Test Your Illinois Wildlife Knowledge | National Wildlife Week

Test Your Illinois Wildlife Knowledge | National Wildlife Week

  • Extraordinary Living
  • 04/5/22

National Wildlife Week was established in 1938 for the purpose of honoring the wildlife and natural habitats all around us, and to promote causes and organizations that work tirelessly to help conserve and restore our nation’s wildlife. This week we encourage you to get in touch with local groups and organizations to do your part in keeping Illinois nature safe, whether that be through donating to a worthy conservation cause, volunteering for a cleanup project or other community effort, or educating yourself more on the importance of protecting our local wildlife. 

To get you and your family in the National Wildlife Week spirit, we have created a fun trivia quiz to help you learn some fascinating facts about the animals and plant life that are native to our beautiful state. Read on to test your nature knowledge!

What is the official state animal of Illinois?

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The state animal of Illinois is the white-tailed deer, one of the most common mammals in the United States. This deer gets its name because it raises its tail, whose underside is white, as it runs.

 

How many species of birds live in Illinois year-round, or come to the state to breed?

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Around 450 species! There are many varieties of waterfowl that take advantage of the state's multiple bodies of water. These include birds associated with the ocean, such as seagulls. There are also birds of prey such as eagles, ospreys and owls. Owls include the eastern screech-owl with its piercing call, the barred owl, and the snowy owl.

 

What is the state flower of Illinois?

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Viola sororia, also known as the common blue violet, has historically been used for food and medicine. The Cherokee used it to treat colds and headaches. The leaves are high in vitamins A and C, and the flowers have been made into jelly and candy.

 

This endangered North American bird possesses an orange bill with a black tip, a black crown stripe, and black neck band, and hides in plain sight among the soft sandy shores of the Great Lakes. What is its name?

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The Piping Plover, or Charadrius melodus. This little round bird is endangered due to habitat loss, disturbance, and predation, and remains one of the rarest shorebirds left in North America. Learn more about the conservation efforts that are being made to protect this species here.

 

One of the most common Illinois animals is the bobcat. How fast can this feline run when it is on the hunt?

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Bobcats can run at speeds up to 25 to 30 miles an hour! They are also skilled at swimming and can leap as far as 12 feet to catch prey..

 

The painted turtle, the Illinois state reptile, lives a life of leisure. How many hours a day do these relaxing reptiles spend basking in the sun?

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Painted turtles bask in the sun for five to six hours a day! When they aren't sun bathing, they're enjoying a meal made up of fish, worms, insects and aquatic plants. Interestingly, painted turtles can't freely move their tongues on land, so they must eat in the water to manipulate food and wash it down.

 

Illinois was originally coined “The Prairie State” for a reason. In 1820, how many acres of prairie land existed within the state?

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Illinois once had 22 million acres of prairie land and 14 million acres of forests, and all but nine counties had large areas of prairies. Over the centuries, the majority of these prairie lands have been converted to agricultural or urban uses. Illinois prairies currently only cover about 6,100 acres, and all existing prairies tend to be small, with 83% of existing prairies being smaller than 10 acres each. Learn more about how to protect and maintain our state's beautiful prairies here.

 

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