Thursday, May 17, 2007

Introduced Birds of Illinois

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus), Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido), Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), and Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) are all native to Illinois, but native populations have been supplemented to a greater or lesser extent by introductions or reintroductions, as described here (excerpts):
  • Ruffed Grouse in NW Illinois may represent a remnant native population or wild dispersals from Wisconsin or Iowa. A very small population in Pope County may be the result of late 1950’s or early 1960’s releases of wild-trapped birds. All other populations in Union and Alexander county or extreme western Jo Daviess County are the results of wild-trapped birds released during the period 1982-94 and are not considered established.

  • During the summers of 1991-98 Greater Prairie-Chickens from out-of-state were introduced into Illinois’ only remaining populations in Jasper and Marion counties.

  • The native Wild Turkey population in Illinois was extirpated in the early 1900’s. Turkeys were first reintroduced in the Shawnee Forest in 1959 from out-of-state stock. Once established there, Illinois birds have been and continue to be introduced to unpopulated locations throughout the state.

  • Peregrine Falcon was extirpated as a breeding species; the current breeding population is reintroduced.
Nine other species are known from established in Illinois solely as a result of human introductions: Mute Swan (Cygnus olor), Gray Partridge (Perdix perdix), Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), European Starling (Sturnus vulgarus), House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), and House Sparrow (Passer domesticus).

Illinois Ornithological Society. No date. Birds of Illinois.

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