Attracting Illinois Wildlife On Private Lands

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Attracting Illinois Wildlife On Private Lands. Illinois Wildlife Needs. 95% of Illinois is privately owned. Wildlife depend on private landowners for habitat needs. Remember the basics: food, cover, & water. Backyard Birds. More than 127 species; songbirds largest group. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Attracting Illinois WildlifeOn Private Lands

Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands1Illinois Wildlife Needs95% of Illinois is privately owned.Wildlife depend on private landowners for habitat needs.Remember the basics:food, cover, & water.

Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands2Iowas landscape has changed dramatically in the last 150 years. The state was once covered with tall grass prairies and millions of acres of wetlands. The majority of this land is now used to produce crops and raise livestock.

Much of Iowas wildlife now depend on the states private landowners to provide habitat for their survival. All wildlife need food, cover and water. This presentation highlights some key Iowa wildlife species and management practices which will you provide these basic habitat needs.Backyard BirdsMore than 127 species; songbirds largest group.Beneficial management practices: grasses & forbs;nesting structures & homes; trees & shrubs.Food: Use a variety of feeders to attract a variety of species.

Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands3More than 362 species, with songbirds as the largest group. Songbirds occupy every time of habitat--so your property can be a home for many of the states backyard birds like finches, cardinals and cedar waxwings.

It is helpful to maintain diversity with an abundance of trees and shrubs as well as areas with leaf cover for ground-feeding birds. This habitat can be supplemented by using bird houses and feeders.

Backyard BirdsCover: Needed for escape, roosting, nesting and brood rearing. - Trees, shrubs, grasses- BirdhousesWater: Needed for bathing, drinking and regulating body temperature.Small pool with shallow edgeBirdbath and/or fountain

Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands4Enhance cover opportunities for backyard birds by planting trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers. You can also make or buy birdhouses that are specifically designed for the species of birds you want to attract.

Most birds need open water throughout the year. Providing a water source in your backyard will attract more birds. A small pool with stones in a shallow edge draws them to bathe, drink and help control their temperatures.

Birds are attracted to the sound of flowing water. Providing moving water through a fountain will increase bird use in your yard. In winter, you can provide water in a heated dog bowl or buy a birdbath heater.Cottontail RabbitCottontails are found statewide-from farms to suburbia.Cottontails spend entire life within 2 to 10 acres. All habitat needs must be met within this small area.Beneficial management practices: brush piles; food plots; grasses & forbs; strip/light disking; timber management; trees & shrubs.

Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands5The cottontail or common rabbit is one of Iowas most familiar native small game animals. They have short lifespan in the wild with most living little more than one year.In Iowa the best rabbit densities can be found in areas that have a good mix of cropland, idle grassland, brushy draws or brushy woodland borders, and idle areas.Cottontail RabbitNesting Habitat: Idle grassy areas, hayfields, fence lines or brushy areas.Mixture of undisturbed cool or warm season grasses, forbs, shrubs.Drinking water not required. Diet provides daily water needs.Winter habitat: Critical season for rabbits.Must spend more time searching for food.Highly visible to predators.Feathered edge management practice provides best winter cover.

Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands6Cottontails normal breeding season in Iowa extends from March through September. They are most active near dawn and dusk, and most courting and mating occurs then. A female or doe can produce 5 to 6 litter a year. Each litter averages 4 to 5 young. A females summer range averages only 2 to 3 acres--so a mixture of high quality food and protection is needed from her habitat.

In winter persistent snowfall reduces escape habitats and forces cottontails to switch to a diet of woody stems and twigs. Rabbits must spend more time searching for these foods, and the background of white snow makes them more vulnerable. Important winter food sources: wood twigs and stems of raspberry, sumac, apple, hawthorn, birch, and white oak.

Cottontails will also utilize winter food plots of corn and sorghum if they are adjacent to shrubby habitat.Ducks & GeeseEach spring and fall millions ducks, geese and swans migrate through Illinois.More than 30 species of ducks, geese and swans call Illinois home during part of year.Nearly 45,000 waterfowl hunters harvest 211,500 ducks and 85,500 geese each year

Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands7Iowa had a rich diversity of nesting ducks and geese prior to 1800. Hunting and conversion of wetlands and prairies to cropland eliminated many of these species from Iowa. Recent conservation efforts have restored some of these species like the Canada geese and wood duck to relatively abundant levels.

The highest numbers of nesting ducks and geese can be found in the prairie-pothole region north of Des Moines.Ducks & GeeseBeneficial management practices: food plots; grasses & forbs; nesting structures & homes; wetlands.Habitat Requirements:Need both wetland and grassland.Nesting ducks benefit from idle grasslands, protected from haying and grazing from May until July.Wood ducks only species needing mature trees for nesting. Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands8All dabbling duck need shallow wetlands for feeding and undisturbed grasslands for nesting Shallow wetlands that warm quickly in the spring are particularly important because they produce insects that hens eat for the protein they need to produce eggs. Hens lay one egg per day and require up to 28 days of incubation depending upon the species.

Wood ducks need mature trees with ample squirrel holes for next sites. Wood ducks and Canada geese will readily use human-made structure for nesting. Diving ducks typically nest on clumps of cattails or bulrushes over water.

Ducks & GeeseHabitat Requirements (cont.)Canada geese and trumpeter swans nest on island-like structures over the water.Green browse and grain food plots next to wetlands are important food for migrating waterfowl.Wetlands drawn drown in summer and regrown with annual weeds & flooded grain food plots provide excellent food for all waterfowl. Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands9Canada geese and trumpeter swans usually nest on island-like structures over the water. Muskrat houses ore favorite nesting sites of Canada geese, while swans build their own nesting islands.

During fall migration, green browse and grain food plots adjacent to wetland provide important food for migrating waterfowl. Green browse plots of winter wheat/rye are excellent food for geese.

Eastern Wild TurkeyIllinois wild turkey population is increasing; they can now be found in every IL county.Turkeys thrive in mature oak-hickory forests native to this region.Beneficial management practices include: food plots; timber management, trees and shrubs.

Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands10The Eastern wild turkey was found throughout Iowa when the first settlers crossed the Mississippi Rive in the 1830s. Habitat loss and subsistence hunting led to the elimination of turkeys from Iowa in 1920. DRN began an aggressive restoration program in the mid-1960s utilizing wild trapped birds. Populations continue to expand--with current populations estimated at more than 100,000 birds.Eastern Wild TurkeyNesting Habitat: Hens select nest sites in a variety of cover types but favor woodland edges near field openings.Poults need abundant insect populations for feeding, foraging habitat and protective cover.Fall/Winter Habitat: Two keys are food and roosting habitats.During fall food is crucial as birds build fat deposits for winter survival.Favorite turkey roosting sites include clumps of large pines and trees like those found in mature oak-hickory forest. Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands11Egg laying usually begins in mid to late April, peak incubation occurs in May and peak hatch is usually early to mid June. Eggs hatch in about 28 days. Chicks grow rapidly and require a high protein diet of insects. By the third week they are able to roost in low trees with hen.

In winter food is critical, but protection from adverse weather is equally important. Where agriculture is prominent, a mix of cropland and forest cover is highly suitable. Open oak-hickory wood with available hard mast are important features of high quality turkey habitat. Corn food plots adjacent to mature oak-hickory timber are very attractive to wintering turkeys.

Turkeys spend most daylight hours on the ground, but at night roost in trees to avoid predators.

MammalsIllinois is home to 59 different mammals, nine of which are threatened or endangered. Since bobcat and river otter populations are increasing, they are no longer threatened.Timbered river and stream valley corridors are the most important habitats for opossum, woodchuck, coyote, gray fox and bobcat.Other beneficial management practices: food plots, grasses & forbs, timber management, trees & shrubs.

Attracting Illinois Wildlife on Private Lands12The 15 common furbearing species include the opossum, woodchuck, beaver, muskrat, coyote, red and gray f ox, raccoon, mink, badger, weasel, striped and spotted skunk, river otter and bobcat. Most can be trapped or hunted.

Before 1900, Iowa was also home to the black bear, mountain lion and the plains wolf.While most management plans dont target furbearers, the fact remains that furbearing animals are the primary beneficiarie