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Illinois' Natural Resources Trading Cards

Representatives of 63 natural resources found in Illinois are included in all seven sets of the Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, insects, plants, fungi, fossils and protists are shown, depending on the set number. You will note that while most common names are shown with an associated scientific name, others are not. In some groups it is not always possible to determine the scientific name for a species without careful examination of a specimen. Common practice for species in these groups is to list the order, family or other classification category instead of the scientific name.

The cards are marked to indicate which of the three major habitat types in Illinois each item is most often associated with: aquatic; woodland; or prairie. Use the icon on the card to help you determine the habitat type: butterfly for prairie; pine cone for woodland; water/fish for aquatic.

The back of each card gives information about the classification, Illinois range, size, habitat, food and special features of the pictures species.

All sets are currently available. The Illinois' Natural Resources Trading Cards Set #7 Poster is also available. Teachers in Illinois schools may request these sets and the poster by written request on school letterhead.

IDNR Education

One Natural Resources Way

Springfield, IL  62702

If you have suggestions for use, please let us know! Send your ideas to

Suggestions for Use

​While the main objective of these cards is to supplement teaching science and social science components of the Next Generation Science Standards and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, they can also be used to enhance learning in other subject areas. Listed below are a few suggestions for using the cards. Do not be limited by these ideas. Use the cards to assist with your own curriculum in the manners that work best for you. If you have all six sets of cards, you can combine them to achieve the best results. Click the link below for appropriate grade level and subject.