Endangered Species
Midwest Region

 

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Endangered Species Program in the Upper Midwest

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems

 

White-nose syndrome

now confirmed in six Minnesota counties;

fungus detected in Texas

 

A little brown bat showing white-nose syndrome symptoms.

A little brown bat showing white-nose syndrome symptoms.

Photo by USFWS

 

April 2017

White-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of hibernating bats, has now been confirmed in six Minnesota counties, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources. The disease was confirmed in Becker, Dakota, Fillmore, Goodhue and Washington counties. Minnesota’s first confirmed case of WNS was in St. Louis County in March 2016.

 

Recent bat surveys conducted by the Department of Natural Resources found declines in the annual bat count ranging from 31 to 73 percent in locations where WNS has been confirmed. The 73 percent decrease was observed at Soudan Underground Mine in St. Louis County, where the disease was first confirmed in Minnesota a year ago. Department of Natural Resources biologists think the sharp decline there may reflect how long the disease has been present.

 

“While some locations are still testing negative, the results of recent surveys lead us to conclude that WNS is likely to be present anywhere bats hibernate in Minnesota,” said Ed Quinn, Department of Natural Resources Program Supervisor. “Four of Minnesota’s bat species hibernate, and four species migrate. WNS will have a substantial effect on Minnesota’s hibernating bat population.”

 

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White-nose Syndrome


 

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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.”
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON—STATEMENT UPON SIGNING THE
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, DECEMBER 28, 1973

 

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

Last updated: May 1, 2017