Wildlife Monitors

Be a Wildlife Monitor...

Welcome to the Friends of the Chicago River Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program. One of Friends’ fundamental goals is to help restore wildlife habitat in and along the Chicago River. Our wildlife habitat projects target species that are at risk due to habitat degradation and lack of available habitat. To learn more about Friends' wildlife initiatives, visit our program pages.

Working with scientists from the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Friends identified bats, osprey, and turtles as river-dependent species present in the river system whose reproductive success could benefit from our help.  As of 2017, Friends has installed  six maternity colony structures for bats, five osprey nesting platforms, and cleared130 acres of nesting habitat for turtles.

To learn more about these animals and others in the watershed, check out our ecology and wildlife web pages.

Check out our history of wildlife habitat initiatives in our program section.

How You Can Help Us...

To support our wildlife projects and evaluate their success, Friends has established a volunteer monitoring program for our habitat initiatives. If you would like to become a wildlife monitor, sign up today to become a Chicago River Eco-Warrior and stay tuned for updates or contact us at (312) 939-0490, ext 14.

Be a Wildlife Monitor...

2020 Wildlife Training Opportunities will be posted during the winter 2019-2020, so please check back.
Trainings will be in March and April 2020.

Friends would like to provide you with this meaningful opportunity and ensure that it is fun and educational. During the months of May, June, July, and August, we need your help to monitor bat houses, osprey poles, and turtle habitat. We would like to remind you that all results are important and we cannot predict if these animals will occupy these habitats; nevertheless, we are very hopeful and excited. Again, we would like to thank you for your participation and we look forward to hearing about your monitoring experiences.

Wildlife Monitor Data Sheets

If you are a current Wildlife Monitor, please use the following data sheets to submit your observations:
(These are fillable forms - download them to your device, complete them, save them and email them to Friends.)

Bat Monitoring Data Sheet
Osprey Monitoring Data Sheet
Turtle Monitoring Data Sheet