A Winged Jewel Gets a Leg Up
To make a big impact on a small species, you need thousands of cups. At least this may be true for the Hine's emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana). Rearing Hine's larvae ...Read More
Illinois's Unique Places and Species
As we celebrate conservation successes during the Endangered Species Act's 40th anniversary year, Illinois may not be the place one would expect to find unusual ...Read More
Habitat Restoration and Hand-pollination Results in Bumper Crop of Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchids
Last spring, annual monitoring of the eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) in Illinois yielded the second highest count of blooming orchids in over 20 years. The total was...Read More
Featured Species in Illinois
Decurrent false aster
This plant is found on moist, sandy, floodplains and prairie wetlands along the Illinois River. Although not very tolerant to prolonged flooding this rare plant relies on periodic flooding to scour away other plants that compete for the same habitat.
Decurrent false aster.
Photo credit: Dr. Nancy Parker
Prairie bush clover
Prairie bush clover is a federally threatened prairie plant found only in the tallgrass prairie region of four Midwestern states.
Prairie bush clover.
Photo credit: Phil Delphey, USFWS
Higgin's eye pearlymussel
The Higgin's eye is a freshwater mussel of larger rivers where it is usually found in areas with deep water and moderate currents. Its range includes the upper Mississippi River, the St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin, and the lower Rock River between Illinois and Iowa. More »
Higgin’s eye pearlymussel.
Photo credit: USFWS
Great Lakes piping plover
The Great Lakes population of the piping plover was at a perilously low level. But intensive conservation efforts have seen the number of breeding pairs steadily climb from a low of 12 in 1983.
Great Lakes piping plover.
Photo credit: Gene Nieminen, USFWS
Pallid sturgeon are slow growing fish that feed primarily on small fish and immature aquatic insects. This species of sturgeon is seldom seen and is one of the least understood fish in the Missouri and Mississippi River drainages.
Photo credit: Ken Bouc, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
Partnership Stories in Illinois
Helping the Endangered Interior Least Tern
Dams, reservoirs, and other changes to river systems have eliminated most historic least tern habitat. The wide channels dotted with sandbars that are preferred by the terns have been replaced by narrow forested river corridors. More »
Found in Illinois
Decurrent false aster (Boltonia decurrens), a member of the daisy family, once flowered profusely along the banks of the Illinois River Valley. Today, the plant can be found growing in moist, sandy floodplains and prairie wetlands along a 248 mile reach of the lower Illinois River system. Although not very tolerant to prolonged flooding this rare plant relies on periodic flooding to scour away other plants that compete for the same habitat.
Photo credit: Nancy Parker
The current range of the Hine's emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) is concentrated around the Grates Lakes Basin, mostly at select locations in Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The greatest threat to the Hine's emerald dragonfly is habitat destruction. Dragonflies play an important role in nature by catching and eating smaller flying insects, including mosquitoes, biting flies, and gnats.
Photo credit: Paul Burton