Chicago Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Map of Chicago Field Office counties of responsibility.






Ecological Services

We work with public and private entities to conserve and restore Chicago metro area endangered species, migratory birds, wetlands, and other important fish and wildlife resources.



For questions about CITES permits, and importing wildlife and wildlife parts, please contact the USFWS Chicago Wildlife Inspection Program (847) 298-3250



Captive-reared larva of the Hine's emerald dragonfly.

In the wild, this dragonfly remains in it's larval form for five years before emerging as an adult.

Photo by Angela Barans/USFWS


Dragonfly Culture...A Continuing Education Species!



After working with the Hine’s emerald dragonfly for almost 20 years, both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and University of South Dakota are finding out there is still much to learn! At the beginning of the captive rearing program at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery in 2014, there were thought to be three “absolutes” regarding the species (later found to be assumptions!).


Number 1: After the eggs were deposited by the females in the wetlands, they would develop to the point of eye spots over the summer and fall and then hold off at that point until spring. Number 2: In March or April 95% of the eggs would complete development and then begin hatching right around April 1st for about 2-3 weeks total. Number 3: The larvae would grow and molt through several instars over the next 3-5 years before they were ready to emerge.


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Hine's Emerald Dragonfly



Abbott Laboratories staff lend a hand to help the eastern prairie fringed orchid

A volunteer uses a toothpick to hand-pollinate an eastern prairie fringed orchid.

Abbott Laboratories is an American health care company with its headquarters in Lake Bluff, Illinois. One portion of its large campus includes 160 acres of undeveloped land.


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Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid




Know your community, know your birds: birding Chicago's forest preserves

Baltimore Oriole

You love to bird and so do we! At the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service we look for opportunities to get people outside and learn about their natural world. Take a moment to learn about how Chicago is rallying around birds.


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Learn more about birding at Forest Preserves of Cook County and get involved today!



ESA consultation on road construction provides more protection for eastern prairie fringed orchid population

Eastern prairie fringed orchid

Since 2009, the Chicago Illinois Field Office has been working with the Illinois Department of Transportation to protect a population of the eastern prairie fringed orchid in northeastern Illinois. The orchid is listed under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species and is vulnerable to habitat degradation, such as from increased pollutants associated with dirty water running off roadways after storms.


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Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid


Establishing Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid on Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge


Eastern prairie fringed orchid

The Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge was established in 2012. As planned, it will be an urban refuge with noncontiguous properties of varying habitats such as tallgrass prairie patches, wetlands and oak savanna. Located in the northwestern region of the Chicago metropolitan area and southern part of the Milwaukee area.percent).


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Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid



2017 Illinois eastern prairie fringed orchid field season summary


Volunteer counting flowers on eastern prairie fringed orchid stem.

Illinois recorded 1,186 blooming eastern prairie fringed orchid plants from all populations in 2017. This number is down by 750 blooming plants from 2016 (n=1936), but the 2016 count was the highest recorded number of blooming plants since we started keeping records in 1991.


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Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid





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Last updated: March 21, 2019