A "threatened" species, the decurrent false aster is endemic to Illinois and central eastern Missouri, where it is one of the rarest native species. Until two Missouri Botanical Garden botanists rediscovered it north of St. Louis in 1986, the decurrent false aster was thought to have been extirpated from Missouri.
This plant is found on moist, sandy floodplains and prairie wetlands along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Although not very tolerant to prolonged flooding it depends on periodic flooding to scour away other plants that compete for the same habitat.
The decurrent false aster is a perennial plant that grows one to five feet tall and sometimes grows to six feet. It blooms from July to October.
Oct. 14, 2011: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extends comment period on NiSource multi-state, multi-species draft habitat conservation plan and draft environmental impact satement News Release Background on NiScource Draft HCP
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists the Ozark Hellbender as Endangered and Moves to Include Hellbenders in Appendix III of CITES
Hellbenders are among the world’s largest salamanders
(October 6, 2011)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today designated the Ozark hellbender as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and also finalized its decision to list the Ozark and eastern hellbender in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In combination, these listings will provide significant protection to hellbenders, both domestically and internationally.
Under the ESA, an endangered species is any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The Ozark hellbender, which grows to lengths up to 2 feet, inhabits the White River system in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Ozark hellbender populations have declined an estimated 75 percent since the 1980s, with only about 590 individuals remaining in the wild. It is believed numbers have dropped because of degraded water quality, habitat loss resulting from impoundments, ore and gravel mining, sedimentation , and collection for the pet trade.
The Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka) is a small fish found in prairie streams in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and South Dakota. It lives in small to mid-size streams where it is usually found in pool and run areas. Suitable streams tend to have good water quality and cool to moderate temperatures.
The Topeka shiner was listed as endangered in 1998 due to the fact that it is no longer found in 80 percent of its former range and its remaining habitat continues to be lost and degraded. Critical habitat has been designated for the species in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska.
Looking for an exciting read? We’ve got something to share
with you: America’s WILD READ is a virtual book club meant to engage and inspire you to connect with the outdoors and nature.
The WILD READ will feature noted ecologist E.O. Wilson’s first novel Anthill, the story of a boy whose Huck Finn-inspired summer in rural Alabama teaches him deeper understandings of nature and its most ruthless predators, humans. Readers will also share insights on two related essays: Thinking Like a Mountain by Aldo Leopold, an early founder of the land
conservation movement, and Once and Future Land Ethic,by Dr. Curt Meine, senior fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Both essays can be accessed
online at http://AmericasWildlife.org/WildRead.
Launched by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week, the WILD READ online discussion will take place at http://wildread.blogspot.com. Right now readers are invited to sign up and introduce themselves online.
Discussions of the essays and Anthill will begin on May 1, 2011, and May 15 , 2011, respectively. Conservation writers Curt Meine and Will Stolzenburg (author of Where the Wild Things Were) and other scholars, poets, and even an ant expert will moderate the virtual book club.
So, join us! Share your comments and become connected to people and wild
places across the nation as we launch the WILD READ.
Growing in wet prairies, sedge meadows, marsh edges, and bogs, the eastern prairie fringed orchid is a threatened species found in the Upper Midwest with additional populations in Oklahoma, Virginia, New Jersey, and Maine. Volunteers in northern Illinois are helping to recover this orchid by monitoring known populations, collecting data, hand pollinating, and collecting seed for augmenting populations and starting new ones.
February 1, 2011: Service Announces Launch of 2011 National Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest
Grand Prize Winning poster in 2010 Art Contest by Carter Chroeder of Anchorage, Alaska.
Photo credit: Endangered Species Coalition
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Coalition, Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans announce the launch of the 2011 national Endangered Species Day art contest. The competition offers young people an opportunity to learn about endangered species and express their knowledge and support through artwork. Endangered Species Day, taking place on May 20, 2011, recognizes the conservation programs nationwide aimed at protecting America’s threatened and endangered species.