Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Environmental areas - endangered species

photo of Karner Blue butterfly
Federally endangered Karner Blue butterfly protected along WisDOT rights of way.

Legal requirements

FDM references

  • FDM 5-5-10 coordination with U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) and Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS)
  • FDM 5-10-1 coordination with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)
  • FDM 20-5-10 federal natural resource laws (Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act)
  • FDM 20-20-10 state natural resource statutes (SS.29.604 Endangered and Threatened Species Protected)
  • FDM 20-25-1 state natural resource regulations (NR 27 Endangered and Threatened Species)

  • FDM 20-30-1 state agency agreements (WisDOT/WDNR cooperative agreement)
  • FDM 24-10-1 terrestrial systems introduction
  • FDM 24-10-5 forest communities (existing conditions, evaluating impacts on the forest community, determination of significance, measures to minimize harm)
  • FDM 24-10-10 non-forested communities (existing conditions, evaluating impacts on the non-forested community, determination of significance, measures to minimize harm)
  • FDM 24-15-1 impacts on wildlife (introduction)

  • FDM 24-15-5 design impacts on wildlife
  • FDM 24-15-10 construction impacts on wildlife
  • FDM 24-15-15 operation impacts on wildlife
  • FDM 24-15-20 maintenance impacts on wildlife
  • FDM 24-20-1 endangered species (introduction)

  • FDM 24-20-5 federal implementation


What's new/current issues

Most requested items

Lists and references

FHWA guidebook


While both sets of laws provide for protection of species, the "protected" status is more limited. Statute NR 10.02 protects a number of animals in Wisconsin by stating that "no person may take, attempt to take, transport or possess any protected wild animal at any time unless expressly authorized by the department (WDNR)".

While this will protect animals from sport hunting or collecting, it does not protect the specie’s habitat. Given that habitat is essential for the continued existence of any wildlife species, this alternative is limited in addressing the need to protect habitat and develop recovery plans for a species. Examples of species in Wisconsin that are protected under this law include cougar, badger and timber rattlesnake.

WDNR - Wisconsin endangered and threatened species laws and list is broader in scope compared to protected status. This law not only protects the species but also occupied habitat and unoccupied habitat designated as critical to the species. This law provides for recovery of a species through management, cooperative agreements, and habitat conservation plans.

Karner Blue butterfly

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Questions about the content of this page:
Janet Nodorft, janet.nodorft@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: November  13, 2013

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