Important Bird Areas

Double T FWA / Canton Municipal Sanitary District Complex

Illinois

Double T Fish & Wildlife Area:
situated nine miles west of the town of Canton in central Illinois, consists of 1,900 acres. Some of that acreage is newly created grassland, mainly brome. Small areas of shallow wetlands cover about 5% of the grassland and deep lakes with practically no shore cover another 10% of the grassland.

Canton Municipal Sanitary District:
This 14,447 acre (5,849 ha) site is mostly reclaimed strip mine lands, and at present is a mix of grassland, water, wetland, agricultural, and forested areas. The site was formerly used for disposal of human sewage; at present the major use is cattle grazing, haying, and a small amount of cultivated land.

Ornithological Summary

Double T FWA:
Upland Sandpipers breed in the grassland and use the crop fields nearby for foraging. A good diversity of other grassland birds breed here including Bobolink, Sedge Wren, Eastern Meadowlark, Dickcissel and Henslow's Sparrow.

This site was chosen as an IBA because it met the criteria for Upland Sandpiper, Henslow's Sparrow, and Bobolink.

Canton Municipal Sanitary Distrit:
The IDNR has sampled the site on goose surveys for many years; many similar strip mine lakes are in the area (including the Double T Goose Management Area to the north). In June 2006, only grassland areas were sampled. Bobolinks, Dickcissels, and Henslow?s Sparrows were the most common grassland-dependent birds on the site (see attached).

Conservation Issues

Haying occurs during nesting season; grazing pressure variable, but generally good. At the June 2006 visit, individuals indicated concern that the property may be subdivided and sold because the site was no longer being used for its intended purpose of sludge disposal.

Habitat

Data above for Canton MSD Only

Grassland - pastured: Smooth brome, tall fescue, various forbs; few areas planted to native warm-season grasses
Grassland - hayed: Orchard grass, timothy, alfalfa, purple vetch, other minor grasses, legumes, weeds
Forest:Not surveyed
Water (deep water lakes)
Shallow water, wetlands: Cattails, phragmites,
Cropland: Corn, soybeans

Land Use

The site was formerly used for disposal of human sewage; at present the major use is cattle grazing, haying, and a small amount of cultivated land. Only the grassland areas were sampled by J. Walk in June 2006. Grazed areas received variable grazing pressure, but were generally in good to excellent condition. Hayed areas were rich with bobolinks, but haying operation obviously occur during nesting season (mowing was occurring on the survey date, 19 June 2006). The area is closed to hunting, with very restricted fishing opportunities. The site is fenced, with full-time security staff. Access requires special permission at all times.