Endangered Species
Midwest Region

Endangered Species Program

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems



Midwest Region

Map of the eight states in the Midwest Region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you


Great Lake Restoration Initiative logo







Great Lakes piping plover Bimaajii on the beach in Florida.

Great Lakes piping plover Bimaajii on the beach in Florida.

Photo courtesy of Cheri Hollis.

A special plover completes 1,300-mile migration

In the language of the Little Traverse Bay of Odawa Indians, his name is Bimaajii, or “one who moves about.” He’s an endangered Great Lakes piping plover, found in May 2018 on High Island in Lake Michigan by Bill Parsons and Archie Kiogama, wildlife biologists for the Odawa. After discovery, Bimaajii was banded with a unique combination of colored bands and named Of,YL:X,R in the unique parlance of the University of Minnesota researchers that study the Great Lakes piping plovers. The colors selected for Bimaajii’s bands -- yellow, red and black -- are the colors of the Odawa medicine wheel.


The Little Traverse Bay Band has been working on Great Lakes piping plover conservation for many years and monitors High Island each summer for signs of nesting plovers. Tribal biologists also found a second plover in May, a female called Migaaza, or “she is fighting.” Keeping a close watch on the pair, the biologists discovered a nest in June. They placed an exclosure, or small cage, around the nest, allowing the birds to come and go but keeping predators like gulls and ravens at bay. The Band’s actions helped the birds’ chances of nesting success, and the pair hatched a chick. When researchers returned to band the chick it was named Ozaa giizis oons, or “little yellow sun.”


Learn more

Piping Plover



Whooping crane eastern population see the best year yet for wild-hatched chicks

Whooping crane chick and adult.

Six wild-hatched whooping crane chicks in Wisconsin survived to flight stage in 2018, the most since the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership began restoring a migratory population of the endangered birds in the eastern United States.

Learn more

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership



Great Lakes piping plovers see a mix of recovery progress

Adult Great Lakes piping plover with leg bands, standing on sand beach.

A cold winter and poor fledging season in 2017 brought mixed results for endangered Great Lakes piping plovers in 2018. This year’s breeding population dipped to 67 pairs after several years of hovering around the 75-pair mark. On the plus side, despite fewer pairs, nesting plovers had a successful breeding season. For the second year in a row breeding piping plovers were found on all five Great Lakes, a benchmark reached in 2017 for the first time in 55 years.

Learn more

Piping Plover


A year of rusty patched bumble bee observations - still hope for the species

Rusty patched bumble bee on a purple flower, wild bergamot.

After a year of new observations for the rusty patched bumble bee, the core range of the species continues to grow. Since this species was listed as endangered in the spring of 2017, we have made new observations, primarily in southwest Minnesota, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. New populations have also been discovered in Iowa and Virginia.

Learn more

Rusty patched bumble bee


More Higgins eye reintroductions into the Chippewa River

Two hands holding 10 higgins eye pearly mussels that have Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags attached.

In August, biologists from the Minnesota-Wisconsin Field Office, Regional Office and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources assisted biologists from Genoa National Fish Hatchery in releasing 3,000 Higgins eye pearlymussels in the Chippewa River in Wisconsin -- marking the second year of this exciting effort!

Learn more

Higgins eye pearlymussels


Second Minnesota Bat Festival shares wonders, dispels myths

Minnesota Bat Festival participants head outdoors to try their hand at tracking bats. Photo by Jill Utrup/USFWS.

The second Minnesota Bat Festival at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge aimed to celebrate the unique role bats play in our world, further visitors’ appreciation and knowledge of bats and explain why bats need our help right now more than ever.

Learn more

Indiana Bat

Northern Long-eared Bat


First-ever conservation bank in the Midwest will help bats

Rolling wooded hills at Chariton Hills Conservation Bank. Photo courtesy of G.Gardner/Burns & McDonnell.

There’s a new tool in the toolbox to help bats in the midwest, thanks to the first-ever conservation bank for imperiled species in the midwest. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the Chariton Hills Conservation Bank in northern Missouri in July 2018.s

Learn more

Indiana Bat

Northern Long-eared Bat


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: February 19, 2019