Illinois-Iowa Ecological Services Office Conserving the Nature of America

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 »


 

 

 

 

Three bald eagles flying in water spray from hydro dam.

Photo courtesy of Veronica Starcevich

 

We provide leadership and expertise using sound science to conserve and restore endangered species, migratory birds, wetlands, and other important fish and wildlife resources in Illinois, Iowa and the greater Midwest.

 

The Illinois-Iowa Field Office is the home of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services Division, for the state of Illiinois and Iowa.

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is "working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people." At the Illinois-Iowa Field Office we use that mission statement to guide all of our activities.

 

Ecological Services includes the Endangered Species Program, Environmental Contaminants Program, and Conservation Planning Assistance.

 


 

News and Accomplishments

 

In search of eastern massasauga rattlesnake near and far

 

 

Biologists in flooded swamp with bat tracking device.

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.

 

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Eastern massasauga »

 


 

Illinois-Iowa Field Office steps up to the plate for bats

 

 

Biologists in flooded swamp with bat tracking device.

Bats are notoriously challenging to study, especially those that don’t hibernate in the winter. Cave-hibernating bats spend cold months in mines or caves, providing an opportunity for researchers to periodically estimate population size. Migratory tree bats like red bats and hoary bats, are a different story.

 

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Flexing Our Mussels!

 

 

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In conjunction with the I-74 freshwater mussel relocation, the Illinois-Iowa Ecological Services Field Office has started developing new education materials to strengthen the community’s understanding of freshwater mussels. Contract biologists are partnering with the Iowa Department of Transportation to create presentations, activities, lesson plans, posters and other interactive and engaging materials for educators and individuals to use.

 

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Service and students connect for Iowa pollinators

 

 

Student taking field measurements.

Last summer, I met Erin Allen, a Bettendorf, Iowa, middle school science teacher.  Erin was working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Mississippi River Project Office as part of Iowa's S.T.E.M. program, which places teachers in science, technology, engineering and math in jobs so that they can bring back real life experiences to their students.

 

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Mussels get a lift around bridge replacement project on the Mississippi River

 

 

 

A diver prepares to search the Mississippi River for freshwater mussels during a relocation project. Photo by Heidi Woeber/USFWS.

What do you do with hundreds of thousands of freshwater mussels in the way of an interstate highway bridge over the Mississippi River? You move them. A unique and sizeable mussel bed with a diverse population of freshwater mussels was in the direct impact zone of new pier construction for the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge Replacement project, located in the Quad Cities, in Iowa and Illinois. 

 

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