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 »


A rattlesnake-master borer moth

Rattlesnake-master borer moth

Photo by Jon Rapp


Rattlesnake-master borer moth does not warrant Endangered Species Act protection

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the rattlesnake-master borer moth, a red-brown insect with prominent white spots, does not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act. The species is found in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma.


In 2013, the agency determined that only 16 populations of the moth remained and listing was warranted, but precluded, by species with more immediate needs. In 2019, the agency completed a second species status assessment and documented 55 populations.


The Service found that populations on nearly 90 percent of the species’ occupied habitat are highly resilient and no loss of range is expected. The agency also determined that the moth is likely to withstand catastrophic events and can adapt to changing conditions.


“While our previous work provided compelling evidence that this moth needed federal protection, new data means we can now say confidently that the species does not meet the threshold for listing,” said Lori Nordstrom, the Service’s assistant regional director for Ecological Services in the Great Lakes Region. “We continue to support conservation efforts within the species’ habitat that can benefit the moth and other species in its ecosystem.”


The rattlesnake-master borer moth is named for its reliance on the rattlesnake master, a prairie plant that is its only food source. Adult borer moths lay their eggs near the plant in the fall where the eggs overwinter under vegetation on the ground. In the spring, larvae emerge from the eggs and feed on leaves of the rattlesnake master until they are ready to burrow into the root of the plant (the plant survives this process). The moth stays in the burrow until late summer when it pupates and adults emerge again in mid-September.


SSA Report >>

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Saving the rusty patch – one garden at a time



A rusty patched bumble bee on a flower


How many times have you watched a documentary showing the plight of an endangered species sliding toward extinction and wondered what you can do to help? We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have good news for those of you who live in the range of the rusty patched bumble bee: Helping save this endangered pollinator is something you can do without traveling far or spending much money. You don’t even need to leave home – in fact, you can do your part while gardening in your own backyard. Don’t have a yard? No problem – you can still plant containers on your porch, patio or balcony.



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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honors midwest endangered species recovery champions

Pictures of Rich Baker with his dog and Tam Smith in snokeling gear.

2019 Endangered Species Recovery champions Rich Baker and Tamara Smith.

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are pleased to announce biologists Rich Baker and Tamara Smith as the 2019 Endangered Species Recovery champions for the Great Lakes Region. Baker and Smith join individuals and teams across the United States recognized for their work last year with endangered and threatened species.



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



An eastern massasauga rattlesnake coiled up in the grass

Eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Photo by Abbey Kucera/USFWS.

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.


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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 »




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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.”


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