What We Do

Each year, we implement recovery actions for a number of listed species. For example, we recently:

  • Completed Species Status Assessments for the Rayed Bean and Snuffbox mussels
  • Completed a 5-Year Review for the Rayed Bean mussel
  • Completed a 5-Year Review for the Snuffbox mussel
  • Completed a Draft Recovery Plan for the Rayed Bean, Snuffbox, Sheepnose, and Spectaclecase mussels
  • Completed formal consultation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for removal of the Six Mile Dam on the Walhonding River and assisted with the salvage and relocation of over 12,000 live mussels, including almost 900 federally listed mussels
  • Concluded three wind power habitat conservation plans that address Indiana and northern long-eared bats
  • Collected copperbelly watersnakes to add to our captive propagation effort at The Toledo Zoo, bringing the total snakes in the program to 9. During 2024, the first generation of offspring from the program will be released!
  • Completed a 5-year review for the purple cat’s paw pearly mussel
  • Transplanted 292 lakeside daisy plants and dispersed 2 pounds of seed on the recent addition to the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve
  • Conducted annual monitoring of eastern prairie fringed orchid and running buffalo clover
  • Collaborated with Service Staff from OH, IN, MI and GA, as well as Ohio DNR, Ohio DOT, and Indiana DNR to survey for state and federally endangered mussels in Fish Creek, which borders the OH and IN state line. 11 FWS biologists, 4 ODNR biologists, 2 ODOT biologists, and 2 IDNR biologists participated in the surveys in 2023.  This is the third year of collaboration on this project, during which time 39 sites were surveyed and 4,500 mussels were detected, including 4 federally listed species and 7 state listed species.  

We also recently finalized Ohio’s first Candidate Conservation Agreement for the monarch, between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ohio Department of Transportation. The Ohio Department of Transportation will implement conservation measures and monitoring at 50 sites totaling 20,152 acres to benefit pollinators.

We work with partners to conserve wildlife on their lands. We've conducted several species surveys at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in recent years, including for bats, moths and butterflies, and snakes. We assisted in managing Huffman Prairie, Ohio’s largest remnant prairie and restored stream and wetland habitat at Wright-Patterson, replacing non-native invasive plants with native vegetation, benefitting pollinators and water quality.

We assist in restoration of contaminated sites. 2020 marked the five-year anniversary of completing restoration at the Ashtabula River and harbor via settlement of a Natural Resource Damage and Restoration (NADAR) case. In addition, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency provided the establishment of fish habitat in the river and native plantings of trees and shrubs. Five-year post-restoration monitoring indicates native plants have reestablished and planted trees have survived. Rehabilitation projects at two other NRDAR sites, Nease Chemical and Ottawa River, restored and preserved approximately 200 acres of riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
, wetland and coastal Lake Erie habitat.

Management and Conservation

Management of natural areas is needed to help maintain specific habitat requirements especially the removal of invasive plant species. Non-native plants can take over a site, removing nutrients, light and even open areas for listed plants. We work with partners and volunteers to maintain high quality habitat by cutting and treating invasives, mowing sites, collecting and dispersing native seed, planting native trees and conducting prescribed fire when needed. Sometimes protected natural areas are adversely impacted by the activities that occur in the vicinity (including housing, lighting, agriculture, urban run-off, etc.). Management activities help to ensure the requisite habitat type is restored, maintained or even enhanced to benefit listed species.

Our Projects and Research