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Edge Habitat


Edge habitat is found where one habitat type meets another. For example, where the tree line of a forest meets a farm field is edge habitat. Roadsides, thickets, barnyards, old fields, ditches, fence rows, building ledges and rooftops, vacant lots, urban areas, power line corridors, borders of streams, rivers, ponds, swamps and lakes and many other areas qualify as edge. Edge habitat is very widespread and is used by many species of wildlife for food and/or shelter. Migrating species also use these areas for food, shelter and to rest. In some areas of Illinois edge habitat may be the most commonly found wildlife habitat.

What Lives Here?

Many species take advantage of the transition between two habitat types and live in or utilize edge habitat. Plant species that live in edge habitat may receive more light and precipitation than those that live within a specific habitat, like a forest. Some plants typical of edge habitat are black-berry, black locust, honey locust, curly dock, catnip and catalpa. Animals that utilize edge habitat include, but are not limited to, the broadhead skink, Cope’s gray treefrog, the eastern spadefoot, the green frog, the alder flycatcher, the black-billed cuckoo, the brown thrasher, Carolina wren, gray bat, eastern cottontail, woodchuck, eastern box turtle and rat snake.


hiking, wildlife observation, photography

Where is it Found?

Edge habitat can be found everywhere in Illinois. You can see it wherever you travel in the state.