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Herons persist in Chicago wetlands despite exposure to banned chemicals
Date:1/16/2008

counted 447 black-crowns in Lake Calumet wetlands in 2005, the last year for which data are available.

Numbers of black-crowned night-herons and other colonial fish-eating birds had declined nationally and in Illinois by the 1960s. Many populations started to rebound after the ban on DDT. Illinois populations of black-crowned night-herons did not experience this comeback, however.

Many of the remaining heron colonies are found in or near industrial areas, Levengood said.

Wetlands have persisted in these areas because they were out on the back 40 of some company and people generally didnt have access, he said. These urban industrialized sites provide needed habitat, Levengood said, but are also contaminated and degraded.

Urbanites are beginning to discover these areas, and want to clean them up for wildlife and humans to use, he said. Chicagos Department of Environment is leading a drive to reclaim parts of the Lake Calumet wetlands, an effort that prompted the current study.


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Contact: Diana Yates
diya@uiuc.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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