Wildlife Federation

Wildlife Management Area

There are many partners in this struggle, including the United States Fish and Wildlife Services, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and state wildlife agencies. Funds are available for conserving and restoring wildlife populations throughout America for each individual state. However, before any state can receive this funding they must have developed a "wildlife action plan" better known as the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, by October 1, 2005. A wildlife action plan assesses the wildlife and habitat health, identifies any problems the wildlife and habitat face and describes the actions needed to rectify the problems and conserve the wildlife and habitat in question. Congress has identified eight elements that each wildlife action plan is required to have, which will better aid in identifying the plans of action to take and why. These eight elements are: Information on the Distribution and Abundance of Species of Wildlife; Descriptions of Extent and Conditions of Habitats and Community Types; Descriptions o Problems an Priority Research and Survey Efforts; Descriptions of Conservation Actions; Proposed Plans for Monitoring Species Identified and Their Habitats; Description of Procedures to Review the Plan; Plans for Coordinating the Development, Implementation, Review and Revision of the Plan with Federal, State, Local Agencies and Indian Tribes; and Broad Public Participation. Illinois had 249 aquatic and terrestrial wildlife species classified as wildlife species of greatest conservation need (GCN). Of these 249 GCN species, 29 are mussels, 80 are fishes, 14 are amphibians, 23 are reptiles, 83 are birds and 20 are mammals. Problems or threats to the GCN species populations in Illinois are commercial and industrial development, landfill construction or operation, dams, road construction, urban development, water diversion, municipal and industrial point source, commercial harvest, conversion of riparian forests, excessive non-commercial harvest or collection, channel maintenance and confined animal operations. Other problems or threats to GCN species are crop production practices, excessive groundwater withdrawal, fire suppression, management of or for certain species, channel alteration, exotic species, parasites, pathogens, recreation, grazing, predation, forestry activities and resource extraction. The Illinois Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy has addressed these problems or threats to the GCN species population with conservation actions.

Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo

Some common birds that are sighted in the Smokies are: Northern Cardinal, Eastern Screech Owl, American Gold Finch, Yellow Throated Vireo, Wild Turkey, Orchard Oriole, Black Throated Blue Warbler, and Purple Finch. The only bird in the National Park that is listed as a "threatened" species is the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. The most exciting and popular animal on the "to-see" list of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains is the black bear. While certainly impressive, it is not the largest mammal in the Park. The title of largest animal in the Park goes to the Elk, which were reintroduced to the Cataloochee area of the Park in 2001 in an effort to create a habitat that more closely resembles one before humans over hunted and eliminated certain species from the area. River Otters have been reintroduced as well. Bobcats are the only member of the cat family documented in the Park, although there have been reports of mountain lion sightings by visitors. White tail deer are probably the most commonly seen mammal, especially in the Cades Cove section of the Park. There are only two species of poisonous snake in Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Timber Rattler and Copperhead. There are a number of other common snakes, including the Northern Water Snake (which looks like a cottonmouth, but cottonmouth's are not found in the Park), Corn Snake, Garter Snake, and umerous black or brown snakes that eat rodents. Common turtles found in the Smokies are the Box and Snapping Turtles.