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Title:Lower Sangamon River Valley : an inventory of the region's resources
Author(s):Sparks, Ruth
Subject(s):Natural resources surveys --Illinois --Sangamon River Valley
Conservation of natural resources --Illinois --Sangamon River Valley
Sangamon River Valley (Ill.)
Geographic Coverage:Illinois
Issue Date:2003
Publisher:Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources
Citation Info:Some people arrive with shotguns, others with telephoto lenses. They are looking for birds, and the Lower Sangamon River valley is one of the best places in the state to find them. Its central location on the Mississippi Flyway, its diverse habitats and largely rural landscape provide homes or rest areas for nearly every species of bird found in Illinois. Of the 300 species of birds found regularly in Illinois, all except one can be found here; more than half of them breed in the region. The bird species include 30 that are listed by the state as threatened or endangered (T&E species). Local economies are boosted by bird watchers seeking migrant species and hunters seeking southbound ducks and geese. (Sanganois Conservation Area has the third highest annual average duck harvest in the state, with more than 3,600 ducks taken each hunting season.) While other fauna don’t come anywhere near the occurrence of bird species, they are fairly well represented in the region. At least 29 reptiles (four T&E species) can be found here, almost half the reptiles found in Illinois. Sixteen amphibians (40 percent of the state total) are known or likely to occur here; only one, the Illinois chorus frog, is state-listed. Also recorded are 100 species of fish (four T&E), 44 species of mussels (nine T&E and one non-native) and 18 large crustaceans. Of the 59 mammals found in Illinois, 47 of them are known or likely to occur in the Lower Sangamon region. The bobcat is found here, as are both of the state’s listed mammals: the federally endangered Indiana bat, and the state threatened river otter. The river otter had been lost from the region, but was reintroduced into the Illinois River and has been accidentally trapped in Quiver Creek in Mason County. Some mammals, like the badger and the western harvest mouse, are seldom seen; others, like the whitetailed deer, are so abundant that they may be having an undesirable impact on the vegetation. As for the flora of the Lower Sangamon, 1,476—almost half the plants recorded in the state— can be found here. Twenty-eight are T&E species and 337 are non-native species. As described here, the Lower Sangamon River valley includes the lower 107 miles of the river (from its confluence with Mosquito Creek east of Springfield), the Sangamon’s two major tributaries, Salt Creek and the South Fork, and several smaller tributaries. Together they collect water from almost 4,575 square miles of land and drain it into the Illinois River north of Beardstown. The valley also includes the east bank of the lower middle Illinois River, a 50-mile long reach between the Mackinaw River on the north, downstream to the Sangamon River on the south. Overall, the area stretches from Bloomington-Normal in the northeast to the northern edge of Montgomery County in the southeast. Although portions of five natural divisions occur within the valley, most of the area lies within the Grand Prairie Division.
Series/Report:Critical Trends Assessment Program
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:These documents are a product of the Illinois state scientific surveys and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and has been selected and made available by the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They are intended solely for noncommercial research and educational use, and proper attribution is requested.
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-12-03
Identifier in Online Catalog:4721831
OCLC Identifier:(OCoLC)ocm54395264

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Critical Trends Assessment Program Regional Watershed Assessments
    Detailed assessments of 32 major watersheds in Illinois, conducted through the Critical Trends Assessment Program administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Includes contributions from each of the State Scientific Surveys which are now part of the Prairie Research Institute.

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