Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board met May 19
Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board met May 19.
Here is the minutes as provided by the board:
Board Members Present: Dr. Joyce Hofmann, Dr. Janice Coons, Dr. Jeremie Fant, Mr.
Bruce Ross-Shannon, Mr. Randy Schietzelt, Dr. Angelo Capparella, Dr. Tracy Evans (at 10:24),
Dr. Philip Willink, and Mr. Chris Young
Board Members Absent: None
Others Present: Mr. Bob Bluett (IDNR)
1 Call to Order, Roll Call of Board Members, and Introduction of Guests
Chair Hofmann called the meeting to order at 10:04 A.M. and read the roll call. Since seven
voting members were present at that time, there was a quorum. Chair Hofmann welcomed Bob
2 Adoption of Agenda
Mr. Schietzelt moved that the agenda be adopted as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr.
Ross-Shannon and carried by unanimous vote.
3 Approval of Minutes from the 173rd Meeting
Minutes of the 173rd meeting were distributed to Board members prior to the meeting. Chair
Hofmann asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes. Two minor corrections
were made. The minutes of the 173rd meeting were then approved as corrected.
4 Report from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Board members received a report on activities of the IDNR’s Office of Resource Conservation
and Office of Realty and Environmental Planning. Mr. Young presented additional information.
5 Report from the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
A report of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission was distributed prior to the meeting, but no
Commission representative was able to attend the meeting.
6 Report from the Chair of the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board
Chair Hofmann reported on her activities since the 173rd meeting date. These included inviting
experts to serve on ESTACs, distributing records from the Illinois Natural Heritage Biotics 5
Database to ESTAC members, attending two ESTAC meetings and a meeting of the Illinois
Nature Preserves Commission, and performing administrative review of petitions to change the
status of listed species as well as routine administrative tasks. She pointed out that agendas for
ESTAC meetings have been posted on the Board’s website and proposed posting the draft
minutes of the meetings since the committees will not meet again for several years and have no
other way to approve minutes.
7 Board Appointments
Chair Hofmann discussed current Board member terms and noted that one position remains
unfilled. The terms of Dr. Coons and Dr. Fant expired on May 15 and they will be applying for
8 Review of the Process for the Previous and Current Revisions of the Illinois List of
Endangered and Threatened Species
Chair Hofmann reviewed the current process for revising the Illinois List of Threatened and
Endangered Species. It was noted that the Endangered Species Technical Advisory Committees
(ESTACs) are crucial to the current review and revision process. They were not utilized for the
2014 revision when the Board’s Executive Director conducted the review of listed species. The
ESTACs submit petitions to the Board, but other individuals can also submit petitions. There
isn’t a mechanism for the ESTACs to review petitions. Following general discussion of the
process, Dr. Coons and Mr. Ross-Shannon agreed to prepare a draft outlining procedures for
reviewing and revising the Illinois List to update a section in the Board’s policy manual.
9 Schedule for the 2019 Revision of the Illinois List of Endangered and Threatened Species
Chair Hofmann pointed out that the revised Illinois List needs to be ready for legislative action in
2019. Most of the ESTACs for listed animals have already met so progress is being made. The
botanists on the Board will need to develop lists of experts for the plant ESTAC(s) and determine
a way to review the large number of currently listed plant species. The Board had previously
planned to stagger revisions of the animal and plant lists, but there isn’t enough time to do that
now. It can be considered for the following revision. Chair Hofmann broached the idea of
holding separate public hearings for animals and plants, but there was no consensus for doing
that. She also suggested that the Board consider setting a deadline for accepting petitions for the
2019 revision at the August meeting.
10 Reports on the Amphibian/Reptile, Fish, Aquatic Invertebrate, and Terrestrial
Invertebrate Endangered Species Technical Advisory Committee Meetings
Mr. Schietzelt reported on the meetings of the Amphibian/Reptile and Aquatic Invertebrate
ESTACs. The Amphibian/Reptile committee did not recommend any changes to the current
List, while the Aquatic Invertebrate committee voted to recommend changes for some mussels.
Chair Hofmann and Dr. Willink reported on meeting of the Fish ESTAC, which recommended
several changes to the current List. Chair Hofmann and Dr. Evans reported on the Terrestrial
Invertebrate ESTAC meeting. That committee recommended changing the status of the Elfin
Skimmer. Members of the Terrestrial Invertebrate ESTAC expressed some interest in meeting
again to consider possible additions to the List.
11 Preliminary Approval of a Petition to Change Status of the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
from Endangered to Threatened
The Board discussed granting preliminary approval for changing the status of the Osprey from
endangered to threatened. Drs. Douglas Stotz and Michael Ward submitted the petition for the
change. There has been a large increase in the number of nesting pairs in Illinois and elsewhere
in the species’ range. Mr. Young mentioned that one IDNR staff person thought the change
would be premature because of potential high mortality and the length of time until the birds
breed. Another staff member, however, considered the change reasonable. Chair Hofmann
pointed out that the species would still be protected under the Act. Mr. Schietzelt made a motion
to give preliminary approval to changing the status of the Osprey from endangered to threatened.
It was seconded by Dr. Evans and approved by unanimous vote.
12 Preliminary Approval of a Petition to Remove the Mississippi Kite (Ictinia
mississippiensis) from the Illinois List of Endangered and Threatened Species
The Board considered granting preliminary approval for the removal of the Mississippi Kite
from the Illinois List of Endangered and Threatened Species. Drs. Angelo Capparella and
Michael Ward submitted this petition. Dr. Capparella noted that there are many eBird records
for the Mississippi Kite in Illinois, but we don’t have details for them. Several people, for
example, could have reported the same bird. There are relatively few EORs in the Biotics 5
Database. Mr. Young mentioned that Southern Illinois University had started a survey for the
Mississippi Kite, but hasn’t completed it because of a lack of funding from the state. Dr. Coons
made a motion that the Board table the decision on the petition. The motion was seconded by
Mr. Schietzelt and approved by unanimous vote. Dr. Capparella offered to look for additional
information about the species.
13 Approval of Potential Members of the Endangered Species Technical Advisory
Committee for Mammals
Chair Hofmann presented a list of five experts to serve on the Mammal ESTAC and asked Mr.
Bluett if he had any additional suggestions. He provided the name of a mammalogist at Western
Illinois University. Upon a motion made by Mr. Ross-Shannon and seconded by Dr. Coons, the
following persons were approved by unanimous vote as potential members of the Mammal
ESTAC: Bob Bluett (IDNR), Dr. Justin Boyles (SIUC), Dr. Christopher Jacques (WIU), Joe
Kath (IDNR), Jean Mengelkoch (INHS), and Dr. Tih-Fen Ting (UIS). Chair Hofmann will
formally invite these experts to serve on the committee and inform them of the need to complete
Open Meetings Act training.
14 Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person)
No public comments were made.
15 Other Business
Chair Hofmann reminded Board members to submit time sheets and travel voucher forms.
16 Next Meeting
The next meeting will be 10 A.M on August 11, 2017 at Midewin.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:50 P.M.