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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 Namesort descending Status Priority Counties IBA Criteria
Crab Orchard NWR Recognized State Williamson D4ii, D4iii
Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge Recognized Global Johnson, Pulaski D1, D4ii
Des Plaines State Conservation Area Identified State Will D1
Donnelley and Lake DePue State Fish and Wildlife Areas Identified State Bureau, Putnam
Double T FWA / Canton Municipal Sanitary District Complex Identified State Fulton
Douglas - Goose Lake & Woodford CCA Identified State Woodford D4ii
Elsen's Hill / West DuPage Woods Forest Preserve Identified State Du Page D4vii
Emiquon Preserve and National Wildlife Refuge IBA Recognized State Fulton D4ii
Ewing Park Recognized State McLean D4vii
Ferne Clyffe State Park Identified State Jackson, Johnson
Forest Glen County Preserve Identified State Vermilion D4vii
Goose Lake Prairie State Park Recognized Global Grundy D1
Granite City - Wilson Park Identified State Madison
Grassy Slough Preserve Recognized State Johnson D1
Great River NWR - Long Island Division Recognized State Adams, Calhoun, Mercer, Pike, Rock Island D4ii, D4iii, D4v
Hennepin and Hopper Lake Recognized State Putnam D1, D4ii
Herrick Lake / Danada West Identified State Du Page D4iii
Horseshoe Lake SFWA (Alexander County) Identified State Alexander D1, D4ii
Horseshoe Lake State Park (Madison County) Identified State Madison
Illinois Beach State Park Identified State Lake D3, D4vi