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.