Native Illinois Animals
Illinois is quite biodiverse and as such, this 2,000 acre native species park hosts ambassadors of all five vertebrate animal groups: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish!
We are currently redeveloping our online materials for all our native species. Please check back soon. In the meantime, please visit the park to experience our animals in person.
The Mammals of the Park:
- Wildlife Prairie is proud to host most of the native mammal species that once called Illinois home. Their enclosures were designed with their nature habitats in mind. From the 86-acre pasture of the extirpated bison and elk to the more rare in the wild, species such as cougars and river otters, to the extirpated black bears or our eastern timber wolf pack, you're sure to see something that touches your inner self. We even have some of the more common species such asÂ coyotes and red foxes. And our pioneer farmstead allows petting of goats and sheep.
The Birds of the Park:
- Within Illinois, you may chance to see upwards of 438 bird species. While we house just a tiny fraction of the number of total Illinois avian inhabitants, we are proud of our eagles, hawks, and owls.
The Reptiles of the Park:
- Housed among our educational, activity-driven Snakes-N-More Exhibit, you'll find many species of native reptiles, all safely held behind glass (for their protection). When you slither on in, you'll find snakes such as the Western Hognose and Copperhead and turtles such as the Alligator Snapper and the Red-Eared Slider.
The Amphibians of the Park:
- You'll just want to hop on in to this exhibit. The Park houses several native amphibian species such as western chorus frogs and American toads. An interactive board teaches how and why frogs sing and you can choose which frog species you want to hear.
The Fish of the Park:
- In the Park's Visitors Center, you'll love our native species fish tank! We're housing native Illinois fish so that you can watch them, up close and personal. You'll see such species as our official state fish, the blue gill and the unusual American Eel.
At Turtle Pond, you can not only observe, but feed native Illinois fish such as catfish, large mouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and shortnose gar.