Bird Conservation Region 22

Bird Conservation Region (BCR) #22 is known as the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie. This once vast habitat stretched from central Ohio west to eastern Nebraska and Kansas and included almost the entire state of Illinois. It was this “endless” prairie that earned Illinois the nickname of The Prairie State, a sad misnomer today.

Goose Lake Prairie, Illinois
Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area 2006

This bird conservation region also held a great oak savanna landscape that is today in serious peril. Some of the main threats include:

  • urbanization
  • recreational development
  • agricultural expansion

Birds like the Greater Prairie-Chicken and Henslow’s Sparrow still persist in this conservation region but need solid conservation efforts to stop their decline. In the Oak Savannah, Red-headed Woodpeckers are still fairly common but have been declining at a rapid pace.

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker

Some great places to find prairie habitat in BCR 22 are:

While much of the Tallgrass Prairies have been lost, there is still time to convert farmland into prairie. With a wide effort from private landowners as well as some government incentives, prairie conservation can increase, as well as the birds of the prairie.

Another view of Goose Lake Prairie
Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area 2006

4 thoughts on “Bird Conservation Region 22

  1. Good info, if sad. I live in one of the last remaining stands of longleaf pine savannah. Once it covered hundreds of millions of acres across the South. Now very few stands are left (perhaps 3-4 million acres, altogether.) Fortunately “The Nature Conservancy” has snatched up about 900 acres down the road from me & they’re working on restoring it to it’s natural state.

  2. Lana – without the Nature Conservancy, we would be in a much sadder state… hopefully they, along with millions of nature lovers will be able to conserve much more land!!

  3. Yes, kudos to TNC, certainly! My husband & I are seriously considering volunteering at our local site (the Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve.) If everyone did just a LITTLE, a whole lot would get done.

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