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

 

Two endangered Piping Plover chicks sucessfully fledged from Montrose Beach in Chicago

Two Fledgling Piping Plovers on Montrose Beach

Fledged Piping Plover chicks at Montrose Beach, Chicago

Photo courtesy of Tamima Itani

 

On August 10, 2019, we passed a milestone with the first successful fledging of piping plover chicks in Chicago since at least 1961, when a pair of plovers were seen at Wolf Lake during the nesting season.

 

Hundreds of people contributed to the success of the nest, and thousands more cheered on the plovers.

 

Congratulations to all the volunteer piping plover monitors, long-time Montrose Dunes habitat stewards, and stewardship volunteers; to the Chicago Ornithological Society, The Illinois Ornithological Society, and Chicago Audubon Society who organized the approximately 150- person strong Piperwatcher monitoring community; to the dedicated staff from the Chicago Park District, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Lincoln Park Zoo, the Chicago Police Department (District 19), and U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services; and to all who graciously shared the beach, most especially Kayak Chicago and the volleyball teams - what an amazing and improbable accomplishment for these two chicks to fledge on a busy beach in the nation’s third largest city!

 

Piping Plover

 

 


 

A pair of Great Lakes Piping Plovers have nested at Montrose Beach

A banded piping plover on Montrose Beach

Piping Plover performing a "broken wing"

display in response to nest disturbance

Photo courtesy of Tamima Itani

The birding community, led by the Chicago Ornithological Society, Chicago Audubon Society, and the Illinois Ornithological Society, quickly mobilized to recruit volunteers and establish shifts to monitor the nesting pair and share their excitement and information with other Montrose beachgoers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have been working with the Piping Plover Volunteer Monitors and the Chicago Park District to monitor and assess threats to the nesting pair and plan responses.

 

Piping Plover

 


 

"She is fighting" Stops at Montrose Beach

A banded piping plover on Montrose Beach

Migaaza at Montrose beach May 2019

Photo courtesy of Terry Walsh

This first week in May, the habitat at Montrose Beach provided a resting and refueling stopover spot for an endangered Great Lakes piping plover female named Migaaza, or "she is fighting", in the language of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Wildlife biologists for the Odawa named Migaaza last year when they found her on High Island in Lake Michigan and banded her with a unique combination of colored bands. 

 

 

Piping Plover

 


 

Dragonfly Culture...A Continuing Education Species!

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

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!

 

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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

 


 

 

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Last updated: August 14, 2019