Frequently Asked Questions The 2009 Revision of the State Endangered Species List


What species are on the state list of endangered species?
Almost 400 species are listed as threatened or endangered in Michigan. The full list of currently threatened and endangered species can be found on-line: Click here to view list

Where and when might I see an endangered species?
Each endangered species can usually be found in only a few counties. Many can only be seen or heard during a few weeks each year.
Species are listed as threatened or endangered because they are rare in Michigan. Some are listed because they have very specific habitat requirements and are naturally rare. Other species are rare because they are on the edge of their range. Many species are listed as threatened or endangered because they face significant conservation challenges-such as climate change, loss of habitat to invasive exotic species, or loss of habitat from poorly planned development.

Why are the state and federal lists different?
The geographic scale of each list is different. A species rare in Michigan may be common elsewhere in the United States. That species would be state listed, but not federally listed. Sometimes a species is common in Michigan, but endangered throughout the rest of the United States. That species might be added to the federal list before state listing. Federally listed species automatically receive protection under state law. Finally, some species are delisted at the state and federal level at approximately the same time. For example, the gray wolf was removed from the state list a few weeks before it was removed from the federal list.


How often is the state list updated?
Unlike the federal list, the state does not add or remove species from the state list on an intermittent basis. A review of the state list is initiated every two years. The sixth revision went into effect on April 9, 2009.

What species were added to the list?
A total of 69 species were added, including the cerulean warbler, Blanchard's cricket frog, and many freshwater snails and mussels. Many species added to the list are associated with rivers or river wetlands called floodplains.

What species came off the list?
Thirteen species were removed from the list. Seven species were removed from the list because populations had recovered or surveys found the species more common than previously thought. These included the gray wolf, bald eagle, osprey, dusted skipper (a butterfly), Great Plains spittlebug, green spleenwort, and Wiegand's sedge. Six species were removed because they were extirpated. In other words, they went extinct in Michigan but are still found in other states or countries. These include the American burying beetle, smaller whorled pogonia, blue lettuce, cleft phlox, a spike rush, and violet wood-sorrel.

What are the differences between endangered, threatened, special concern, and species of greatest conservation need?
Endangered species are in danger of extinction. Threatened species are in danger of becoming endangered. Threatened and endangered species are protected by law; they may not be killed, harassed, handled, or possessed without a permit. Species of special concern are rare or have declining populations, but do not yet meet the criteria for threatened status. Species of greatest conservation need are priorities within Michigan's Wildlife Action Plan, and include Michigan's endangered, threatened, special concern, and other species that need conservation action.

What should I do if I see an endangered species in the wild in Michigan?
The locations of endangered species are tracked by the Michigan Natural Features Inventory. Location information can be e-mailed to:

The data can be best used if included on a completed survey form:
Click here to view form

What should I do if I suspect someone is breaking endangered species laws?
Contact the DNR RAP-Line immediately at 800-292-7800.

How can I help protect endangered species in Michigan?
Today, habitat loss due to lawns, pavement, climate change, and invasive species are the greatest threats to endangered species in Michigan. You can plant a native plant garden to make food and shelter for wildlife like butterflies or birds. You can also learn how to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide for which you are responsible. You can check your property for invasive exotic plants. When your property is clean, you can volunteer to remove invasive species from nearby parks, game areas, and natural areas. Finally, support the Nongame Fund through donations or the purchase of a Loon License Plate.
Click here to purchase a plate