Background Image


Endangered Species


Grass pink orchid

Lake County is home to more endangered and threatened species than any other county in Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, a species will be listed as threatened or endangered when it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Species included in the Federal list of Endangered or Threatened Species
  • Species proposed for Federal Endangered or Threatened Species that occur in Illinois
  • Species that were formerly widespread in Illinois but have been nearly extirpated from the State due to habitat destruction, collecting, or other pressures resulting from the development of Illinois.
  • Species that exhibit very restricted geographic ranges of which Illinois is part
  • Species that exhibit restricted habitats or low populations in Illinois
  • Species that are significant disjuncts in Illinois (i.e. Illinois population is far removed from the rest of the species' range)

Visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for a complete list of threatened and endangered species.

Protecting our Native Species

Creating habitat for valuable wildlife in a world where space is limited by constant growth and development is a difficult task. We can work together to restore and protect our natural habitats and the plants and animals that depend on them.

Education is Key

Educate and become educated on ways to coexist with wildlife. Learn more »

Programs and events are available that can teach you about native landscaping, how to identify species in your area and around the world, the differences between native and non-native species, and the natural resource management tools that are implemented to restore native habitat. Visit our calendar for a list of upcoming programs and events.


One person can make a difference for the species within a prairie, wetland or woodland. Hundreds of people over thousands of hours can make all the difference. Learn more »

Participate in brush cutting and help eliminate invasive species. Restore habitat by taking part in a group planting of native trees, shrubs and other plants. Help guide a bird walk or assist our environmental educators. The opportunities are endless. Learn more about volunteering with us today.

Create Backyard Habitat

The decisions we make when landscaping our yards determine what kinds of wildlife live there and whether or not we can peacefully co-exist with them. Learn more »

Explore ways to share land with wildlife and revel in the joy and value it brings to your life. Even a tiny beetle can keep crop-damaging pests out of your garden. Landscaping for wildlife and planting native species makes your home a more inviting atmosphere not only for you, your family and friends, but also for songbirds, butterflies and other valuable critters.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Invest

It's as simple as one, two, three and even four. Americans generate more waste year after year, and landfills are reaching their maximum capacities. Not only is development encroaching on wildlife habitat, but waste is also taking a toll. Simply reducing consumption can benefit wildlife and human habitat. Learn more »

  • Consume and throw away fewer products
  • Buy longer lasting, durable products
  • Reuse items by repairing them, donating them or selling them
  • Reuse an item for the same purpose you bought it for or find other creative ways to use it
  • Participate in local recycling programs, turning materials that would otherwise be wasted into valuable resources
  • Search out ecologically responsible companies that have been given the "green" stamp of approval for your investing choices
  • Flowers

    Lake County Nature Blog

    Connect with seasonal nature observations on our Nature Blog »

  • naturecamleft

    Lake County Nature Cam

    See into the lives of local wildlife with the Nature Cam.