Endangered Species
Midwest Region


Midwest Region

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


Endangered Species Program

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems



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Two adult whooping cranes.

Photo courtesy of Michael Huebschen.


Whooping crane chicks expected to head north


Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership members are awaiting the return to Wisconsin of 16 young whooping cranes and hoping the coming breeding season exceeds the promising results achieved last year.


The 2017 cranes represented a mix of birds hatched in the wild, birds hatched in captivity and raised by adult cranes at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo and the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland, and birds hatched at Patuxent and raised by Operation Migration’s costumed handlers in Wisconsin and released over the summer into the company of adult cranes.


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Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership


South Korean documentarians learn from Ecological Service staff – it’s the bee’s knees!

Service staff Tamara Smith and Pete Fasbender take a selfie with members of the Chuncheon Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, including Director Jae-Gyu Lee

A documentary film crew from Chuncheon Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, one of the leading South Korean television and radio network companies, were in the United States for only a few days, but traveled from coast to coast to interview key subjects for their documentary about bees.


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Rusty patched bumble bee


Eastern prairie fringed orchid recovery efforts continue in Illinois

Hand pollinating an eastern prairie fringed orchid.

The eastern prairie fringed orchid, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, depends on its annual seed set to maintain its population. Year after year, the species’ population at the Lone Grove Forest Preserve in Kane County, Illinois, lacked viable seed production even though flowering plants were abundant.


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Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid


Kirtland's warblers find Wisconsin a good place to nest

Kirtland's warbler

The 2017 Kirtland’s warbler nesting season marked the 10th year anniversary of the return of endangered Kirtland’s to Wisconsin. From only 11 Kirtland’s and three nests found in Adams County in 2007 to 53 individuals and 20 total nests among Adams, Marinette and Bayfield counties in 2017.


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Kirtland's Warbler


Purple cat’s paw pounces back

Service Biologist Angela Boyer uses a PIT tag reader to locate released mussels.

Not long ago, purple cat’s paw pearlymussels were thought to be functionally extinct. When the species was listed as endangered in 1990, only a few individuals could be found, and they were too old to reproduce. Then, in 1994, a small population of the species was discovered in Killbuck Creek in Ohio.


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Purple Cat's Paw Pearlymussel



2017 was another very good year for Great Lakes piping plovers

Piping plover

Despite stormy weather and predators, 2017 proved to be a record year for endangered Great Lakes piping plovers. Biologists and plover monitors once again fanned out throughout the Great Lakes Basin, searching likely habitat for incoming piping plovers in April and May. The overall pair count was excellent, with 76 breeding pairs located throughout the Great Lakes, a record number of pairs since the population was listed in 1985.


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Piping Plovers


Piloting new partnerships for bat conservation

Biologist using telemetry to find Indiana bats.


Aircraft aren’t the only things flying around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Endangered Indiana bats patrol the night skies, foraging for insects over the Mad River corridor. This 8,000-arcre installation contains about 700 acres of forested areas along streams, with a wide variety of native trees: maple, oak, hickory and others. The site is prime summer habitat for Indiana bats; managers discovered a maternity colony in 1993 and have been tracking it ever since.


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Bat Week

Bat Facts


News Archive


What We Do

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act. To fulfill our responsibilities, we do the following:


Candidate Conservation: identify and assess declining species that may need Endangered Species Act protection and take steps to conserve those species.


Listing: take steps to list candidate species as endangered or threatened and designate critical habitat. We also remove species from the Threatened and Endangered Species List ("delist") when they no longer need Endangered Species Act protection.


Recovery: protect, conserve and restore listed species. Recovery Report to Congress: 2009 to 2010 (PDF 3.1MB)


Section 7 Technical Assistance

Section 7 consultation guidance for Federal agencies and their applicants (i.e., project proponents).

Section 7 Consultation: all Federal agencies have a responsiblity to conserve threatened and endangered species and to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species. Under the authority of Section 7 of the Act, we consult with Federal agencies to help them fulfill their obligations.


Permits: issue permits to "take" listed species, under certain conditions.


Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs): work with Incidental Take permit applicants to help them prepare HCPs that minimize and mitigate the effects of their incidental take.


Grants: provide grants to States under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act. These funds may, in turn, be awarded to private landowners and groups for conservation projects.


State Field Offices

We have Ecological Services Field Offices in each of the eight upper Midwest States. For project reviews, Section 7 consultation, or information about endangered species that you do not find on this site, please contact the Field Office in your state.



“Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of
preservation than the rich array of animal life with
which our country has been blessed. It is a many faceted
treasure, of value to scholars, scientists,
and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part
of the heritage we all share as Americans.”


Bloom of the prairie bush clover.  Photo by USFWS: Phil Delphey

Last updated: March 12, 2018