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Attracting Illinois Wildlife On Private Lands. Illinois Wildlife Needs 95% of Illinois is privately owned. Wildlife depend on private landowners for habitat.

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Presentation on theme: "Attracting Illinois Wildlife On Private Lands. Illinois Wildlife Needs 95% of Illinois is privately owned. Wildlife depend on private landowners for habitat."— Presentation transcript:

1 Attracting Illinois Wildlife On Private Lands

2 Illinois Wildlife Needs 95% of Illinois is privately owned. Wildlife depend on private landowners for habitat needs. Remember the basics: food, cover, & water.

3 Backyard Birds More than 127 species; songbirds largest group. Beneficial management practices: grasses & forbs; nesting structures & homes; trees & shrubs. Food: Use a variety of feeders to attract a variety of species.

4 Backyard Birds Cover: Needed for escape, roosting, nesting and brood rearing. - Trees, shrubs, grasses - Birdhouses Water: Needed for bathing, drinking and regulating body temperature. –Small pool with shallow edge –Birdbath and/or fountain

5 Cottontail Rabbit Cottontails are found statewide-from farms to suburbia. Cottontails spend entire life within 2 to 10 acres. All habitat needs must be met within this small area. Beneficial management practices: brush piles; food plots; grasses & forbs; strip/light disking; timber management; trees & shrubs.

6 Cottontail Rabbit Nesting Habitat: Idle grassy areas, hayfields, fence lines or brushy areas. –Mixture of undisturbed cool or warm season grasses, forbs, shrubs. –Drinking water not required. Diet provides daily water needs. Winter habitat: Critical season for rabbits. –Must spend more time searching for food. –Highly visible to predators. –Feathered edge management practice provides best winter cover.

7 Ducks & Geese Each spring and fall millions ducks, geese and swans migrate through Illinois. More than 30 species of ducks, geese and swans call Illinois home during part of year. Nearly 45,000 waterfowl hunters harvest 211,500 ducks and 85,500 geese each year

8 Ducks & Geese Beneficial management practices: food plots; grasses & forbs; nesting structures & homes; wetlands. Habitat Requirements: –Need both wetland and grassland. –Nesting ducks benefit from idle grasslands, protected from haying and grazing from May until July. –Wood ducks only species needing mature trees for nesting.

9 Ducks & Geese Habitat Requirements (cont.) –Canada geese and trumpeter swans nest on island-like structures over the water. –Green browse and grain food plots next to wetlands are important food for migrating waterfowl. –Wetlands drawn drown in summer and regrown with annual weeds & flooded grain food plots provide excellent food for all waterfowl.

10 Eastern Wild Turkey Illinois wild turkey population is increasing; they can now be found in every IL county. Turkeys thrive in mature oak-hickory forests native to this region. Beneficial management practices include: food plots; timber management, trees and shrubs.

11 Eastern Wild Turkey Nesting Habitat: Hens select nest sites in a variety of cover types but favor woodland edges near field openings. Poults need abundant insect populations for feeding, foraging habitat and protective cover. Fall/Winter Habitat: Two keys are food and roosting habitats. –During fall food is crucial as birds build fat deposits for winter survival. –Favorite turkey roosting sites include clumps of large pines and trees like those found in mature oak-hickory forest.

12 Mammals Illinois is home to 59 different mammals, nine of which are threatened or endangered. Since bobcat and river otter populations are increasing, they are no longer threatened. Timbered river and stream valley corridors are the most important habitats for opossum, woodchuck, coyote, gray fox and bobcat. Other beneficial management practices: food plots, grasses & forbs, timber management, trees & shrubs.

13 Nongame Wildlife More than 80% of Illinois animal species are nongame wildlife. A management plan with the widest range of plantings and structures will attract the greatest variety of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and bats. Beneficial management practices: Grasses & forbs; farm ponds; nesting structures & homes, wetlands.

14 Northern Bobwhite Quail Bobwhite are most abundant in Southern Illinois. Their populations have decreased by more than 75% since 1970. Bobwhite prefer brushy-shrubby areas interspersed with small (20 to 80 acre) farm fields and pasture/hayland. Most live on less than 100 acres. Beneficial management practices: Brush piles; food plots; grasses & forbs; pasture mgt., strip/light disking; timber mgt.; trees & shrubs.

15 Northern Bobwhite Quail Mixture of crop fields, pastures, meadows and woodland edges make up quality quail habitat. Nesting habitat: Nests are usually found in sparse vegetation. –Hens prefer moderately grazed pastures, native grasses with forbs, idle areas, weedy food plots and brushy fences and hedgerows. Hens only need one clump of grass every 15 steps. Winter habitat: Since quail seldom range more than 1/4 mile in winter, loafing, roosting and food must be in close proximity to each other.

16 Ring-necked Pheasant Most important upland game bird in Illinois with an annual harvest of about 180,000 birds/year with a population of up to 6 million. Population peaked in 1950s and has been declining since then due to reductions in safe nesting and winter cover. Beneficial management practices: Food plots, grasses & forbs, trees & shrubs and wetlands.

17 Ring-necked Pheasant Nesting habitat: Hens conceal nests in erect, undisturbed grassy vegetation at least 8 to 10 inches tall. –Research shows nests in blocks of habitat greater than 40 acres have a higher chance of hatching. –Fast growth rate requires a high protein diet of insects for chicks. Winter habitat: Pheasants prefer tall, grassy habitats for roosting at night and shrubby/brushy habitats for loafing during the day. –Corn/sorghum food plots are very important.

18 Whitetail Deer Deer occur in every county, with highest densities in Illinois southern and western counties. Illinois herd is estimated at 800,000 with an annual harvest of 180,000 animals by hunters. Good deer habitat will support up to 25 deer/square mile. Beneficial management practices include: Food plots; grasses & forbs; timber management; trees & shrubs

19 Whitetail Deer Habitat requirements: Annual home range varies from one-half to one square mile according to suitable habitat, food and water –Does seek seclusion for fawning in brushy fields, heavily vegetated stream bottoms, forest edges, pastures, CRP fields and grasslands. –Standing corn is used for food, travel and escape cover in the fall. –In winter deer concentrate in heavy timber, cattails, tall weeds and brush. –Feathering back timber edges is very beneficial for fawning and wintering deer.

20 Habitat Practices Brushpiles: Mound of material with a maze of cavities that provide protection from weather or predators. Prescribed Burning: Uses planned fires to nurture plants, harm others and fertilize with a quick release of nutrients.

21 Habitat Practices Farm Ponds: Best ponds have about 20 acres of watershed for each acre of surface area. Ponds have multiple uses from recreation to livestock watering.

22 Habitat Practices Food plots: Plots can be single grain or a diverse mixture to attract a variety of game and non-game species. Location is a key consideration when planning a food plot.

23 Habitat Practices Grasses & Forbs: Most of Illinois songbirds, gamebirds and mammals require diverse grassland habitats. Legumes: Provide direct food value through seeds or through the insects they harbor.

24 Habitat Practices Mowing/Haying: Targeted mowing, after Aug. 1, allows species to efficiently use habitat. Nesting Structures & Homes: Providing additional home and nesting sites is very important for waterfowl and some nongame species.

25 Habitat Practices Pasture Management: The most critical elements are extent and timing of grazing and pasture vegetation or forage. Pastures grazed below 6 inches are detrimental to nesting wildlife.

26 Habitat Practices Strip/Light Disking: This provides additional bare ground for dusting and brood rearing. It is most often used along timber edges or large tracts of grassland.

27 Habitat Practices Timber Management: Activities that are beneficial to wildlife include timber harvesting, thinning, creating or improving woodland corridors and using human-made habitat structures.

28 Habitat Practices Trees & Shrubs: These provide excellent wildlife benefits year round for a variety of wildlife. This practice includes shelterbelts and riparian buffers. Wetlands: A simple way to enhance a wetland for wildlife is to provide nest structures for wildlife.

29 Help for Establishing Habitat USDA Programs –Wetland Reserve Program –Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program –Environmental Quality Incentives Program –Conservation Reserve Program –Conservation Security Program –Conservation Technical Assistance IL Department of Natural Resources –IDNR Shelterbelts –Forestry Programs

30 Help for Establishing Habitat IL Soil & Water Conservation Districts Fish and Wildlife Service –Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Private Organizations –Pheasants Forever –Quail Unlimited –Ducks Unlimited –National Wild Turkey Federation

31 Thank You for caring about wildlife! USDA-NRCS is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Helping People Help the Land

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