January 2022

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Illinois Department of Natural Resources
January 2022
Jan 18, 2022
  • People
By Kathy Andrews Wright

Learn about the Illinois National Great Rivers Research and Education Center Internship program in an question and answer session conducted by the Living with Wildlife Illinois team. Listen in to hear what Interns enjoyed most about the program.

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A photo of Ann Holtrop
A message from Chief Ann Holtrop

Welcome to the November 2021 edition of the online magazine OutdoorIllinois Journal, featuring timely, seasonally based stories about the Prairie State’s wildlife resources, with an expansion of content to include a broader range of subjects—including endangered and threatened species and Illinois’ unique, high-quality habitats and the people working to preserve, protect and manage these resources.

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November 2021
Nov 23, 2021
  • Research
By Kathy Andrews Wright

Curious about goose banding? Randy Smith from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources joins us for a Q&A on Canadian geese banding efforts. Listen in to learn more.

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Nov 22, 2021
  • Research
By Kathy Andrews Wright

Interested in participating in bird banding efforts? Randy Smith from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources joins us for a Q&A on bird banding. Listen in to discover how to get involved.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Recreation
By Ed V.

Somehow hunting missed the author’s generation in his family. Curious in learning more about hunting, the author shares his experience as a participant in the Illinois Learn to Hunt program, and his time as a new hunter.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Recreation
By Dan Stephens

The Illinois Learn to Hunt program is working to bolster participation in hunting by providing comprehensive, hands-on educational experiences for adults interested in learning why, how and where to hunt wild game in Illinois.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • People
By Jessica Mohlman, Brooke Prater, Catherine Nguyen, Dr. John Crawford

The calls of the bird-voiced treefrog may perk up any birder’s ears. Those familiar with the species know that it is not a feathered friend making those rapid bird-like whistles, but instead is a small, understudied state-threatened amphibian.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Wildlife
By Kevin Wright

Visualizing a new trend is difficult at the beginning, especially when it comes to new migration patterns in geese. Discovering why the patterns are shifting is difficult as it involves factors that affect migration, including weather.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Land
By Laura Kammin, Isabella Newingham

For those of us who are engaged with the natural world, there are those special places that we return to again and again. One such place is Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Research
By Nelda A. Rivera, Nohra Mateus-Pinilla, William M. Brown

In an effort to protect Illinois white-tailed deer from chronic wasting disease (CWD), the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is constantly evaluating and improving the CWD surveillance and management program.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • People
By Tim Kelley

The author, Tim Kelley, shares fond memories of time spent working together with his family outdoors in the trapping business. Quality time outdoors brought his family closer together and helped make lasting memories.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Research
By Elizabeth Bach

Restoring diverse native plant communities is often a central goal for conservation projects. Monitoring plant communities over time is a relatively easy way for land managers to track if conservation efforts are reaching biological goals.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Land
By Christos Economou

Lake Forest Open Lands teamed up with Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves to seek a long-term, sustainable solution to conserve natural areas. They decided that a dedicated, well-mentored work, learn, and lead stewardship community offered the best chance to succeed.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Land
By Danelle Haake

While our use of salt is effective at improving conditions for transportation, the introduction of salt is problematic for infrastructure, water supplies and wildlife. Learn about a new citizen science program to monitor salt levels in winter-time streams.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Land
  • Research
By Sheryl DeVore

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is working to preserve this rare species where a stronghold remains in five counties—Mason, Menard, Cass, Morgan and Tazewell. A computer model now helps biologists locate potential sites for a plant that may lie dormant in the soiI for years.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Land
  • Research
By Sheryl DeVore

Terry Esker, an Illinois Department of Natural Resources Stewardship Specialist, experienced an eureka moment when he saw plants with five pink petals and a yellow center in a field. Further investigation revealed it was the largest concentration of the state-endangered prairie rose gentian.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Research
By Isabella Newingham

Bats use both echolocation and vision to navigate, forage and escape threats. Echolocation is not only useful for bats, but also for researchers. Researchers can study acoustic data from the soundwaves produced by echolocating bats to give insight on many aspects of their lives.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Land
By Sami Childerson

Earnest Ballard dreamed of creating a space where people could learn about and enjoy the natural resources surrounding them. Ballard’s efforts to restore land were amplified in September 2020 when 83.5 acres were permanently registered as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Land
  • Wildlife
By Josh Osborn, Aaron P. Yetter, Joe Lancaster

“They’re all sitting on the refuge.” It’s a dreaded retort among waterfowl hunters, so why do public and private land managers set aside disturbance free wetlands? Read on to learn more.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Wildlife
By Valerie Blaine

The unique appearance and behavior of black-bellieds is enough to pique interest in birders, biologists, and hunters. They’re catching more attention now with their expanding range.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Recreation
  • Wildlife
By Randy Smith

Ready for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season? Check out the insights gathered on habitat and populations of waterfowl by IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources Wetland Wildlife Program Manager Randy Smith.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Research
By Max Larreur, Clayton K. Nielsen, Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau

Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) numbers have been declining across the Midwest. To further our understanding of this trend, researchers at Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory at Southern Illinois University are conducting a study on gray fox ecology in Illinois.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Research
By Laura Kammin

Documenting patterns of coyote occurrence statewide or within small spatial scales is still somewhat limited. Yet this information is critical to wildlife biologists as they manage the potential for human-coyote conflicts and to better understand the influence coyotes have on other species.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Wildlife
By Pam Otto

Sleety rain? No big deal when you’re inside a tree cavity. Likewise for wind-driven snow. Even below-zero temperatures are moderated by the heat of warm bodies piled together and surrounded by layers of wood and bark.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • People
By Kathy Andrews Wright

Nate Grider views his role within the Division of Wildlife Resources as a conduit and a catalyst, providing the expert staff in each program with the tools they need to complete their jobs efficiently and help them navigate issues.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Wildlife
By Robert J. Reber

The horned lark is the only true lark in North America. The yellowish-white face and throat, black mask, and small black “horns” of feather tufts on top of its head make it easy to identify. There are plenty of opportunities to view horned larks since they are a common permanent year-round Illinois resident.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Wildlife
By Robert J. Reber

Historically, red-headed woodpeckers depended on woodlands with openings and savannas for habitat. They still do. However, most of us don’t appreciate the role a century of central and northern Illinois prairie-placed farms played in the lives of red-headed woodpeckers.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Land
By Gretchen Steele

Nestled on 635 acres in southeastern Illinois, visitors to Beall Woods State Park and Beall Woods Nature Preserve can experience one of the few remaining tracts of virgin old-growth forest east of the Mississippi River.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Land
By Gretchen Steele

Gazing at a map of Illinois’ natural divisions, the Wabash Border Natural Division hardly seems inspiring. Within this long, zigged-zagged, natural division lie some of our state’s greatest natural gems.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Land
By Kathy Andrews Wright

A team of land management professionals and biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, Openlands and Ducks Unlimited, as well as additional partners and volunteers, are content to wait the few years it will take for restored wetlands to become functional.

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Nov 1, 2021
  • Research
By Kathy Andrews Wright

Doug Brown from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources joins us for a Q&A on dove banding. Listen in to learn how to spot the differences between an adult and a juvenile dove.

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