What have we accomplished in 2019?
We started the year off presenting at Starved Rock State Park in January, then continued to present throughout the year for various organizations across Northern Illinois, including:
• Lake County Audubon Meeting in Libertyville, Illinois
• Wild Things Conference in Rosemont, Illinois
• McHenry County Conservation District Staff Meeting
• Go Green Drinks discussion in Barrington, Illinois
• Sand Bluff Bird Observatory’s Birdfest 2019 in Durand, Illinois
• Illinois Association of Community College Biologists at their 47th Annual Conference at Starved Rock State Park
• Severson Dells Nature Center in Rockford, Illinois
And just last week we traveled to Springfield Illinois to meet with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources ("IDNR") Director Colleen Callahan and her staff to discuss the status of bobcats in our state.
Although there were no changes made to the administrative rule, Colleen listened to our concerns and we appreciate the opportunity to have had the discussion. Some of the concerns with the administrative rule that we expressed included how decisions are made, transparency of information, and the expansion of the geographical areas to hunt/trap.
Earlier this year, the IDNR made changes to wildlife code drastically changing the geographic zones in which bobcat taking would be allowed despite recent research demonstrating low population densities in west-central Illinois.
Preliminary findings from the bobcat study at Western Illinois University estimated bobcat density at 1.40 individuals (range = 1.00–2.02)/100 km 2. Their modeled bobcat density estimates are considerably below previously reported densities (30.5 individuals/100 km 2) within the state, and among the lowest yet recorded for the species.
We tried to bring media attention to this issue via:
WNIJ/NPR - https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/upcoming-bobcat-season-brings-questions-impact-wild-population
One Illinois: https://www.oneillinois.com/stories/2019/10/18/bobcat-season-looms-despite-lowered-population-estimates
We will continue to advocate for bobcats in Illinois!
What would we like to accomplish in 2020?
• Participate in more events to provide education on bobcats, please contact us if you would like us present - see calendar of events for our upcoming presentations
• Support bobcat rehabilitation, as needed
Most importantly, we would like to host a half day bobcat summit/conference in Illinois and bring together legislators, experts, and concerned citizens regarding the status of the bobcat hunting legislation in Illinois.
How can you help and be a part our #GivingTuesday campaign to continue to provide education and advocacy?
• Consider making a donation - donations can be made via our website of via a Facebook Giving Tuesday Campaign
We’re a 100% volunteer based organization and appreciate your support!!