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Illinois Wildlife Action Plan

Illinois is home to diverse wildlife populations. There are red-headed woodpeckers nesting in our woodlands and smooth green snakes nesting in our grasslands. There are trout spawning in the waters of Lake Michigan and river otters playing in the waters of the Mississippi. The diversity of habitats and wildlife in Illinois is one of the state’s greatest assets. However, declining habitat health and availability threaten many of our native wildlife species.

The Illinois Wildlife Action Plan (IWAP) guides the conservation of wildlife and their habitats for the people of Illinois. The plan focuses primarily on non-game species, especially vulnerable species, known as the Species in Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). The IWAP is organized by habitat into seven Campaigns, each with its own strategic plan for increasing the quality and quantity of wildlife habitat in Illinois. These plans are implemented across the DNR and by partner organizations and agencies, collectively known as the Illinois Wildlife Action Team (IWAT).

Through the Campaigns, the Action Team coordinates conservation efforts across the state, amplifying the impact on wildlife. IWAT facilitates and provides guidance to projects and programs that further the goals of the IWAP. The team also works to identify and address research gaps; conducts conservation status reviews of the SGCN; monitors progress and impact; re-evaluates needs and priorities; and revises the IWAP as needed. 

For more information contact Leon Hinz,​ leon.hinz@illinois.gov.

This webpage is currently under revision.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Last revised 4/03/19.​​​​​​​​​