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 »

Permits for Endangered Species
Native to the United States

Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act regulates a range of activities that affect endangered or threatened plants and animals. With some exceptions, the Act prohibits activities affecting these protected species and their habitats unless authorized by a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Permitted activities must be designed to be consistent with the conservation of the species.


If you want permitting information for species that are not native to the United States or that are not threatened or endangered, follow the links below to go to sites with information that may help you.


Permits Issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - general information about all permits issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Permits for International Species


Three Permit Types

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues three types of permits for endangered or threatened species native to the United States. An overview of these permits is provided in this fact sheet - Permits for Native Species Under the Endangered Species ActAdobe PDF Icon - with additional information provided below.


Recovery Permits and Interstate Commerce Permits

Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act

Recovery and interstate commerce permits are issued to allow for take as part of activities intended to foster the recovery of listed species. A typical use of a recovery permit is to allow for scientific research on a listed species in order to understand better the species’ long-term survival needs. Examples include: abundance surveys, genetic research, relocations, capture and marking and telemetric monitoring. Interstate commerce permits also allow transport and sale of listed species across state lines (e.g., for recovery purposes such as a breeding program).


For Permit Holders

Permit Contact Information for Region 3 (Midwest Region) - list includes USFWS and State Conservation Agency contacts Adobe PDF Icon


Permit Contact Information for all Regions outside of Region 3 Adobe PDF Icon - includes only USFWS contacts


Incidental Take Permits

Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act

You may need an Incidental Take Permit (section 10(a)(1)(B)) if you conduct an otherwise lawful activity where a listed species may be adversely affected, and the purpose of your activity is not scientific research or enhancement of a listed species, you may need to obtain an Incidental Take Permit (section 10(a)(1)(B)).


Examples of activities that may require an Incidental Take Permit include, but are not limited to: construction and/or development activities or in-stream or watershed activities that may impact listed species.


Incidental Take Permits and Habitat Conservation Plans


HCPs in the Upper Midwest (Region 3)


Principal Deputy Director's Memorandum Regarding Guidance on When to Seek an Incidental Take Permit (April 26, 2018) [1.2MB]


Enhancement of Survival Permits

This type of permit is different than the two previous types. It was developed as a mechanism to promote endangered species conservation on non-federal lands and is used in conjunction with Safe Harbor Agreements and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances. The enhancement permit, in conjunction with one of these Agreements, allows landowners to improve habitat for listed species without incurring additional restrictions if the size of the area occupied by the species increases or their number increases.


Enhancement of Survival Permits


Safe Harbor Agreements


Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances


How to Apply for a Permit

First, contact your nearest USFWS Ecological Services Office. Service staff can help you determine whether your proposed project or action is likely to result in "take", whether a permit is required, or if there are other options to consider. Our staff can also provide technical assistance to help you design your project to avoid take. For example, the project could be designed with timing restrictions on construction to minimize disturbance during the nesting season and thus avoiding the need for an incidental take permit.


If you decide that a permit is needed, the next step is to complete an application for the permit. This link will take you to the forms and application instructions on our national website - Permits: How to Apply


Additional Information about Endangered Species Permits


Choosing the right permit: includes example scenarios to help you decide what type of permit you may need.


Endangered Species Act


Contact Us

For more information on obtaining an endangered species permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for activities occurring in the Upper Midwest Region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin), contact:


In writing:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Endangered Species Program - Permits
5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990

Bloomington, MN 55437-1458


By phone:

(612) 713-5339



Midwest Endangered Species Home