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.
This fund is a voluntary contribution check-off option on the Illinois state income tax form. The funds have been used to support projects ranging from habitat enhancements to species restoration.
The Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund advisory committee approved $99,980 in funding for 26 projects for fiscal year 2014.
Ecological Services received $15,989 for surveying and updating of historical element occurrence records for plants in Region 5 of IDNR, which includes many counties including Marion and Saline counties.
IDNR received $8,000 for recovery of greater prairie chickens in Illinois. Prairie chicken numbers have declined drastically and the preservation of this species is now likely dependent upon augmenting the population with birds from other states. This includes parts of Marion County.