Endangered Species
Midwest Region


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Endangered Species Program in the Upper Midwest

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems


A happy accident results in a great start for winged mapleleaf recovery

Divers from the Minnesota DNR and Minnesota Zoo sort mussels collected near

Divers from the Minnesota DNR and Minnesota Zoo sort mussels collected

near Hudson, Wisconsin.

Photo by Tamara Smith; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


June 30, 2016

Winged mapleleaf (Quadrula fragosa) was historically widespread in the central United States, with records from at least 41 rivers in 16 states. Today the species inhabits only five rivers; at least three of the five extant populations face significant threats or are of uncertain viability. The capability to propagate and reintroduce winged mapleleaf into habitats that it occupied historically would facilitate its recovery. In its 1997 recovery plan for the species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated that at least five viable populations would be necessary to recover the species, but that more than five may be necessary “to maintain the species” and to ensure its “optimal geographic distribution."


Winged mapleleaf are known to occur in the north (i.e., St. Croix and Mississippi rivers in Minnesota and Wisconsin) and the south (i.e., Bourbeuse River in Missouri, Saline and Ouachita rivers in Arkansas, and the Little River in Oklahoma). Two parallel efforts to propagate winged mapleleaf are ongoing – one in the northern part of the species’ range that uses mussels from the St. Croix River for propagation and one in the south that relies on the Saline River population in Arkansas for broodstock.


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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

Last updated: August 9, 2016