We are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office responsible for the following activities in Minnesota and Wisconsin: administering the Endangered Species Act; identifying sources of environmental contamination, assessing impacts of contaminants to fish and wildlife resources and helping to restore contaminated habitats; ensuring that fish and wildlife are considered by federal agencies during project planning for construction of roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure; working with partners to restore and protect coastal resources, enhance fish passage and control exotic invasive species around the Great Lakes through the Great Lakes Coastal Program.
Minnesota-Wisconsin Endangered Species Determination Key

To streamline consultations, our office recently released the Minnesota-Wisconsin Federal Endangered Species Determination Key (Dkey). The determination key is available in IPaC IPaC
Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) is a project planning tool that streamlines the USFWS environmental review process

Learn more about IPaC
and can be used to determine if prohibited take might occur and, if not, will generate an automated verification letter. No further review from our office is necessary, if you receive a “no effect” or “may affect, not likely to adversely affect (NLAA)” determination letter. If you submit a project and receive a “may affect” determination for any species, please contact us and we will assist you with your consultation request.

Please visit our Library Collection to find more resources and a demonstration video on how to use the new Dkey.

Our Organization

A rocky shoreline of a river. The water is calm. Mist and green branches line the river.
The Ecological Services Program works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, we work with federal, state, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to...

Our Species

Working with partners within and beyond the boundaries of our two states, the Minnesota-Wisconsin Ecological Services Field Office works to recover and prevent the extinction of our nation’s most imperiled species. We focus our efforts on many species, including the rusty patched bumble bee, Karner blue butterfly, piping plover, Poweshiek and Dakota skipperlings, freshwater mussels and northern long-eared bat.

a cat facing the camera with black tips on its ears

The lynx is a medium-sized cat with long legs, large, well-furred paws, long tufts on the ears, and a short, black-tipped tail. The winter pelage of the lynx is dense and has a grizzled appearance with grayish-brown mixed with buff or pale brown fur on the back, and grayish-white or buff-white...

FWS Focus
A gray wolf lays in the the snow-covered grass

ESA status: endangered (February 2022) except Northern Rocky Mtn of ID, MT, WY; eastern 1/3 of OR, WA; north-central UT; threatened (Dec 2014) in MN. 

The gray wolf, being a keystone predator, is an integral component of the...

FWS Focus
Grey, white and black bird on sand in the foreground

Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band....

FWS Focus
A group of juvenile and adult red knot forage along the shoreline.

Length: 25-28 cm. Adults in spring: Above finely mottled with grays, black and light ochre, running into stripes on crown; throat, breast and sides of head cinnamon-brown; dark gray line through eye; abdomen and undertail coverts white; uppertail coverts white, barred with black. Adults in...

FWS Focus
Two large white birds with spindly legs and black tips on their wings coming in for a landing in a wetland

The whooping crane occurs only in North America and is North America’s tallest bird, with males approaching 1.5 m (5 ft) when standing erect. The whooping crane adult plumage is snowy white except for black primaries, black or grayish alula (specialized feathers attached to the upper leading end...

FWS Focus
Eastern massasauga rattlesnake

Massasaugas are small snakes with thick bodies, heart-shaped heads and vertical pupils. The average length of an adult is about 2 feet. Adult massasaugas are gray or light brown with large, light-edged chocolate brown blotches on the back and smaller blotches on the sides. The snake's belly is...

FWS Focus
Small butterfly rests on flower stalk with wings open.

The Karner blue butterfly was first described more than a century ago in Karner, New York. It is a small butterfly, with a wingspan of about one inch. The male's wings are distinctively marked with a silvery or dark blue color. The female is grayish brown, especially on the outer portions of the...

FWS Focus
A monarch butterfly on a yellow flower

Adult monarch butterflies are large and conspicuous, with bright orange wings surrounded by a black border and covered with black veins. The black border has a double row of white spots, present on the upper side of the wings. Adult monarchs are sexually dimorphic, with males having narrower...

FWS Focus
A rusty patched bumble bee visits a wild bergamot flower

Historically, the rusty patched bumble bee was broadly distributed across the eastern United States, Upper Midwest, and southern Quebec and Ontario in Canada. Since 2000, this bumble bee has been reported from only 13 states and 1 Canadian province: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland,...

FWS Focus
A pile of mussels.

The Higgins eye is a freshwater mussel of larger rivers where it is usually found in areas with deep water and moderate currents. Its range includes the upper Mississippi River, the St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin, and the lower Rock River...

FWS Focus
Brown and black striated freshwater mussels sitting a steel truck bed

Shell surface: Many low, wide bumps run in a single file line down the outer shell surface, from the beak (the swelling above the point where the 2 shell halves join) to the opposite shell edge. The rest of the shell surface is smooth (without bumps), and looks slightly pressed-in from the beak...

FWS Focus

The snuffbox is a small- to medium-sized mussel, with males reaching up to 2.8 in (7.0 cm) in length (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 162; Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 108). The maximum length of females is about 1.8 in (4.5 cm) (Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 108). The shape of the shell is somewhat...

FWS Focus
This plant is 8 to 40 inches tall and has an upright leafy stem with a flower cluster called an inflorescence. The 3 to 8 inch lance-shaped leaves sheath the stem. Each plant has one single flower spike composed of 5 to 40 white flowers. Each flower has a three-part fringed lip less than 1 inch...
FWS Focus
Leedy's roseroot is a cliffside wildflower, found today in only seven locations in three states. Four populations are found in Fillmore and Olmsted Counties, Minnesota. Two are in upstate New York, a large population on the shores of Seneca Lake and a single plant at Watkins Glen. In South Dakota...
FWS Focus
The Minnesota dwarf trout lily is a forest wildflower found in Rice and Goodhue Counties, Minnesota. Because it is known only from this small area the dwarf trout lily is considered a Minnesota "endemic" - i.e. a species that grows in Minnesota and nowhere else on earth. The blooming plant is...
FWS Focus
Also known as slender-leaved bush clover, it has a clover-like leaf comprised of three leaflets about an inch long and a quarter inch wide. Flowering plants are generally between nine and eighteen inches tall with the flowers loosely arranged on an open spike. The pale pink or cream colored...
FWS Focus
A western prairie fringed orchid in bloom

The western prairie fringed orchid is a terrestrial member of the orchid family. This smooth, erect, perennial herb grows to 1.2 meters [4 feet (ft)] tall. Plants have two to five fairly thick, elongate, hairless leaves each. The open, spike-like flowering stalk bears up to 24 showy, 2.5...

FWS Focus

Projects and Research

Get Involved

Our imperiled and listed species need your help! There are many ways you can help threatened and endangered species in your yard. Learn what you can do to provide the resources your local species need.

Location and Contact Information