Ecological Services
Mountain-Prairie Region
rufa Red knot
News Release: Service Protects Red Knot as Threatened Species under Endangered Species Act - The rufa subspecies of the red knot now will receive protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, the Service announced today. “Unfortunately, this hearty shorebird is no match for the widespread effects of emerging challenges like climate change and coastal development, coupled with the historic impacts of horseshoe crab overharvesting, which have sharply reduced its population in recent decades,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. Learn more >>>
American Burying Beetle

NEWS RELEASE: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comment on Environmental Impacts of Proposed Transmission Line in Nebraska. GRAND ISLAND, NE – Tomorrow, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is publishing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will assess the natural and human effects of issuing a permit to authorize the take of the federally endangered American burying beetle.  The NOI initiates a 60-day comment period for the public to review and comment on any of the topics to be addressed in the EIS.  Comments can be provided electronically by accessing  The comment period will end December 29, 2014. More information on the project and the news release can be found here. A PDF copy of the NOI can be accessed here.

northern long eared bat

The Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) is proposed for listing as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

After reviewing all available information on these bat species, USFWS determined that listing the northern long-eared bat was warranted.The decision was publisjed on October 2, 2013 in the Federal Register as a proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered throughout its range under the Endangered Species Act and the decision that the listing of the eastern small-footed bat was not warranted. Northern long-eared bat fact sheet.

Public comment on the proposal to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act has been extended to January 2, 2014.

Foto by New York Department of Environmental Conservation; Al Hicks

gray tree frog

Landmark Study Reveals Low National Rate of Frog Abnormalities on Wildlife Refuges. An unprecedented 10-year-study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) shows encouraging results for frogs and toads on national wildlife refuges. The study, published today in the peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE, finds that on average, less than 2 percent of frogs and toads sampled on 152 refuges had physical abnormalities involving the skeleton and eyes – a lower rate than many experts feared based on earlier reports. This indicates that the severe malformations such as missing or extra limbs repeatedly reported in the media during the mid-1990s were actually very rare on national wildlife refuges.

To view the journal article, please click here. The complete dataset from the study is being made available online at the Dryad Digital Repository ( ) to facilitate future research to aid in the conservation of amphibians and their habitats.

Salt Creek tiger beetle

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to Revise Critical HabitatFor the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public input on a proposed revision of critical habitat for the rare Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana), listed as endangered in 2005 under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  While only a few hundred beetles remain in three small populations in Nebraska on less than 35 acres, this revision will guide conservation efforts for the species, which includes proposed critical habitat for 1,110 acres of saline wetlands. A copy of the proposed rule and more information on how to submit comments can be found at

Threatened and endangered species trunk

Check out our free resources for educators, after school coordinators, scout groups and others!

We have Education Trunks available for use in schools, nature centers, libraries and other informal settings. Pick-up and drop-off trunks at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office, 203 W. 2nd St. Grand Island, NE. Trunks can be checked out for a period of two weeks and can be reserved by calling 308-382-6468.

We also have a "Wildlife for Trade" trunk that can be checked out for a period of 4-6 weeks. This trunk comes with an Educator's guide to discussing the impacts of wildlife trade in a "classroom setting" and confiscated items from the illegal wildlife trade.

piping plover

A Strong Partnership Protects Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers: Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), sand and gravel mining companies in Nebraska agree to help U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in the conservation of piping plovers and Interior least terns. Article by Angelina Wright

You can also read the story in the February edition of the Prairie Fire.

Platte River Caddisfly

Platte River Caddisfly Not Warranted for Endangered Species Protection. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the Platte River caddisfly, a small, moth-like insect found in backwaters along rivers in Nebraska, is not warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). News Release | Q&A for the PRFC 12-month finding | ESA Success Story | Species Information

The 12-month finding will be published on the Federal Register on 08/30/2012. A PDF copy of the unpublished Proposed Rule can be found here.

Success Stories Learn more about what is being done in Nebraska and around the country to save endangered species. Stories from Nebraska!
Bridges to Birding flyer


Bridges to Birding is a program designed to facilitate bird awareness and connect students & educators with the outdoors and the native birds found in Nebraska. Nine birding kits are available for check-out throughout Nebraska. Click here for more information or call 308-382-6468.

Salt Creek Tiger Beetle by Bradley A. Mills
Photo: Bradley A. Mills

The Salt Creek Tiger Beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana) is an active, ground-dwelling, predatory insect that captures smaller or similar sized arthropods in a ‘‘tiger-like’’ manner by grasping prey with its mandibles (mouthparts). This beetle is only found in the eastern Nebraska saline wetlands and associated streams and tributaries of Salt Creek in the northern third of Lancaster County. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo , and the Lincoln Children's Zoo are teaming up to increase the chances of survival and recovery of the tiger beetle in Nebraska. To learn more on the efforts of this team click here to see the story on NET's QUEST Nebraska multimedia series.

Osprey nest in utility post

The USFWS and NGPC have developed a Guidance Document to ensure that problematic Osprey nests are recognized and managed in a proactive, consistent and lawful manner in Nebraska. Ospreys benefit from the presence of power lines by using distribution poles and transmission structures for nesting. However, the bulky nests often cause power outages when sticks interfere with electrical equipment. The guidelines are intended to inform managers of regulations and protocols for addressing problematic osprey nest situations: they are not regulatory in themselves and they are not intended to supplant onsite review or consultation. Avoiding Osprey and Energy Infrastructure Conflicts: Information and Resources for UtilitiesVersion

Last updated: May 6, 2015