information webcasts in August to provide information and answer questions about our proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Webcasts will be Tuesday, August 19, at 1 p.m. Eastern; Wednesday, August 20, at 4 p.m. Eastern; and Thursday, August 21, at 7 p.m. Eastern.


People can join the 1-hour information sessions by calling a toll-free number and joining a web conference to view a presentation and participate in a facilitated question-and-answer session.


Read More »


Online Information Sessions - How to Participate


August 6, 2014: Notice of Availability of Draft HCP and Environmental Assessment for Pioneer Trail Wind Farm in Illinois


Two wind turbines



August 6, 2014: Tippecanoe River - Low Water Levels and Measures to Protect Endangered Mussels


NIPSCO Statement

2012 Drought Slideshow


August 1, 2014: Service Protects Three Plants under Endangered Species Act, Includes Short's Bladderpod Found in Posey County Indiana

News Release

Short's Bladderpod Home


Short's bladderpod



Northern Long-eared Bat: Six-month Extension on Listing Decision and Comment Period Re-opens

June 30, 2014


A notice for a six-month extension for the final listing determination on the northern long-eared bat published in the Federal Register on June 30, 2014. We are also reopening the comment period on the proposal to list the bat as endangered; the 60-day comment period ends on August 29, 2014. A final decision on listing the northern long-eared bat will be made no later than April 2, 2015.


June 30, 2014 Northern Long-eared Bat Six Month Extension for the Final Listing Determination and Comment Period Re-opens


June 24, 2014: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Six-Month Extension for Decision to List the Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered



FAQs about the Extension

Northern Long-eared Bat Home


northern long-eared bat


June 6, 2014: The Search continues for Wild Pallid Sturgeon


Pallid sturgeon


June 3, 2014: Senator Levin Visits Kirtland's Warbler Territory

News Release

Kirtland's Warbler Home


Kirtland's Warbler by Joel Trick


The Bat (What Does the Indiana Bat Say?)

3rd Grade Class from Inspire Academy



May 15, 2014: May 16 is National Endangered Species Day
Piping Plover


May 14, 2014: Comment Period Re-Opened for Proposal to Designate Critical Habitat for Neosho Mucket and Rabbitsfoot

Neosho Mucket Home

Rabbitsfoot Home



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces 2013 Endangered Species Recovery Champions

Residents of Missouri and Wisconsin

Among Those Honored


Recovery Champions, Adrian Wydeven on the left and Paul McKenzie on the right.

Adrian Wydeven (Wisconsin DNR) and Paul McKenzie (USFWS) are

recognized as Champions because of their exceptional contributions

to endangered species recovery.

Photo courtesy of Adrian Wydeven and by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


May 5, 2014


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recognized 55 individuals for their exceptional efforts to conserve and protect the nation’s rarest fish, wildlife and plants by designating them 2013 Recovery Champions. Among the award winners honored for their work this year were Service biologist Paul McKenzie of Columbia, Missouri, and Adrian Wydeven, a biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


“We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to these dedicated conservationists who are on the front lines fighting the battle against extinction,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Their spirit and determination is the application of Aldo Leopold’s counsel to ‘keep every cog and wheel,’ and they provide hope for all of us that our children and the generations that follow will be able to enjoy the same tremendous diversity of plants and animals that we do today.”


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Finding the Needle!

Eastern prairie fringed orchid leaves just starting

Eastern prairie fringed orchid leaves just starting

to emerge after an early spring burn.

Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Kristen Lundh

May 5, 2014


We spent the day looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. The needle, emerging spears of eastern prairie fringed orchids in a sea of vegetation growing up after an early spring burn.


A spring burn was prescribed as the first step in managing invasive reed canary grass that had inundated this wet prairie in Iowa; a site that also supports a healthy population of eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leuchophaea). Controlling reed canary grass is complicated by the orchid population. A graduate student from Western Illinois University is studying the site to determine the impact of reed canary grass management and climate variability on this federally threatened orchid.


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The Little Native Prairie Fish that Could!


After seining a number of restored oxbow ponds, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

biologists found that some endangered Topeka shiners, a native prairie fish,

survived drought and one of the coldest winters on record.

Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Kristen Lundh


April 16, 2014


After one of the coldest and driest winters on record in North-central Iowa, biologists from the Rock Island Field Office seined restored oxbow ponds to determine overwinter survivability of Topeka shiners. During harsh, long winters fish kills can easily occur in lakes and ponds. When snow and ice cover the surface of a pond for a prolonged period of time sunlight is unable to reach the pond’s bottom, and plants begin to die. As the dead plants decay the oxygen in the pond is consumed by the bacteria decomposing the dead plants. Most fish cannot survive once dissolved oxygen levels get below a certain point. The prairie pothole region in Iowa had already suffered through two of the driest years on record in 2012 and 2013. Ponds and lakes in that area were already extremely low heading into the winter. This combined with the fact that it was so cold for so long made for very tough living conditions for fish. Fish kills were being reported all over the area, so biologists feared that restored oxbow ponds that were known to contain Topeka shiners last fall had also been affected.


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Earth Day 2014!


Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and learn ways to make a better planet for fish, wildlife and their habitat.


Since 1970, Earth Day has been observed around the globe each spring as a day to raise environmental awareness and involve citizens and communities in creating a cleaner, healthier world.


While climate change is perhaps the greatest ecological challenge of our time, Earth Day reminds us that we all can take steps to help protect the environment, which touches the human spirit, contributes to human health and well-being and promotes a healthy economy.


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April 9, 2014: Partners in Endangered Snail Recovery - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation


Iowa Pleistoncene Snails on leaf


April 3, 2014: Service reopens comment period on proposal to protect red knot under Endangered species Act: shorebird flies up to 18,600 miles a year on 20-inch wingspan


News Release

Red Knot Home


Red knot



March 13, 2014: Chicago Office and Partners Hold Seminar on Endangered Dragonlfy Conservation


Hine's Emerald Dragonfly



March 4, 2014: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Final Revised Recovery Plan for the Pallid Sturgeon

News Release

Pallid Sturgeon Home


Pallid Sturgeon



February 13, 2014: Chicago Office Cooperates with Forest Preserve District on Habitat Restoration Benefiting Multiple Endangered Species


Prairie with flowering blazing star.



Jan. 13, 2014: Regional Director Gets Up Close Look at Hellbenders and Beetles

News Release

Ozark Hellbender Home

American Burying Beetle Home


Ozark hellbender



Jan. 13, 2014: 2014 Indiana Bat Summer Survey Guidelines


Biologist retrieving bat from mist net.



Jan. 8, 2014: Young Artists Encouraged to Enter the 2014 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest


Woodland Caribou painting



Midwest Endangered Species Home


Last updated: March 12, 2018