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Illinois IBA Contact

Stephanie Beilke

Illinois IBAs by Type

IBA Priority Number Acres
Global 16 147,232
State 74 738,132
Total 90 885,364

Initiated in the fall of 2000, the Important Bird Areas Program in Illinois currently has 91 recognized IBAs. These sites are located in all regions of the state and represent various types of ownership and habitat. Breeding birds at IBAs include Henslow's Sparrows, Greater Prairie-chickens and Blue-winged Warblers in prairies and shrublands, Red-headed Woodpeckers in savannas, and Worm-eating Warblers in our southern woodlands. Hundreds of thousand of ducks use the Illinois and Mississippi River stopover sites. Numerous national wildlife refuges, national forests, state natural areas, state wildlife management areas, state parks, county forest preserves, Nature Conservancy and other non-profit preserves as well as important private lands are part of the program. Illinois, the Prairie State, has lost over 99% of its original prairie and 90% of its original wetland acreage. These and other habitat losses have lead to sharp declines in many bird populations. Of the eleven fastest declining grassland and shrubland birds in the nation, seven spend either their winter or summer months in Illinois. Illinois' IBAs focus attention on the most important sites for breeding birds of conservation concern, and on places where shorebirds, raptors, waterfowl and wading birds congregate. Active partnerships are currently engaged in conservation activities, monitoring, and outreach efforts at many IBAs throughout the state. Thorn Creek Audubon partnered with the Cook County Forest Preserves to restore 375 acres for Bobolinks, Grasshopper Sparrows and other bird species at Bartel Grassland. The newly formed Swainson's Hawk Project organized a monitoring effort to locate the breeding territories of our important remnant population. The Wetlands Initiative's Hennepin and Hopper Lakes IBA recognition ceremony celebrated the conversion of 1,000 acres of unproductive Illinois River farmland back to thriving wetland and grassland habitat. The Illinois Audubon Society provided acquisition funds and education efforts at the state's prairie chicken sanctuaries. Partnering organizations have utilized the IBA program as a tool to advance bird conservation efforts across the state.

Site Name Statussort descending Priority Counties IBA Criteria
Horseshoe Lake State Park (Madison County) Identified State Madison
Thebes Area - Mississippi Kite Complex Identified State Alexander
Plum Creek Forest Preserve Identified State Cook
Alexander County - Least Tern Habitat Identified State Alexander D1
Ferne Clyffe State Park Identified State Jackson, Johnson
Salt Creek Woods NP - Bob Mann Woods Identified State Cook D4vii
Pool 19 - Mississippi River (Hancock Co., Henderson Co.) Identified State Hancock, Henderson
Wabash - Least Tern Habitat Identified State Wabash, White
Lake Michigan Identified Global Cook, Lake
Riverside Des Plaines River Corridor Identified State D4vii
Two Rivers NWR (Calhoun Division) / Mississippi River SFWA Merged State Calhoun D1
Pratt's Wayne/Phillip State Park Grassland Complex Recognized Global Du Page
Prairie Ridge State Natural Area - Jasper and Marion Units Recognized Global Jasper, Marion D1, D3, D4i, D4v
Naval Station Great Lakes Recognized State Lake D1
Crab Orchard NWR Recognized State Williamson D4ii, D4iii
Upper Des Plaines River Corridor Recognized State Lake D4vii
Springbrook Prairie Recognized State Du Page
Pyramid State Park Recognized Global Perry D1, D4ii
Hennepin and Hopper Lake Recognized State Putnam D1, D4ii
Kane/McHenry County Swainson's Hawk Habitat Recognized State Kane, McHenry D1, D3

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