Chicago Field Office
1250 S. Grove, Suite 103
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Sept. 27, 2013: Service Proposes to List Red Knot as a Threatened Species Under the Endangered Species Act
May 16, 2013: Urban Biodiversity Week In Chicago
May 14, 2013: Partners Across the U.S. Celebrate Endangered
Chicago Field Office and Lincoln Park Zoo Host Endangered Species Day Celebration
May 17, 2013
Five years ago, the U.S. Senate designated the third Friday in May as Endangered Species Day. This year, Endangered Species Day was on May 17, and it provided another opportunity for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners to raise awareness about imperiled plants, animals, and habitats, and to demonstrate ways that others can help conserve these resources. Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago Field Office celebrated Endangered Species Day with hundreds of zoo visitors to highlight the conservation programs underway in Northeast Illinois that are aimed at recovering federally threatened and endangered species and restoring their habitat.
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Illinois' Unique Places and Species
Surveying for the Illinois cave amphipod.
Photo by Dr. Julian J. Lewis
As we celebrate conservation successes during the Endangered Species Act's (ESA) 40th anniversary year, Illinois may not be the place one would expect to find unusual endangered species, one-of-a-kind ecosystems, or inspirational conservation success stories. Yet all of these are here in Illinois—in unexpected and unique places.
Caves, in Illinois?
Unknown to many, Illinois has a small karst region characterized by numerous surface sinkholes and underlying caves. The Salem Plateau karst region is found in two counties in western Illinois, near St. Louis. Endemic to the cave streams that flow underground through this region is the federally endangered Illinois cave amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes), a small freshwater crustacean. Sinkhole density in the Salem Plateau is as high as 230 sinkholes per square mile. Joints and fractures in the subsurface allow surface water to flow rapidly into caves that the amphipod inhabits. There is an relationship between the Illinois cave amphipod's habitat and the land-use practices on the surface that threaten the species