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Chicago Office and Partners Implement Habitat Management for Two Endangered Species
Midwest Region, February 1, 2013
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Bluff before clearing.
Bluff before clearing. - Photo Credit: Juli Mason, Forest Preserve District of Will County
Bluff being cleared.
Bluff being cleared. - Photo Credit: Juli Mason, Forest Preserve District of Will County
Bluff being planted with plugs.  Native plant seed was also spread on the bluff to help with the restoration.
Bluff being planted with plugs. Native plant seed was also spread on the bluff to help with the restoration. - Photo Credit: Juli Mason, Forest Preserve District of Will County
Bluff after clearing.  Invasive species have been removed and native vegetation has returned.
Bluff after clearing. Invasive species have been removed and native vegetation has returned. - Photo Credit: Juli Mason, Forest Preserve District of Will County

Under a Cooperative Agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chicago Field Office and the Forest Preserve District of Will County (District), the District received funds to restore habitat at Keepataw Preserve, in Will County, Illinois. The seeps, sedge meadows, and wet dolomite prairies along the edges of the DesPlaines River Valley, where the preserve is located, provide essential habitat for the federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hinena) and the Leafy Prairie Clover (Dalea foliosa).

 

The habitat restoration project was designed to protect water quality and improve habitat suitability for both federally-endangered species. A major project objective was to improve conditions in the buffer and recharge area adjacent to Hine’s emerald dragonfly breeding habitat to reduce invasive species sources and improve groundwater infiltration. Restoration objectives included control of invasive shrubs like honeysuckle and buckthorn within the project area to assist with the restoration of native prairie and oak savanna habitat and improve groundwater infiltration.

Project Accomplishments:
• Clearing of invasive shrubs such as honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) and buckthorn (Rhamnus spp.) was completed on over 18 acres.
• Selective foliar herbicide treatments were completed on invasive shrub re-sprouts and seedlings on 32 acres.
• 220 native grass plugs were installed and native seed was broadcast on nearly two acres of cleared of bluff face.
• Prescribed burn was conducted by the Forest Preserve District of Will County.


Contact Info: Kristopher Lah, (847) 381-2253 ext.15, Kristopher_Lah@fws.gov



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