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Sinkhole Plain

Sinkhole Plain

Protected lands - Fogelpole Cave Nature Preserve, Illinois Caverns State Natural Area

Priority resources - sinkhole ponds, caves

Conservation philosophy - maintain and protect in perpetuity the karst topography and underlying subterranean ecosystems; protect and proactively manage for the unique flora and fauna native to these cave ecosystems; use sound management decisions guided by historical conditions

Objectives - enroll unprotected cave systems and critical habitats for endangered/threatened species into long term protection plans; generate funding for biologist positions to provide personnel needed to proactively manage these communities

Priority actions - establish buffers around sinkholes and critical groundwater recharge areas to protected water quality; increase education and technical assistance for protection of sinkhole and cave habitat

Partners - Sinkhole Plain Ecosystem Partnership (defunct), karst working groups, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Conservation resources - C2000 grants, Wildlife Preservation Fund, Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, Natural Areas Acquisition Fund

Research, monitoring & evaluation - research and management can be conducted by Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Southern Illinois University (Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses), Southwest Illinois College, and the Illinois Natural History Survey