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By 1988, 80 percent of Illinois was converted to cropland and pasture with approximately 5 percent converted to urban uses. Only 19 percent of Illinois’ original forest and 0.01 percent of original prairies remain. More than 90 percent of wetlands have been lost to agriculture and development. What natural habitats remain in Illinois are becoming increasingly degraded by non-native invasive species and habitat fragmentation. Biodiversity loss as a result of these land use changes is of significant and increasing concern in Illinois and worldwide. 

With approximately 97 percent of the state held in private ownership, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recognizes that one of the best ways to address these concerns and improve wildlife habitat is through the power and determination of the many residents and businesses that call Illinois home. By providing helpful information through the Conservation Inclusive Construction and Development Archive (CICADA) website on managing and integrating wildlife habitats into your property and projects, we believe that together we can better coexist with natural landscapes and the wildlife they support and further enjoy the many wonderful ecosystem services they provide us now and into the future. 

We welcome you to the CICADA website and encourage regular visits to find information on how you can incorporate wildlife habitat into your property or development projects or how to better manage the habitats you have already. Staff at IDNR, along with our partners, will provide regular updates to CICADA, and we are happy to answer questions you may have about building or managing wildlife habitats.   


Our sincere appreciation goes to the photographers who graciously allowed use of their images on this website. Photographers remain the sole and exclusive owners of all rights, titles, and interests to the photographs used on this site. Photographs are copyrighted and may not be used without the written permission of the photographer.

Unless otherwise noted with individual photo credit, the photos contained on the site are property of the IDNR or staff of the website development team. If you want to reproduce photographs from this site contact IDNR at: dnr.cicada@illinois.gov

Fact Sheets and Documents

All fact sheets or documents listed on the CICADA website remain the sole and exclusive property of those agencies or organizations that produced them. All materials listed on CICADA are for educational purposes only. If you wish to submit a document for consideration for inclusion on the CICADA website, or if you want to have a document removed from the site, please contact IDNR at: dnr.cicada@illinois.gov

Where to Find Plants 

The IDNR maintains a list of nurseries that sell native Illinois plants as a courtesy to the public. This is not a complete list of nurseries that sell native plants in Illinois. Inclusion on this list does not constitute any recommendation or endorsement by the IDNR. Requests for inclusion should be made at: dnr.cicada@illinois.gov


The IDNR maintains a list of entities that provide habitat certifications as a courtesy to the public. Inclusion on this list does not constitute any recommendation or endorsement by the IDNR. Requests for inclusion should be made at: dnr.cicada@illinois.gov

Legal Disclaimer

 The IDNR is making this website available for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information about the areas covered/discussed herein. By visiting this website you understand that no statement on this website, including references to state and federal statutes, should be interpreted or relied upon as legal advice. This website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.