WMC Conservation Newsletter Spring 2018- Illinois Conservation

Curious Encounters With Wildlife in Illinois

After almost 60 years of studying butterflies in Illinois, the United States, and the World, former Illinois Natural History Survey entomologists Mike Jeffords and Susan Post are publishing a comprehensive manual titled “Butterflies of Illinois – A Field Guide,” which includes stunning photos of the 107 species of butterfly native to Illinois. Top sites in Illinois for butterfly viewing in as suggested by the Jeffords and Post are; Mason County, the best place to see the Fritillary butterfly; Bonnie’s Prairie – Iroquois County in the 10.6-acre Illinois Nature Preserve; and Loda Cemetery Preserve. Find the complete article here.

Great Spangled Fritillary By MONGO – Own work, Public Domain

Controlled Burn Rejuvenates Prairie Near Loami

A team of about a dozen volunteers lead by Vern LaGesse, the director of the 120-acre Nipper Wildlife Sanctuary, oversaw the controlled burn of 300 acres on March 15. LeGesse stated that the purpose of the controlled burn was to make way for the diverse plant species that grow on the prairie by eliminating last year’s build-up of thatch. “It lets the other plants germinate their seeds and grow,” said LeGesse “the fire also helps reduce any woody trees that have invaded into the prairie.” Not all of the 300-acres surrounding the Nipper Wildlife Sanctuary are burned every year, some are on a four or five-year burn rotation. These areas are left for ground-nesting birds to have cover for their spring nests. Read the full article from The State Journal-Register.

Continue reading: WMC Conservation Newsletter March 2018

By: Kate Keets, WMC Conservation Chair