Urbana - For anyone interested in Illinois wildlife and their habitats, there's a new "must-have" book published by the University of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources called Creating Habitats and Homes for Illinois Wildlife.
With more than 200 color photographs, the book is worth having for the exquisite depiction of Illinois wildlife, but the book is chock full of accessible scientific information about the status of wildlife habitat in Illinois.
"The key to making successful wildlife management decisions is to use the best scientific information available. This book compiles, in a user-friendly way, what is known about major habitat issues in our state today," said primary author of the book Debbie Scott Newman, preservation specialist for the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.
There are many reasons why Illinois citizens are keen to protect wildlife habitat.
"We cannot overestimate the importance of natural areas and wildlife on the quality of life," said coauthor Richard Warner, U of I Professor of wildlife ecology. "But the Illinois economy realizes more than $1 billion every year from expenditures related to watching wildlife. More than $550 million is spent each year on recreational fishing. And hunters spend nearly $150 million a year pursuing game."
Since most land in Illinois is held by private citizens, it's imperative that individual landowners are knowledgeable about wildlife habitat.
"This book goes farther than any other book available in describing what individual people can do on their own property to create wildlife habitat," said another co-author Phil Mankin, U of I wildlife ecologist. "There are chapters on grassland, woodland, aquatic and wetland habitats. But also a chapter focusing on specific things people can do in their own backyards or small tracts of land."
Creating Habitats and Homes for Illinois Wildlife will inspire, instruct and encourage people to enjoy and conserve the rich wildlife legacy if Illinois.
The individual cost of Creating Habitats and Homes for Illinois Wildlife is $25, plus a shipping and handling fee. You can purchase the book by contacting: Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, or call toll free in Illinois 1-800-720-3249, outside Illinois 217-782-1687.