SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced the award of 26 grants for wildlife enhancement projects made possible through voluntary donations to the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund.
According to IDNR, the Wildlife Preservation Fund is a voluntary contribution check-off option on the Illinois state income tax form.
In the 29 years of the program, around 1,200 projects have been funded throughout the state through check-off donations totaling more than $5.6 million. The funds have been used to support projects ranging from habitat enhancements to species restoration.
Donations to the Wildlife Preservation Fund are tax deductible and may be made on Schedule G, line 1a of the IL-1040 form. Donations to the fund may also be addressed to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Resource Conservation, Division of Natural Heritage, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.
The Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Advisory Committee approved $99,980 in funding for 26 projects for fiscal year 2014.
Rewards included are:
· Ecological Services; $15,989- Survey and Update of Historical Element Occurrence Records for Plants in Region 5 of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. – Update historical plant records in Region 5 for the IDNR Natural Heritage Database. Alexander, Clay, Crawford, Pope, Edwards, Perry, Marion, Saline and Union Counties.
· Illinois Department of Natural Resources; $5,000- Earth Day in the Park – To provide approximately 1,000 students annually with the opportunity to perform meaningful natural resources stewardship activities at about 25 Illinois State Parks.
· Illinois Audubon Society; $4,700- Let's Bring Back the Barn Owl – The overall objective is to follow the goals and recommendations of the Illinois Barn Owl Recovery Plan, with the ultimate goal of delisting the species in Illinois.
· The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois; $9,529 – Development and Use of a Diagnostic Assay for Detection of Chrysosporium in Timber Rattlesnakes and Eastern Massasaugas – Develop a sensitive diagnostic test to accurately diagnose this disease in clinical and subclinical snakes.
· Basic Plant Identification Workshops in Southern Illinois; $2,000– To hold 10 one-day basic plant identification workshops in nine counties of southern Illinois. Alexander, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Union, Pulaski and Randolph Counties.
· Green Earth, Inc.; $2,000 - Interpretive Trail Signs for Green Earth's Pyles Fork Preserve - To purchase educational trail signs, sign frames & mounts, and treated lumber posts for the Pyles Fork Preserve, to educate members of the local community who frequent this area. Jackson County.
· Illinois Native Plant Society - Southern Chapter; $1,500 - Continuing Public Education about Native Plants Through the Addition of a Summer "Wildflower Walk" Guide. - Develop and print a Summer Wildlife Walk guide. Alexander, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Williamson and Union Counties.
· Illinois Raptor Center; $2,000 - Repair to Wildlife Rehab Barn – The barn is in need of repair to insure the health and safety of IRC wildlife patients that are housed inside. Macon County.
· Shawnee Resource Conservation & Development Area, Inc.; $2,000- Education of the Public regarding best management practices for controlling invasive species through creation and printing of a guide: "Management of Invasive Plants of Southern Illinois" and landowner workshops based upon this guide.
· Alexander, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union and Williamson Counties.
· The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois; $2,000 - Detection & Occupancy of Crawfish Frogs (Lithobates areolatus) at Pyramid SP - Survey of crawfish frogs; identify site-specific variables that affect occupancy of crawfish frogs. Perry County.
· The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois; $1,998.00 - An Atlas of Illinois Fishes - The objective of this proposal is to produce and distribute an atlas containing distribution maps of Illinois fishes. Statewide.
· The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois; $2,000- Regional Biodiversity of Terrestrial Heteroptera (True Bugs) & Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids) in Southwestern Illinois - The invertebrate fauna of terrestrial habitats in this area is understudied, and the findings of our research project will provide new data to inform better management of natural areas. Monroe and Randolph Counties.
· The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois; $1,980- Occupancy of Aquatic Macro-invertebrates in Seasonal Wetlands - Sample and identify aquatic macro-invertebrates from seasonal wetlands located on public lands. McHenry, Lake, Lee, Washington, Perry, Jackson, Franklin, Union, Hamilton, Pope, Alexander, Johnson and Hardin Counties.
For more information on the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund and grant program, contact the IDNR Division of Natural Heritage at 217-785-8691.