Duties and Responsibilities
Duties of the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board (Board) are specified in the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Act.
The Board is required to review and revise the Illinois List of Endangered and Threatened Species as warranted, but not less than every five years.
Illinois List. The Board may list as endangered or threatened those species of animals or plants that reproduce in or otherwise significantly use (as for migration or overwintering) the area which is now the State of Illinois, if there is scientific evidence that the species qualify as endangered or threatened as defined by the Act. Federally designated endangered and threatened species are automatically placed on the Illinois List. The first Illinois List was published in 1981. Since then, there have been eight five-year reviews and revisions of the entire List, as well as some administrative and editorial revisions, resulting in the current (2020) Illinois List of 486 endangered and threatened species.
Illinois List Review and Revision. During the five-year review and revision the Board may add new species to the List, change the status of listed species (from endangered to threatened or threatened to endangered), and remove species from the List. The Board's listing decisions must be based on the best available scientific evidence. Factors considered when evaluating a species' status include changes in population size, changes in its range within Illinois, whether it occurs at protected sites, any known threats to its existence, as well as features of its life history that might have a bearing on survival. The Board may remove from the Illinois List any non-federally-listed species for which there is satisfactory scientific evidence that its wild or natural populations are no longer endangered or threatened in Illinois or that it has been extirpated from the state. A public hearing is held to receive comments and evidence before the Board finalizes its listing decisions. Follow this link for further information on the Illinois List review and revision process.
The Board is required to advise the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (Department) on methods of assistance, protection, conservation, and management of endangered and threatened species and their habitat, and on related matters.
The Department is required to seek the advice of the Board and provide written response to any Board comments regarding the issuance and terms of an Incidental Take Authorization for endangered and threatened species.
The Department is required to consult with and gain written approval from the Board when promulgating Administrative Rules for endangered and threatened species permits.
The Board collaborates with the Department to develop recovery planning documents for endangered and threatened species. Recovery planning documents are used by the Board in its review and revision of the Illinois List and in advising the Department on the conservation of listed species. The Board and Department also work together in implementing recovery actions.
Board staff may conduct and participate in field surveys and research to monitor endangered and threatened plants and animals to gather information for the Board's review and revision of the Illinois List and for advising the Department on the conservation of these species. When the Board has adequate funding, it may also provide grants for surveys and research.
The Board is required to hold meetings no less often than quarterly.
Board meetings are conducted in compliance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act.
The Board is required to produce and make available a report of its accomplishments biennially.
The most recent biennial report covers the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020.