UIS professor relocates 12 ospreys to Illinois to establish population
University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) Professor Tih-Fen Ting recently relocated 12 6-week-old ospreys from Virginia to Illinois with the help of the Illinois Audubon Society in an effort to create a self-sustaining, viable breeding population.
The society donated $3,000 to help transport the birds by plane. Ting and others will work to establish a self-sustaining breeding population of ospreys in Illinois. Ting’s work is further supported by a multi-year U.S. Fish and Wildlife grant awarded through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
“Biological diversity is important to the long-term well-being of human health and communities,” Ting said. “Efforts to recover threatened or endangered species, such as ospreys in Illinois, are necessary to keep biodiversity strong so that future generations can benefit from these wonderful creatures.”
The ospreys, fish-eating birds of prey on the endangered list, are located across North America, but rarely breed in Illinois and are vulnerable to climate change. The National Audubon Society predicts that nearly 80 percent of the ospreys' population will be gone by 2080.
“We’re happy to help with this important project," Tom Clay, executive director of the Illinois Audubon Society, said. "This gift, I believe, will make our members proud, plus it has the potential to educate many more people regarding our effort to bring back this tremendous bird of prey."