Midwest Region Endangered Species Conserving the Nature of America


Endangered Species Program


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems.




U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service in the Midwest


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 »


An eastern massasauga rattlesnake

Eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Photo by Abbey Kucera/USFWS.


Service seeks public comment on draft recovery plan for eastern massasauga rattlesnake


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft recovery plan for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, a small and timid species that was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2016. The goal of the plan is to ensure the long-term viability of the snake to the point at which it no longer warrants ESA protection.


The eastern massasauga is found in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, as well as in Ontario, Canada. Historically it also occurred in Minnesota and Missouri, but it is now considered extirpated in those states. The eastern massasauga was listed as threatened due to population declines linked to habitat loss, collection and intentional and unintentional killing. The draft recovery plan for the species includes actions such as habitat protection, population management and research.


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Eastern Massasauga Home »


Draft Recovery Plans for Rusty Patched Bumble Bee and Dakota Skipper Available for Comment



A dakota skipper and a rusty patched bumble bee on flowers in separate pictures

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on draft plans to recover the rusty patched bumble bee, a species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2017 as well as the Dakota Skipper, which was listed as threatened under the ESA in 2014. The draft plans outline general management actions and criteria that indicate when the species may be considered recovered and eligible to be removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.


Continue reading about the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee »

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Home »


Continue reading about the Dakota Skipper »

Dakota Skipper Home »



Partners Celebrate Successful Recovery of Beloved Songbird
Kirtland’s Warbler No Longer Needs Endangered Species Act Protection



A kirtlands warbler

Photo by Vince Cavalieri/USFWS

Bird enthusiasts from around the world travel to northern Michigan in hopes of catching sight of a Kirtland’s warbler, a small songbird once poised on the brink of extinction. Now the species is thriving thanks to decades of effort by a diverse group of dedicated partners. Due to the species’ remarkable recovery, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that it no longer warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).


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Kirtland's Warbler »

Final Environmental Impact Statement announced for Iowa’s MidAmerican Energy Company’s wind energy facilities

Wind turbines over the landscape

Photo courtesy of MidAmerican Energy Company

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces availability of the final environmental impact statement on an application for incidental take of threatened and endangered species at select wind facilities operated by MidAmerican Energy Company in Iowa.  The documents are expected to publish in the Federal Register Monday October 7, 2019, under docket number FWS-R3-ES-2018-0037.



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MidAmerican HCP »


Eastern Plant Once Thought Extinct Now Recovered Federal Protection No Longer Needed

Running buffalo clover plant

Photo by USFWS

Once thought extinct, running buffalo clover, a perennial plant native to parts of the eastern United States, is thriving and is now considered recovered. The change in status for the clover came about thanks to a number of state, federal and private conservation partners working together for over three decades. Because of their efforts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now proposing to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the species.


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Frequently asked questions »

Running Buffalo Clover »


Service Completes Initial Review on Petition to List Lake Sturgeon

Juvenile lake sturgeon in hand

A juvenile Lake Sturgeon captured during a fisheries assessment in the St. Clair-Detroit River System.

Photo by James Boase/USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed initial review of a petition to list the lake sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service has concluded there is substantial information to consider listing the species as threatened or endangered. The Service will begin an in-depth review of this species to determine if the fish should be listed.



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Two endangered piping plover chicks successfully fledged from Montrose Beach in Chicago



Nest monitors Adelyn Hanchette (left) and Anna Jocham (right) release adult male Kirtland’s after they were color-banded in Wisconsin.

Fledged piping plover chicks at Montrose Beach, Chicago

Photo courtesy of Tamima Itani

In 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.


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Piping Plover



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