Monitor Wildlife:

Bird Survey

Audubon Chicago Region and the Bird Conservation Network (BCN) work together to raise awareness of the conservation needs of birds throughout our region by educating the public and working with policy makers to improve bird habitat.

Monitoring projects include the ongoing BCN Survey, and the Shrubland Blitz. Contact Lee Ramsey, 847.501.4683 to join.

To learn more about the organizations, visit the websites of the BCN or Audubon Chicago Region.

Calling Frog Survey

Years ago, we had scant knowledge of the status and distribution of frogs and toads within the Chicago region. Now, thanks to the Calling Frog Survey, nearly 150 dauntless data collectors are trained to monitor the Chicago region's wetlands in search of the 13 species of frogs and toads that live here. Some of us also look for salamanders, snakes, and turtles.

Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network

The Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network is a diverse group of volunteers who, over more than 15 years, have identified and counted butterflies, running more than 3,000 routes on sites in Illinois. These investigators collect data that are valuable to scientists, researchers and land managers in evaluating how restoration practices and other changes affect butterfly populations. Contact Tom Peterson, 630.443.8604 or Karen Wilson.

Plants of Concern

Administered by staff and volunteers of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Plants of Concern trains volunteers to monitor populations of threatened or endangered plants. Information about habitat quality and disturbance levels helps reveal the factors that influence rare plant populations. Contact Rachel Goad, 847.835.6927.

Plant Community Monitoring

The 2003 Woods Audit assessed the status of the upland forests and woodlands of Chicago Wilderness. The 2005 Grassland Audit turned to prairies and grasslands to obtain a region wide assessment of their condition. We also conduct ongoing monitoring of selected restoration areas. Contact Dan Jacobson, 847.328.1250.

Dragonfly Monitoring Network

Network volunteers monitor dragonfly and damselfly populations at public and private sites, in the tristate area. The data is shared with local naturalists. Please visit the Illinois Odonate Survey for details. Everyone interested in becoming a monitor is encouraged to contact Gareth Blakesley, 708.361.1873.

Project Squirrel

You are invited to join Project Squirrel, a Citizen
Science program for all ages. Participation only takes a few minutes—simply log on to tell us about the squirrels in your neighborhood. Join people all across Chicagoland as we learn more about the ecology of our neighborhoods through the eyes of squirrels.

For more information visit Project Squirrel or contact Steve Sullivan.

Photograph by Vic Berardi

Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch

The Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch is a group of volunteers who share a love of raptors, a drive to learn more about them and a desire to share their passion with others.

Hawk watchers identify and count south bound migrating diurnal raptors and Turkey Vultures annually from the last weekend of August until the end of November. Weather permitting, the site is monitored for at least 4 hours every day between 6 AM and sunset.

Guests and field trips are always welcome.


Share photographs and data on bees in Illinois (and eventually the whole country) in order to get a better sense of bee demographics.