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Wild Thing ... you make an outdoorsman sing

Chicago Wilderness Conference for People Nature 2013. | Special Sun-Times Media

Chicago Wilderness Conference for People and Nature 2013. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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YOU TOO CAN BE PART OF STUDY ON SQUIRRELS

Become a citizen scientist at www.projectsquirrel.org and join with the University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago Academy of Sciences, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, The Chicago Wilderness Initiative Leave No Child Inside and the Chicago Herpetology Society for the study on squirrels.

They have a fun page where people send in pictures and Lake County’s own Bob from Beach Park got them to do a double-take.

Look for his March 2008 picture in the gallery where his squirrel has a black body and red tail, which shows that rare mixing that can happen in the body and tail colors of gray squirrels.

Melanistic grays tend to have black bodies and tails, but can sometimes have gray, orange, or even white tails.

The project is free to join and you just record your observations on the website.

Become a citizen scientist at www.projectsquirrel.org and join with the University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago Academy of Sciences, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, The Chicago Wilderness Initiative Leave No Child Inside and the Chicago Herpetology Society for the study on squirrels. They have a fun page where people send in pictures and Lake County’s own Bob from Beach Park got them to do a double-take. Look for his March 2008 picture in the gallery where his squirrel has a black body and red tail, which shows that rare mixing that can happen in the body and tail colors of gray squirrels. Melanistic grays tend to have black bodies and tails, but can sometimes have gray, orange, or even white tails.

Updated: February 20, 2013 6:07AM



Wild Thing, You make my heart sing, You make everything, groovy.

Ten points if you can name that song. It’s “Wild Thing” by The Troggs.

I love the logo with the Fox and “Wild Thing” is the name of the Chicago Wilderness Conference for People & Nature being held on Saturday, Feb. 2 at the University of Illinois-Chicago on the city’s near west side inside Student Center East, 750 South Halsted. Parking is $8.25 for the day.

“Wild Things will feature more than 90 large and small-group sessions drawn from real-life experiences with everything from the nitty gritty of habitat management, botany, and zoology to advocacy, culture, history and backyard and neighborhood ecology,” it says at the HabitatProject.org website.

The sessions are interactive so bring your questions. There will also be exhibits, poster sessions, multimedia, and book signings

The keynote speakers will be Doug Tallamy, who is currently professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, and Joel S. Brown, an evolutionary ecologist and professor in UIC’s Biological Sciences Department.

Tallamy’s address is titled “Networks for life: Your Role in Stitching Together the Natural World.” Brown’s is titled “Evolutionary and Ecological Dynamics in Urban Wildlife.”

Some of the session titles include “Hackmatack: A New National Wildlife Refuge for the Chicago Wilderness Region,” and “The 36-year History of Volunteer Stewardship in Chicago Wilderness (Now it Can Be Told!)” by Steve Packard.

He is a legendary founding director of the Chicago area programs of the National Audubon Society and he teaches at Northwestern University. More significantly, for three decades he’s been known for creative approaches to on-the-ground conservation action like prairie restorations.

He also has done scientific research, education, and grass-roots constituency for the lands known as Chicago Wilderness. It has organized the “Habitat Project” through which hundreds of “citizen scientists” work with scores of leadership professionals in monitoring and protecting more than 200,000 acres of conservation land, according to his biography for a prairie preservation conference where he was a keynote speaker.

Other interesting tiles include:

■ “Spring vs. Fall Landbird Migration in Chicago: How are They Different and Why Does it Matter?”

■ “Community Engagement Through Monarch Conservation.”

■ “The Mouse and the Oak Tree: How Very Little Creatures Affect the Reproduction of Very Big Trees.”

■ “Grassland and Shrubland Birds in the Chicago Region: Ascertaining Habitat Quality Through Studies of Habitat Use and Nest Predation.”

■ “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: How to Evaluate and Restore Natural Areas.”

The cost of the conference is $40 for adults and $25 for students.

You can go online to register or print out a form and fax it to the conference organizers. There’s a $10 box-lunch option with a vegetarian option.

For more information, call (847) 328-3910 ext. 21.

Wild thing, I think I love you

But I wanna know for sure.



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