The “Living with Wildlife in Illinois” website (http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/wildlife/) is a collaborative project between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and University of Illinois Extension. Additional input was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (APHIS, Wildlife Services), Illinois Department of Public Health, and Illinois Department of Agriculture. The website is designed to increase Illinois residents’ appreciation of native wildlife, to be a tool to assist people with human-wildlife conflicts, and to make people aware of any applicable Illinois conservation laws. The site also makes it easier for biologists, agencies, and organizations to answer questions about Illinois wildlife and to resolve problems with wildlife.
Content on the website is divided into several sections including:
Identify the Animal Causing a Problem
Seasonal Behaviors of Wildlife Prevent Problems with Wildlife
Solve a Problem with Wildlife
Directory of Illinois Wildlife
Sick, Injured, or Orphaned Wildlife
And much more!
The “Find a Wildlife Professional” page provides contact information for IDNR District Wildlife Biologists, Regional Biologists, and Conservation Police Officers, as well as licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators and licensed wildlife rehabilitators by region and/or county. (Reprinted from UIUS news release.)
Did you know that every time you put out your garbage or take your recyclables to the curb you can help - or harm - wild animals?
Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or the country, your wild neighbors are attracted to items you dispose of every day. Glass jars still smelling of peanut butter, plastic containers with a bit of yogurt at the bottom, plastic food wrap that looks and smells good enough to eat, and plastic six-pack rings all can be deadly to curious - and hungry - squirrels, birds, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and all kinds of other animals.
Wide-mouth glass and plastic containers can become death traps when animals get their heads stuck inside and suffocate, especially if the containers are narrow at the top. Birds and other animals can easily become entangled in plastic rings, causing injury or death. And any animal (even your own pet) can suffer and die after ingesting plastic packaging that causes an internal blockage. Plastic wrap can be particularly deadly to marine animals and birds, who mistake it for food floating on the surface of the water.
Luckily, it's easy to safely dispose of containers and wrappings - and it takes only a minute or two.
RINSE AND RECYCLE
Rinse all recyclable glass and plastic containers to remove any food remnants or odors. Any container can be a danger, depending on the size of the container and the size of the animal. Some animals, such as skunks, are particularly vulnerable because their front legs are too short to push containers off their heads.
Even containers you're going to throwaway should be thoroughly rinsed before disposal to avoid attracting wildlife to your trash.
CUT OR CRUSH
Cut up and/or crush plastic containers before you put them in your garbage or recycling bin.
Cut apart each ring in plastic six-pack carriers and other similar packaging.
CLOSE AND COVER
Make sure plastic food wrap is rinsed and contained inside a closed garbage bag. Never throw plastic packaging in open trash cans.
Put garbage out for collection in plastic – or metal trash containers with secure covers.
AT HOME OR AWAY
If you're hiking, camping, traveling-or simply taking a walk in the park-dispose of containers and plastic wrap responsibly. Better yet, carry them home for disposal.
Ask others, including office building administrators, school cafeteria managers, and your favorite restaurants, to dispose of their trash responsibly.
FOR MORE INFORMATION about living humanely with your wild neighbors, contact The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Courtesy of The Humane Society of the United States.