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Conservation Opportunity Areas

Illinois' Wildlife Action Plan includes an initial set of Conservation Opportunity Areas (COAs) that are priority areas for conserving Illinois' Species in Greatest Need of Conservation (SGNC).  COAs are defined as locations:

  • with significant existing or potential wildlife and habitat resources;
  • where partners are willing to plan, implement, and evaluate conservation actions;
  • where financial and human resources are available;
  • where conservation is motivated by an agreed-upon conservation purpose and set of objectives.

These sites, and the opportunities and priorities for conservation within them, are detailed in the following pages. While COAs have special importance in conserving Illinois' SGNC, not all of the species occur within this set of locations, and restricting conservation actions to these areas will not necessarily maintain viable populations or meet the objectives outlined in Illinois' Wildlife Action Plan.

Use the Region Locator Map below to view each region.

Regional Map Locator NE Conservation Opportunity Area NW Conservation Opportunity Area EC Conservation Opportunity Area WC Conservation Opportunity Area S Conservation Area