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Changes for Illinois endangered species list?

January 09, 2009 at 01:47 PM

Species recommendations

Click here for a complete list of the Endangered Species Protection Board’s recommendations and additional references including the current list of endangered and threatened species approved in 2004.

Currently there are 483 animals and plants classified as either endangered or threatened in Illinois – 144 animals and 339 plants.  With the ESPB proposal, the total number of species on the list would decline slightly to 482 – 151 animals and 331 plants.  The list of endangered or threatened species is, by law, reviewed and revised at least once every five years.  The current list was approved in 2004.

An animal species is considered endangered in Illinois if it is in danger of extinction as a breeding species in the wild within all or a portion of its range in the state.  A species is considered threatened if the population is low enough or declining to the point that it likely will become an endangered species in the foreseeable future.  Species may be removed from the list for both positive and negative reasons – because its populations have recovered or because it is no longer found in the state.

A plant species may be considered endangered if fewer than 100 individual plants are found in the state in four or fewer areas, but such factors as decline in range or a reduced number of plants, even if its range in the state remains steady, also are considered, as is the existence of known threats to the remaining populations.  A threatened plant species is not as few in number as an endangered species, but its continued existence is in doubt due to a declining population and fewer locations in which the species is found.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board will hold a hearing on Friday, Jan. 23 to take public comments on proposed changes to the list of endangered and threatened animals and plants in Illinois.

“While some plant and animal species on the endangered and threatened list have adapted fairly well to changes in their environment, hard work, habitat improvements, and land acquisition efforts have allowed for a comeback of a number of species since the Illinois list was last revised five years ago,” said Dan Gooch, chairman of the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board.

Many of the recommendations being made are a direct result of habitat preservation efforts and active management by the Department of Natural Resources, the Endangered Species Protection Board, the Nature Preserves Commission and their many partners in conservation.

Gains by the bald eagle and Henslow’s sparrow are just two of many examples of improvements in species currently on the endangered and threatened list.  Public education and environmental laws prohibiting the use of the pesticide DDT have assisted the recovery of the bald eagle, whose Illinois nesting numbers have improved from single-digits several decades ago, to more than 100 nests in each of the last several years.

The Henslow’s sparrow has benefited from increased habitat created as a result of the Conservation Reserve Program. The bird is now known to occur in 46 Illinois counties and has 10 or more populations numbering 20 or more breeding pairs within protected habitats.  The Henslow’s sparrow was listed as an endangered species in 1999 and its classification was improved to that of a threatened species in 2004. 

The Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB) is now proposing both the bald eagle and Henslow’s sparrow species be de-listed by removing them from their threatened classification.

The hearing on the changes in the list proposed by the ESPB is scheduled for Jan. 23 at noon at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources headquarters building (Lakeview Conference Room C), located at One Natural Resources Way on the north end of the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. 

The hearing record will remain open for an additional two weeks after the Jan. 23 session.  All written comments, which must be received no later than Feb. 6, should be sent to the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271 or via e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .

“We want to continue the good work of the Endangered Species Protection Board by building on those habitat improvements and acquiring land, even in tight budget years,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director, Sam Flood.

The IDNR acquired 1,232 acres of land during 2008 and 7,554 acres during 2007 thanks to a special appropriation that year. 

Among other changes in the list of endangered and threatened species, the ESPB is proposing:

  • The plantain-leaved sedge, hedge hyssop, smooth softshell, Shawnee rock snail, Madonna cave springtail, robust springfly, central forestfly, a leafhopper, and the common striped scorpion be added as endangered; while blue hearts, wild blue larkspur, black-billed cuckoo, mudpuppy, and the ornate box turtle are proposed to be added to the threatened list. 
  • The water-pennywort, seaside crowfoot, alkali bulrush, a sedge, lined sedge, small whorled pogonia, beach pea, millet grass, short-sepaled beard tongue, cinquefoil, white mountain mint, and marsh St. John’s wort are proposed to be removed from their endangered classification; while the bald eagle, Henslow’s sparrow, and sandhill crane are proposed to be removed from their threatened classification. 
  • The status of the supple-jack, galingale, Richardson’s rush, and Mississippi Kite would be improved from endangered to threatened; while the common moorhen, loggerhead shrike, Blanding’s turtle, redspotted sunfish, and Ottoe skipper would move to endangered from threatened status. 

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

You need to put that black bear on the list before some kill crazy redneck kills it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 12:13 PM

We live in Pope County on the Big Grande Pierre Creek just up river from the Ohio River, where there is an eagle aerie (nest).  It’s really neat to see the bald eagles fly over going up and down the creek.  They are really “Regal” birds, and we should be proud of the fact that we were able to bring them back from their endangered status.  This is just one more case of a very successful scientific management of a wildlife species that allowed it to return to the wild, along with the wild turkey, the whitetailed deer, and a host of other game and non-game species.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 01:12 AM

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