The conservation community relies heavily on volunteers to not only restore natural areas, but to help gauge the success of our restoration efforts. Volunteers team up with experienced stewards and scientists to monitor the recovery of native habitats, or to record data on rare species of wildflowers, butterflies and other wildlife. Below is a listing of several ecological monitoring programs offered by various organizations. Monitoring of species not only provides valuable information to assist with management decisions, but provides an exceptional opportunity for volunteers to learn more about that species and how to protect it.
Dragonfly Monitoring Network
Learn about and monitor these predators of the wetlands. This project includes both dragonfly and damselfly populations.
Bird Conservation Network
Learn scientific protocols and monitor bird populations throughout the Chicago region during the breeding season and throughout the year.
Learn about and monitor the critters that help to keep our streams and rivers healthy in Illinois.
Chicago Bird Collision Monitors
Join this conservation project, staffed entirely by volunteers, dedicated to the protection of migratory birds through rescue, advocacy and outreach.
Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch
Identify and count south-bound migrating diurnal raptors and Turkey vultures annually from the last weekend in August until the end of November.
Monitor invertebrates including monarchs, fireflies, bumble bees much more.
Learn about these pollinators and contribute data about honeybee and bumblebee populations.
Learn how to protect monarchs through education, conservation and research opportunities.
Illinois Mycological Society
Join a foray to look for mushrooms in the field or participate in monthly evening programs to learn about fungi.
Submit photos and monitor native squirrels in your neighborhood. This project is suitable for all ages!