200 Attend Workshop on Return of Large Predators to the Midwest

A cougar spotted on a trail cam in southern Illinois.

On Saturday afternoon, November 11, at the Woodbine Bend Golf Course restaurant, more than 200 people gathered to learn about the return of wolves, cougars and black bears to the Midwest, including Northwestern Illinois, where all three species have been identified in recent years.  JDCF’s co-sponsors for the event were the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Jo Daviess County Farm Bureau.

Speakers included Adrian Wydeven, wildlife biologist and Wisconsin wolf recovery expert; Michelle LaRue, executive director of the Cougar Network and University of Minnesota researcher; Doug Dufford, IDNR’s coordinator of large carnivore surveillance and response; Craig Bloomquist, US Department of Agriculture expert on managing conflicts with large carnivores in Illinois; and Jay Solomon, University of Illinois Extension’s environmental stewardship educator.

The speakers provided identification guidelines for these carnivores and discussed their current ranges and habitat needs.  They were in consensus that breeding populations of these species in Northwestern Illinois, if they occur at all, are likely years or decades in the future.  In the meantime, the IDNR, under Doug’s leadership, is creating a response plan for public and livestock encounters with the lone individuals which are expected to continue passing through or living here temporarily.  And the University of Illinois Extension website, Living with Wildlife, will continue to provide updated IDNR contact information for those wishing to report sightings, at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife .

Upcoming Events

Bonfire on the Bluff

January 27 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

JDCF and Fever River Outfitters invite you and your entire family to Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve for Bonfire on the Bluff, a great outdoor adventure on Saturday, January 27th, 2018 from 5:00-8:00 PM.  This event offers you the opportunity to see Casper Bluff as never before. Come hike candle-lit trails, watch the beautiful […] Read More

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JDCF Annual Meeting

April 7 @ 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm

The public is invited to JDCF’s annual meeting on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 beginning with a social hour at 4:30 PM.  Our keynote speaker will be Jon Greendeer, Former President of the Ho-Chunk Nation.  The cost is $45/per person and includes a buffet dinner.  Cash bar available. Please call the JDCF office at 815.858.9100 for […] Read More

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Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary Grand Opening

June 2 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join us for the grand opening of our newest preserve, a 405-acre bird sanctuary donated to JDCF by former Stockton resident Nancy Hamill Winter.  To date, there have been documented sightings of over 100 different bird species at Valley of Eden. Notable Illinois species of conservation concern include the Henslow’s sparrow, bobolink, red-headed woodpecker, and northern […] Read More

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Meteors on the Mound

August 11 @ 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Join JDCF and the Planetary Studies Foundation to catch a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower from atop Horseshoe Mound on Saturday, August 11th from 7-11 PM. Enjoy family-friendly activities and learn about meteors before the sunset ushers in the celestial show! The event will be cancelled if it is raining, so please check jdcf.org […] Read More

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