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New book delves into
wildlife habitat   
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[DEC. 6, 2003]  SPRINGFIELD -- For anyone interested in Illinois wildlife and their habitats, there's a new "must-have" book called "Creating Habitats and Homes for Illinois Wildlife." The book is published by the Department of Natural Resources and the University of Illinois.

"‘Creating Habitats and Homes for Illinois Wildlife’ will inspire, instruct and encourage people to enjoy and conserve the rich wildlife legacy of Illinois," said IDNR Director Joel Brunsvold. "This guidebook details in plain language and photos management opportunities and practices that landowners can adopt for key habitats on their own land."

With more than 200 color photographs, the book is worth having for the exquisite depiction of Illinois wildlife, but the book is also 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 co-author 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. Nearly $600 million is spent each year on recreational fishing. And hunters spend nearly $450 million a year pursuing game."


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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 U of I wildlife ecologist Phil Mankin, another co-author. "There are chapters on grassland, woodland, aquatic and wetland habitats but also a chapter focusing on specific things people can do in their own back yards or small tracts of land."

Funding for the project comes from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Conservation Foundation, the Habitat Stamp and Pheasant Stamp funds, the University of Illinois, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program. The money raised through book sales will go toward printing additional copies of the book and other related educational materials.

The cost for an individual copy of "Creating Habitats and Homes for Illinois Wildlife" is $25, plus a shipping and handling fee. You can purchase the book by contacting Illinois Department of Natural Resources Gift Shop, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1270; by calling 1 (800) 720-3249; or from outside Illinois by calling (217) 782-1687.

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources
news release]

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