Habitat Management Tools & Techniques
Management of any undeveloped land is critical in conserving the integrity and connectivity of native habitat. While much of the remaining habitat available to wildlife continues to be subdivided into smaller parcels, it will become necessary for small landowners to aid in the overall conservation of certain native species. With over 95% of Illinois under private ownership, it is imperative for landowners to work together.
Infestations of Non-native invasive species (NNIS) have covered thousands of acres of Illinois’s remaining grassland and forested areas. Management of native species is crucial in securing the health and vigor of wildlife populations, which depend on those native species for survival. Many NNIS will out compete native species by growing fast when new light becomes available and shading out native species, thereby reducing the diversity and food sources available to wildlife.
The exclusion of occasional disturbance (i.e. burning) has allowed the NNIS to explode across the landscape. These species not only deter the ability of native species to regenerate, they can also allow for increased soil erosion and the degradation of water quality. In order to preserve our wildlife, soil, and water, we must manage our land to ensure survival and regeneration of native species into the future.