Wildlife and Habitat
At nearly 400 miles long, Illinois hosts tremendous biological diversity.
From the Iowa Pleistocene snail in the northwest, to bird-voiced treefrogs in 1,000-year-old cypress swamps in the south, Illinois is home to some 58 mammal species, 383 different resident and migrant birds, 104 types of reptiles and amphibians, 174 species of fish, and some 27,000 types of insects, mussels, and other invertebrates.
Wildlife in Illinois
Native habitats are key to our wildlife’s future—unfortunately, habitats in Illinois have changed enormously and many wildlife populations have declined at alarming rates as a result. For example, the size of woodlands in Illinois act as a limiting factor on some native species’ populations, making the protection of larger size woodlands necessary. Moreover, there are cross-benefits to protecting wildlife habitat—flood control, recreation, soil erosion control, and open space.
Moreover, the Illinois economy realizes nearly $1.1 billion every year from expenditures related to watching wildlife and hunters spend nearly $150 million a year pursuing game. More than $550 million is spent each year on recreational fishing, and the annual retail value of commercial fishing is $4 million. This wildlife-oriented recreation plays an important economic role in many depressed and declining small communities.