Illinois-Iowa Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Illinois-Iowa Field Office

1511 47th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265
Phone: 309-757-5800
Fax: 309-757-5807
TTY: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay)




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Visit the Let's Go Outside web resource by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for information on children activities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a proud member of the Children and Nature Network.


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2015 News



Featured Story

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake as Threatened Species

eastern massasauga

Eastern massasauga

Photo courtesy of Dick Dickinson


September 29, 2015


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to list the eastern massasauga rattlesnake as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The Service will not propose critical habitat for the species, deeming it not prudent.


Eastern massasaugas are found in scattered locations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada. The species, which has been a candidate for listing since 1999, has been declining over the past decades due to loss of its wetland habitat and intentional killing by people who fear the snake. More than 30 percent of the historical populations are now extirpated and many more (20 percent) are of uncertain status. Of those populations that are known to remain, most are experiencing ongoing threats, meaning additional population losses are anticipated in the future.


News Release »


Eastern Massasauga Home




Sept. 17, 2015: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Will Study the Status of Four Midwest Species


News Release »


More about the 4 Midwest Species


Rusty-patched bumble bee




July 2, 2015: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hosts Public Information Meetings in Eight Midwest States for Regional Wind Energy Habitat Conservation Plan


News Release

About Scoping for EIS


Wind Turbines




A Snail's Journey to Recovery:

Service programs, partners join together to save the Iowa Pleistocene snail

Iowa Pleistocene Snail

Iowa Pleistocene Snail

Photo courtesy of Lisa Maas; USFWS


June 30, 2015


Ready. Set. Search! The snail technicians begin a timed search, rifling through leaf litter in front of cold air vents on a steep hillside. Some wear gloves to protect fingers from stinging nettles and cold air blowing out of the vents. One dons a headlamp to get a better look inside a deep vent. "Found one!" another yells, excitedly.


They are on an ecological treasure hunt to find the elusive and federally protected Iowa Pleistocene snail. Their work is part of a cooperative recovery effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) Rock Island Ecological Services Field Office and Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge. Their goal: to recover the snail, a species reminiscent of another age.


Continue Article »




June 30, 2015: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Will Study the Status of Five Midwest Reptile and Amphibian Species: four occur in Illinois


News Release »


More about the 90-Day Finding »


Illinois chorus frog



June 15, 2015: Pollinator Week: Highlighting the Importance of Pollinators

Pollinator Week Logo




June 2, 2015: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Provides More than 2 Million in Grants to Help Conserve Pollinators, Mussels andOother At-Risk Species to Midwest States - including Iowa


Restored oxbow pond.




Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical

Habitat for Two Freshwater Mussels in 12 States

This rabbitsfoot, a freshwater mussel, was found in the


This rabbitsfoot, a freshwater mussel, was found in the

Tippecanoe River in Indiana.

Photo by Georgia Parham


April 29, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized critical habitat designations for the Neosho mucket and rabbitsfoot mussels in rivers of 12 states under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In the Midwest, the rabbitsfoot is found in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio; the Neosho mucket is found in Missouri.

The final designations are smaller than those proposed nearly three years ago. The Service altered the critical habitat designations after receiving new relevant information from a number of people and organizations. The final designations result in a net reduction of about two river miles for Neosho mucket and 217 river miles for rabbitsfoot. Both species of freshwater mussels are found in river systems in the eastern half of the United States and are indicators of clean water and healthy rivers. Today’s decision finalizes a proposal released in 2012 and includes the final economic analysis associated with the critical habitat designations.


Continue News Release »


Rabbitsfoot Critical Habitat and Listing Information »


Neosho Mucket Critical Habitat and Listing Information»




U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects
Northern Long-eared Bat as Threatened under the
Endangered Species Act

Illinois DNR biologist inspects a northern long-eared bat with symptoms  of white-nose syndrome

Illinois DNR biologist inspects a northern long-eared bat with symptoms

of white-nose syndrome.

Photo courtesy of Steve Taylor; University of Illinois


April 1, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it is protecting the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), primarily due to the threat posed by white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has devastated many bat populations.


At the same time, the Service issued an interim special rule that eliminates unnecessary regulatory requirements for landowners, land managers, government agencies and others in the range of the northern long-eared bat. The public is invited to comment on this interim rule as the Service considers whether modifications or exemptions for additional categories of activities should be included in a final 4(d) rule that will be finalized by the end of the calendar year. The Service is accepting public comments on the proposed rule until July 1, 2015 and may make revisions based on additional information it receives.


Continue News Release »


Northern Long-eared Bat Home

White-nose Syndrome




FWS Biologist Uproots a Radish Award!

Aleshia Kenney holds a Topeka shiner after seining an oxbow pond.

Aleshia Kenney holds a Topeka shiner after seining an oxbow pond.

Photo by USFWS; Kristen Lundh



Feb. 18, 2015


An Iowa based news group, the Radish Magazine has shined the spotlight on Aleshia Kenney a biologist in the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program. Each year in January the Radish Magazine recognizes individuals or organizations that are making positive differences in personal, environmental and community health. This year’s conservation Radish award acknowledges Aleshia’s work connecting land owners to the land.


Featured article by Sarah J. Gardner below, reprinted with permission from the Radish Magazine.


Aleshia Kenney is a woman with vision. Where others might see a spot to dig a pond, Aleshia, a biologist with the Rock Island field office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, sees the potential for a wetland — and not just the wetland, but all the species of plants and animals it could support.


Continue News Release »


Examples of Aleshia's Work


The Little Native Prairie Fish that Could: 2014 Post-winter Topeka Shiner Survey


Slideshow - Topeka Shiner Reintroduction in Missouri (Nov. 6, 2013)


Post -2012 Drought Recolonization Survey in Iowa




Feb. 13, 2015: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Supports Pool 11 Spill Response on Mississippi River

News Release


Damaged train cars from the Mississippi River Pool 11 spill. Photo by USFWS.



Service Teams with Conservation Partners to Launch Campaign to Save Beleaguered Monarch Butterfly, Engage Millions of Americans

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterflies on New England aster.

Photo Courtesy of Joel Trick


February 9, 2015


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today launched a major new campaign aimed at saving the declining monarch butterfly. The Service signed a cooperative agreement with the National Wildlife Federation announced a major new funding initiative with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and pledged an additional $2 million in immediate funding for on-the-ground conservation projects around the country. While monarchs are found across the United States their numbers have declined by approximately 90 percent in recent years, a result of numerous threats particularly loss of habitat due to agricultural practices, development and cropland conversion. To directly tackle these challenges, the new cooperative effort will build a network of diverse conservation partners and stakeholders to protect and restore important monarch habitat, while also reaching out to Americans of all ages who can play a central role.

News Release »

Learn More »




Feb. 5, 2015: How Saving One Butterfly Could Help Save the Prairie


Article »


• Find out more about the milkweed and nectar plants that are right for your geographic area.


Monarch butterfly by Joel Trick



Jan. 30, 2015: Service Announcs Annual Endangered Species Youth Art Contest

Bulletin »
Learn More »
Blog: Saving Species with Art »

Southern Sea Otter





Jan. 22, 2015: Service Programs, Partners Join Together to Save Iowa Pleistocene Snail

Read More »


Iowa Pleistocene Home

Iowa Pleistocene Snail




Jan. 15, 2015: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Special Rule to Focus Protections for Northern Long-Eared Bat: Rule Would Apply if Species is Listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act


New Release »


Northern Long-eared Bat Home

Northern long-eared bat



Illinois-Iowa Field Office Home


Last updated: December 12, 2017