It doesn’t matter whether you live in a rural, suburban, or urban area, if habitat is available, you will have wildlife “neighbors.” Wildlife are a normal part of the landscape, and each species has a role to play in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
Illinois supports approximately 54,000 species and has habitats and species representing five biomes. The state is divided into 14 natural divisions which are home to an amazing number of wildlife. To learn about individual wildlife species check out the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Wild About…! Series Pages which provide species galleries; information on adaptations and conservation; and educational resources about many species groups including mammals, birds, fish, mussels, amphibians, reptiles, moths and butterflies, and more.
Conserving or adding wildlife habitat can attract many species of wildlife to your property. While most species of wildlife are welcome visitors, some may become a nuisance or present a public safety concern. Preventing problems with wildlife is simpler, and often cheaper, than dealing with wildlife damage. Fortunately, taking a few simple steps can help prevent many of the most common wildlife-related problems. The Wildlife Illinois website provides information about the ecology and behavior of many common wildlife species in Illinois and tips on how to coexist with them. In cases where wildlife damage has occurred, this site shares proven methods that can be used to solve conflicts with wildlife. The site also provides information about what to do if you find orphaned, sick, or injured wildlife. The site covers Do-It-Yourself tips for handling common wildlife situations and also lists contact information for licensed wildlife rehabilitators or nuisance wildlife control operators.
IDNR: Division of Wildlife Resources
IDNR: Biodiversity of Illinois Species Search (Over 1,000 species found in Illinois aquatic, prairie/edge, or woodland habitats)