Threatened & Endangered Species

Endangered Species - Royal Catchfly

Threatened and Endangered Species of Midewin

Midewin supports populations of 27 Regional Forester Sensitive Species, including 1 species on the Federal list of endangered species and 19 species on the State threatened, endangered, or watch lists.


Regional Forester Sensitive Species (RFSS)

RFSS designations are made based on risk evaluations for

  1. species abundance,
  2. distribution,
  3. population trends,
  4. habitat integrity, including known direct and indirect threats, and
  5. population vulnerability, including potential for recovery.


Species listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

Federally listed threatened and endangered species are those plant and animal species formally listed by the FWS under authority of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended.

Federal Endangered Species - Any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Federal Endangered Species - Any species likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.


Federal Threatened or Endangered Species on Midewin:

Leafy Prairie Clover (Dalea foliosa) is Endangered and known to occur at Midewin. It is a relatively short-lived perennial plant associated with dolomite prairie. Standardized monitoring of the entire Leafy Prairie Clover population at Midewin was initiated in 2002. Some invasive species control was conducted in 2008, focusing on removal and control of woody encroachment. Overall, the population at this point appears stable; with continued management, the population size is expected to increase over time.

Midewin is also assisting the FWS in recovery of the Leafy Prairie Clover in other areas of northeastern Illinois. In 2008 and 2009, Midewin provided plants to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Forest Preserve District of Kane County, and Forest Preserve District of Will County to enhance existing populations or establish new populations in appropriate habitat.

All the plants were grown from seed collected at existing populations in northeastern Illinois. Midewin is raising more plants for distribution in 2009. With the expansion of dolomite prairie restoration, opportunities for restoration of Leafy Prairie Clover will increase.

Eastern Prairie White Fringed Orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) is Threatened and known to occur on adjacent property within a few hundred feet of Midewin’s boundary. Although it has not been confirmed to occur at Midewin, there is similar habitat on Midewin and a likelihood that this species occurs or will expand onto Midewin.

This orchid spends early stages of its life cycle underground or as hard-to-find vegetative plants. Seeds have been introduced onto Midewin from adjacent plants, but no plants have been found yet. Several partners have expressed an interest in expanding the reintroduction program at Midewin and locating appropriate habitat by surveying for the soil fungus needed by the orchid.

Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis) is Endangered and is not known to occur at Midewin. Midewin appears to be north of the normal breeding range for this species.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is Threatened and known to migrate through Midewin occasionally, but there is no breeding habitat and no known wintering habitat at Midewin. They are known to winter in some years along the Des Plaines River to the north of Midewin.


Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board (IESPB)

IESPB determines which plant and animal species are threatened or endangered in the state and advises the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on means of conserving those species. Criteria for listing include:

  1. Species included in the Federal list of Endangered or Threatened Species,
  2. Species proposed for Federal Endangered or Threatened Species which occur in Illinois,
  3. Species which formerly were widespread in Illinois but have been nearly extirpated from the State due to habitat destruction, collecting, or other pressures resulting from the development of Illinois,
  4. Species which exhibit very restricted geographic ranges of which Illinois is a part,
  5. Species which exhibit restricted habitats or low populations in Illinois, or
  6. Species which are significant disjuncts in Illinois, i.e., the Illinois population is far removed from the rest of the species' range.

For more information visit the IESPB Website

State Endangered Species - Any species which is in danger of extinction as a breeding species in Illinois.

State Threatened Species - Any breeding species which is likely to become a state endangered species within the foreseeable future in Illinois.