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Vermilion Co. Conservation District Foundation

Wildlife

In the early days of the V.C.C.D., it was very exciting to see a white-tailed deer. Now, it is very unusual not to spot one once a day at the county parks. Ever since the government's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), wildlife has increased. The simple formula - increased habitat increases wildlife.

Forest Glen Preserve is listed as an Illinois Wildlife Viewing Area, but Kennekuk County Park and Lake Vermilion County Park also offer excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. The V.C.C.D. offers different habitat types such as mature forests, secondary successional forests, open fields, prairies, bottomland fields and forests, wetlands, lakes and rivers and fence rows.

There were two wildlife reintroduction's into our county parks. The wild turkey was released at Kennekuk County Park and near Forest Glen Preserve in the mid 1980's. They now abound and there is a spring hunting season at Kennekuk County Park. The river otter, an Illinois endangered species, was introduced to Lake Mingo in 1996 and 1997. A total of 30 otters were released and sightings are becoming more common. This is the largest release site in Illinois.

Listed below are some of the types of wildlife that can be seen at the three county parks. A complete listing of native Vermilion County mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles may be obtained by calling 217-662-2142.

White-tailed deer Turkey (can also be viewed at Forest Glen Nature Center) River otter (rare)
Mink Muskrat Beaver
Red and gray fox Fox and gray squirrels Chipmunks & 13-lined ground squirrel
Badger (rare) Raccoon Opossum
Long-tailed weasel Flying squirrel Wood chuck (ground hog)
Turtles (box, snapping, painted, soft-shell, red-eared slider) Frogs (bull, green, leopard, cricket, tree) Skunk
Rabbit Bald eagle (rare) Hawks (red-tail, rough-legged, harrier, cooper's, kestrel, red shouldered)
Osprey (rare) Waterfowl (Canada goose, snow goose, mallards, wood duck, teal, merganser, golden eye, pin-tail) Great blue heron
Green heron Egret (American, cattle) Pileated woodpecker
Snakes; all non-poisonous (fox, black rat, blue racer, garter, DeKay, hog-nose, prairie king, banded water) Red-backed salamander & tiger salamander Coyote
Resident Songbirds Migratory birds Owls (great horned, barred, screech, snowy-rare)

 

 

River Otter Release Pictures