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 »


Eastern massasauga rattlesnake lying in marsh grasses.

The eastern massasauga, a reclusive rattlesnake, was once considered common throughout its range

but its populations have severely declined.

Photo by Abbey Kucera; USFWS


In search of eastern massasauga rattlesnake near and far


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. The Carlyle Lake population is the largest and most viable population of eastern massasaugas in Illinois and is found primarily in fragmented grassland habitats on federal and state lands managed for the species. In all, the field office helped the survey staff locate nine individual eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in one day. Their work included discovery of potentially the largest eastern massasauga ever collected, at 31 inches long and 1.3 pounds!


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Eastern Massasauga »



Service seeks public comment on permit application and proposed conservation agreement for monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly on purple coneflower.

Photo courtesy of Joel Trick

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the opening of a 60-day public comment periodfor an “enhancement of survival” permit application associated with a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the monarch butterfly on energy and transportation lands.


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Nationwide CCAA for Monarch Butterfly »



Missouri Population of Eastern Hellbender Proposed for Endangered Status



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

After a thorough species status review, the Service determined that most populations of the eastern hellbender are not in danger of extinction and listing under the ESA is not warranted. However, the eastern hellbender population in Missouri is a distinct population segment.


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Missouri DPS of Eastern Hellbender


Kirtland’s warbler success continues in Wisconsin




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

The conservation success began in 2007, the year nesting Kirtland’s warblers were discovered in Wisconsin. It continued the next year, when the Badger State saw the first successful Kirtland’s warbler nest produce fledglings.


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Piping Plover



WA special plover completes 1,300-mile migration



Great Lakes piping plover Bimaajii on the beach in Florida.

In the language of the Little Traverse Bay of Odawa Indians, his name is Bimaajii, or “one who moves about.” He’s an endangered Great Lakes piping plover, found in May 2018 on High Island in Lake Michigan by Bill Parsons and Archie Kiogama, wildlife biologists for the Odawa.


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Piping Plover


Whooping crane eastern population see the best year yet for wild-hatched chicks

Whooping crane chick and adult.

Six wild-hatched whooping crane chicks in Wisconsin survived to flight stage in 2018, the most since the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership began restoring a migratory population of the endangered birds in the eastern United States.


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Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership



Great Lakes piping plovers see a mix of recovery progress



Adult Great Lakes piping plover with leg bands, standing on sand beach.

A cold winter and poor fledging season in 2017 brought mixed results for endangered Great Lakes piping plovers in 2018. This year’s breeding population dipped to 67 pairs after several years of hovering around the 75-pair mark. On the plus side, despite fewer pairs, nesting plovers had a successful breeding season.

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Piping Plover


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