Endangered Species
Midwest Region

Endangered Species Program

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems



Midwest Region

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


Great Lake Restoration Initiative logo







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

These higgins eye pearly mussels from the 2017 release have Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags

glued on the help biologists track their locations over time.

Photo by Katie Steiger-Meister/USFWS.


More Higgins eye reintroductions into the Chippewa River

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!


The Higgins eye pearlymussel was listed as endangered in 1976. Since then, the known range has expanded, along with increased monitoring efforts, improvements in sampling and propagation techniques, reintroductions and greater emphasis on research throughout the range. For the past 15 years, the partners have been developing techniques to propagate Higgins eye. Studies focused first on identifying a suitable reproductive host fish, among them largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye and yellow perch. Biologists then began developing, testing and refining techniques to facilitate efficient collection of brooding females, to maximize the likelihood of successful juvenile transformation, and to maintain juveniles in cages as they grew large enough for eventual release. To date, this program has produced more than 5 million juvenile mussels, with releases of subadults throughout six streams in four states. The capability to propagate and reintroduce Higgins eye into habitats that it occupied historically has helped this species along its path toward recovery.


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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.


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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

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Indiana Bat

Northern Long-eared Bat


First-ever releases of Poweshiek skipperling!

Male Poweshiek skipperling on a black-eye susan.

We’ve reached a milestone in our efforts to prevent the extinction of the Poweshiek skipperling, an endangered prairie butterfly. In June, the Minnesota Zoo successfully released two captive-reared Poweshiek skipperling butterflies at a prairie fen site in Oakland County, Michigan.

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Poweshiek Skipperling



An ear to the sky: new training helps track bats

Acoustic bat monitor

Have you “heard” the news? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center is offering a new training course called Evaluating Acoustic Bat Surveys for ESA Compliance, which covers the ins and outs of using acoustic bat surveys for regulatory compliance. The inaugural course was held at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky from May 7 to 11, 2018 and by all accounts was a success!

Learn more by visiting DOI Learn and search for CSP 2111 in the courses.

Indiana Bat

Northern Long-eared Bat


Celebrate Pollinators!

Rusty patched bumble bee on a culver's root flower.

These hard-working animals help pollinate over 75% of our flowering plants, and nearly 75% of our crops. Often we may not notice the hummingbirds, bats, bees, beetles, butterflies, and flies that carry pollen from one plant to another as they collect nectar.

Pollinators Sweeten Summer Foods

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Monarch Butterfly

What you can do - Midwest Plant Guide for Rusty Patched Bumble Bee


Kids and Families Learn about Pollinators

Service biologist Jill Utrup assists a student in making a seed bomb. Seed bombs contain native nectar plant seeds.

Jill Utrup and Kelly Nail, two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists from the Minnesota-Wisconsin Ecological Services office, reached out to students in the Twin Cities area at Garlough Environmental Magnet School's Environmental Explorers Fair.

Learn More »

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Monarch Butterfly


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: November 1, 2018