Endangered Species
Midwest Region



Map of Region 3 Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan

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Photo courtesy of Gerald Selby


Poweshiek Skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek)

Status: Endangered

Poweshiek skipperlings are small butterflies most often found in remnants of native prairie in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin and in fens in Michigan. However, this skipperling may have been extirpated from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa within the last 10 years – an area that, until recently, contained the vast majority of the surviving populations. It is now known only from Wisconsin, Michigan and Manitoba. During surveys in 2014, the species could be found only at a few sites in a single Michigan county, in very limited numbers at one site in Wisconsin, and in Canada at the single Manitoba site.

Poseshiek skipperling on black-eyed susan.

Photo by Dave Cuthrell


Poweshiek Skipperling


Status: Endangered; Listed Oct. 24, 2014

Critical Habitat Designated: Oct. 1, 2015


Habitat: High quality tallgrass and mixed grass prairie


Lead Region: 3


Region 3 Lead Office: Twin Cities Field Office


Range: Michigan and Wisconsin - - Recently extirpated from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota


Critical Habitat: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin


About Listing: Listing the Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skipperling and Designating Critical Habitat



About Poweshiek Skipperlings and Their Conservation

Rare butterfly rests its wings in unique SE Michigan ecosystem - radio story from WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University (2016)


Stopping Extinction of a Prairie Butterfly - Poweshiek Skipperling


Searching for Endangered Poweshieks


Fact Sheet


Species Profile


Saving Minnesota's Prairie Butterflies - Minnesota Zoo


Final Critical Habitat Designation

The Endangered Species Act defines critical habitat as an area that contains habitat features that are essential for the survival and recovery of a listed species, which may require special management considerations or protections. Regulation of critical habitat is limited to the requirement that federal agencies consult with the Service on any actions that may affect critical habitat. The Service can then recommend ways to minimize adverse effects to the habitat.


News Release (Sept. 30, 2015)


Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skipperling Critical Habitat



Archived Documents and Information Materials from Previous Federal Actions


Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skipperling Archives

Dakota Skipper Home

USFWS Midwest Endangered Species Home


Last updated: December 5, 2016