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

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 and current Executive Director of Heritage Preservation of the Ho-Chunk Nation.  Jon is a proud member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a student of the Ho-Chunk […] Read More

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Fantastic Frogs & Friends Frog Walk

April 27 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Bring the whole family to Fantastic Frogs & Friends, a frog walk beginning on the east side of the Meeker Street footbridge along the Galena River Trail in downtown Galena, IL. Learn all about frogs and toads, join us in a toast to spring, and then take part in a guided hike down the trail […] Read More

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Bluebird & Red-headed Woodpecker Workshop

April 28 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Details to come.

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JDCF’s Portage Site: A Center of Native American History

May 12 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join archaeologist Phil Millhouse and Chloris Lowe, former President of the Ho-Chunk Nation, for a guided tour of JDCF’s Portage Preserve including the Hopewell burial mounds.  Portage is not open to the public and so this is a rare opportunity to learn about the site from our expert tour leaders.  RSVP’s to info@nulljdcf.org are required […] Read More

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