Expandere Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is an 896-acre reserve in intensively farmed southwestern Minnesota. It has what may be the state’s largest population of small white lady’s slipper (Cypripedium candidum), a species of special concern. A survey in 2005 found more than 6,000 plants here. Another survey in 2012 counted 9,373 plants. Powesheik skipperling (Oarisma powesheik), a small, federally endangered butterfly, has also been recorded on this site. A survey in 1993 and 1994 found 5 individuals on this site. However, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the skipperling “may have been extirpated from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa within the last 10 years…”. Surveys in 2014 found the skipperling only at a few sites, and only in a single county in Michigan.
Expandere WMA has two separated units which lie on an area of glacial till, an unsorted aggregate of clay, sand, gravel, and boulders. It is mostly wet prairie. It is bisected by an unnamed stream and has large areas of cattail marsh to the east. There is also an elevated ridge of moderately moist (mesic) prairie to the south. The low areas are subject to flooding in the spring with snow melt and throughout the year after heavy rains, but experience draw-downs in the summer.