This collection of statutes provides that the title of all wild birds and mammals rests with the state. A new section in 2011 vests the Department of Natural Resources with the ability to control the possession and release of species deemed exotic or invasive. Other sections concern the possession of certain wild birds and animals. Possession of any listed wild bird or its parts (including the eagle) is illegal under the statute, except for the bona fide scientific or zoological exhibition.
5/2.1. Ownership and title
§ 2.1. The ownership of and title to all wild birds and wild mammals within the jurisdiction of the State are hereby declared to be in the State, and no wild birds or wild mammals shall be taken or killed, in any manner or at any time, unless the person or persons so taking or killing the same shall consent that the title thereto shall be and remain in the State for the purpose of regulating the taking, killing, possession, use, sale and transportation thereof, after such taking or killing, as hereinafter set forth. The taking or killing of wild birds or wild mammals at any time, in any manner, and by any person, shall be deemed a consent on the part of such person that the title to such wild birds or wild mammals shall remain in the State for the purpose of regulating the possession, use, sale and transportation thereof.
The regulation and licensing of the taking of wildlife in Illinois are exclusive powers and functions of the State. A home rule unit may not regulate or license the taking of wildlife. This Section is a denial and limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection (h) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution.
P.A. 77-1781, § 2.1, eff. July 1, 1972. Amended by P.A. 87-296, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992.
5/2.2. Protected species; definitions
§ 2.2. This Act shall apply only to the wild birds and parts of wild birds (including, but not limited to, their nests and eggs), and wild mammals and parts of wild mammals, which shall include their green hides, in the State of Illinois, or which may be brought into the State.
Wildlife protected by this Act, hereby defined as protected species, include the following wild species and all wild species contained in listed families, including, but not limited to, groups of wild species preceding each family name: (except the House Sparrow, Passer domesticus; European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris; and Rock Pigeon, Domestic Pigeon, Columba livia; Purple Swamphen, Porphyrio porphyio; or Muscovy Duck, Cairina moschata). GAME BIRDS-Ruffed grouse, Bonasa umbellus; Sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus; Northern Bobwhite, Colinus virginianus; Gray Partridge, Perdix perdix; Chukar, Alectoris chukar; Ring-necked Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus; Greater Prairie Chicken, Tympanuchus cupido; Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo. MIGRATORY GAME BIRDS-Waterfowl including brant, ducks, geese, and swans, Anatidae; wild species of the families Rallidae, Scolopacidae, Columbidae, and Corvidae that may be legally hunted as provided for in Section 2.18 of this Act. RESIDENT AND MIGRATORY NON-GAME BIRDS-Loons, Gaviidae; grebes, Podicipedidae; pelicans, Pelecanidae; gannets, Sulidae; cormorants, Phalacrocoracidae; anhingas, Anhingidae; frigatebirds, Fregatidae; herons, bitterns and egrets, Ardeidae; ibises and spoonbills, Threskiornithidae; storks, Ciconiidae; vultures, Cathartidae; kites, hawks, ospreys, and eagles, Accipitridae; falcons, merlins, and kestrels, Falconidae; rails, gallinules, and moorhens, which may not be legally hunted, Rallidae; cranes, Gruidae; all shorebirds that may not be legally hunted, of the families Charadriidae, Scolopacidae, and Recurvirostridae gulls, terns, jaegers, skimmers, and kittiwakes, Laridae; dovekies and murrelets, Alcidae; doves and pigeons, which may not be legally hunted, Columbidae; cuckoos and anis, Cuculidae; owls, Tytonidae and Strigidae; whip-poor-wills, chuck-will's-widows, and nighthawks, Caprimulgidae; swifts, Apodidae; hummingbirds, Trochilidae, Kingfishers, Alcedinidae; woodpeckers, flickers, and sapsuckers, Picidae; kingbirds, pewees, phoebes, and flycatchers, Tyrannidae shrikes, Laniidae; vireos, Vireonidae; magpies, ravens, and jays, Corvidae; larks, Alaudidae; swallows and martins, Hirundinidae; chickadees and titmice, Paridae; nuthatches, Sittidae; creepers, Certhiidae; wrens, Troglodytidae; kinglets, Regulidae; gnatcatchers, Sylviidae; robins, bluebirds, solitaires, veerys, and thrushes, Turdidae; mockingbirds, catbirds, and thrashers, Mimidae; pipits, Motacillidae; waxwings, Bombycillidae; warblers, parulas, redstarts, ovenbirds, waterthrushes, yellowthroats, and chats, Parulidae; tanagers, Thraupidae; towhees, longspurs, sparrows, buntings, and juncos, Emberizidae; dickcissels, cardinals, buntings, and grosbeaks, Cardinalidae; blackbirds, meadowlarks, bobolinks, grackles, cowbirds, and orioles, Icteridae; grosbeaks, finches, crossbills, redpolls, and siskins, Fringillidae. GAME MAMMALS-Woodchuck, Marmota monax; Gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis; Fox squirrel, Sciurus niger; Eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus; Swamp rabbit, Sylvilagus aquaticus; White-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus. FUR-BEARING MAMMALS-Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus; Beaver, Castor canadensis; Raccoon, Procyon lotor; Opossum, Didelphis virginiana; Least weasel, Mustela nivalis; Long-tailed weasel, Mustela frenata; Mink, Mustela vison; River otter, Lontra canadensis; Striped skunk, Mephitis mephitis; Badger, Taxidea taxus; Red fox, Vulpes vulpes; Gray fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus; Coyote, Canis latrans; Bobcat, Lynx rufus. OTHER MAMMALS-Flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans; Red squirrel, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus; Eastern Woodrat, Neotoma floridana; Golden Mouse, Ochrotomys nuttalli; Rice Rat, Oryzomys palustris; Franklin's Ground Squirrel, Spermophilus franklinii; Bats, Vespertilionidae; Gray wolf, Canis lupus; American black bear, Ursus americanus; Cougar, Puma concolor.
It shall be unlawful for any person at any time to take, possess, sell, or offer for sale, propagate, or release into the wild, any of these wild birds (dead or alive) and parts of wild birds (including, but not limited to, their nests and eggs), wild mammals (dead or alive) and parts of wild mammals, including their green hides contrary to the provisions of this Act. However, nothing in this Act shall prohibit bona-fide public or state scientific, educational or zoological institutions from receiving, holding, and displaying protected species that were salvaged or legally obtained.
It shall be unlawful for any person to take any other living wildlife animal not covered by this Act without the permission of the landowner or tenant.
P.A. 77-1781, § 2.2, eff. July 1, 1972. Amended by P.A. 78-826, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1973; P.A. 81-382, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980; P.A. 84-150, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986; P.A. 87-126, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; P.A. 87-298, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; P.A. 87-895, Art. 2, § 2-32, eff. Aug. 14, 1992; P.A. 89-445, § 9A-62, eff. Feb. 7, 1996; P.A. 95-331, § 990, eff. Aug. 21, 2007; P.A. 97-431, § 25, eff. Aug. 16, 2011; P.A. 98-1033, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.
§ 2.2a. Invasive and exotic wild animals.
§ 2.2a. Invasive and exotic wild animals. The Department may prohibit or limit the importation, possession, release into the wild, take, commercialization of take, sale, and propagation of wild mammals, wild birds, and feral livestock that are not defined as protected species in Section 2.2 of this Act, to reduce risks of communicable diseases, nuisances, and damages to wild or domestic species, agricultural crops, property, and environment. The Department shall set forth applicable regulations in an administrative rule. Nothing in this Act shall prohibit bona fide public or State scientific, educational, or zoological institutions from receiving, holding, and displaying unprotected species that were salvaged or legally obtained.
Nothing in this Section shall be construed to criminalize the accidental escape of domestic livestock.
Credits P.A. 77-1781, § 2.2a, added by P.A. 97-431, § 25, eff. Aug. 16, 2011.
5/2.2b. Imminent threat; nuisance permits
§ 2.2b.(a) It shall not be illegal for an owner or tenant of land, or his or her designated agent, to immediately take on his or her property a gray wolf, Canis lupus; American black bear, Ursus americanus; or cougar, Puma concolor if, at any time, the gray wolf, American black bear, or cougar is stalking or causing an imminent threat or there is a reasonable expectation that it causes an imminent threat of physical harm or death to a human, livestock, or domestic animals or harm to structures or other property on the owner's or tenant's land.
(b) The Department may grant a nuisance permit to the owner or tenant of land, or his or her designated agent, for the taking of a gray wolf, American black bear, or cougar that is causing a threat to an owner or tenant of land or his or her property that is not an immediate threat under subsection (a) of this Section.
(c) The Department shall adopt rules to implement this Section.
P.A. 77-1781, § 2.2b, added by P.A. 98-1033, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. Amended by P.A. 99-78, § 445, eff. July 20, 2015.
5/2.3. Release of Wildlife--Permission
§ 2.3. Release of Wildlife--Permission. It shall be unlawful to release from captivity any live bird or mammal, either indigenous or non-indigenous in this State and that is ordinarily considered a wildlife species except as provided in Sections 2.2, 2.4, 2.34, 2.37, 3.23 and 3.29, anywhere in this State without first securing the written permission of the Department to do so. The Department may set forth applicable regulations by administrative rule.
P.A. 77-1781, § 2.3, added by P.A. 84-150, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by P.A. 97-431, § 25, eff. Aug. 16, 2011.
5/2.4. Birds of prey
§ 2.4. The term birds of prey shall include all species of owls, falcons, hawks, kites, harriers, ospreys and eagles. It shall be unlawful for any person, organization or institution to take or possess a bird of prey (raptor) without first obtaining a license or appropriate permit from the Department. All applicants must be at least 14 years of age. Regulations for the capture, use, possession and transportation of birds of prey for falconry or captive propagation purposes are provided by administrative rule. The fee for a falconry license is $200 for 5 years and must be renewed every 5 years. The fee for a captive propagation permit is $200 for 5 years and must be renewed every 5 years. The fee for a raptor capture permit for a resident of the State of Illinois is $50 per year. The fee for a non-resident raptor capture permit is $100 per year. A Scientific Collectors Permit, available to qualified individuals as provided in Section 3.22 of this Act, may be obtained from the Department for scientific, educational or zoological purposes. No person may have in their possession Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus; Osprey, Pandion haliaeetus; or Barn Owl, Tyto alba. All captive-held birds of prey must be permanently marked as provided by administrative rule. The use of birds of prey for the hunting of game birds, migratory birds, game mammals, and furbearing mammals shall be lawful during falconry seasons, which shall be set by administrative rule.
P.A. 77-1781, § 2.4, eff. July 1, 1972. Amended by P.A. 81-382, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980; P.A. 85-150, § 7, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; P.A. 85-152, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; P.A. 85-1209, Art. II, § 2-37, eff. Aug. 30, 1988; P.A. 86-1046, § 1, eff. June 29, 1990; P.A. 87-298, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; P.A. 97-1136, § 90-55, eff. Jan. 1, 2013.
Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 61, ¶ 2.4.
5/2.5. Crossbow conditions. Repealed by P.A. 100-489, § 10, eff. Sept. 8, 2017
5/2.5a. Youth crossbow use. Repealed by P.A. 100-489, § 10, eff. Sept. 8, 2017
5/2.36a. Value of protected species; violations.
§ 2.36a. Value of protected species; violations.
(a) Any person who, for profit or commercial purposes, knowingly captures or kills, possesses, offers for sale, sells, offers to barter, barters, offers to purchase, purchases, delivers for shipment, ships, exports, imports, causes to be shipped, exported, or imported, delivers for transportation, transports or causes to be transported, carries or causes to be carried, or receives for shipment, transportation, carriage, or export any animal or part of animal of the species protected by this Act, contrary to the provisions of this Act, and such animals, in whole or in part, are valued at or in excess of a total of $300, as per specie value specified in subsection (c) of this Section, commits a Class 3 felony.
A person shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony if convicted under this Section for more than one violation within a 90-day period where the animals of each violation are not valued at or in excess of $300, but the total value of the animals from the multiple violations is at or in excess of $300. The prosecution for a Class 4 felony for these multiple violations must be alleged in a single charge or indictment and brought in a single prosecution.
(b) Possession of animals, in whole or in part, captured or killed in violation of this Act, valued at or in excess of $600, as per specie value specified in subsection (c) of this Section, shall be considered prima facie evidence of possession for profit or commercial purposes.
(c) For purposes of this Section, the fair market value or replacement cost, whichever is greater, shall be used to determine the value of the species protected by this Act, but in no case shall the minimum value of all species protected by this Act be less than as follows:
(1) Eagle, $1,000;
(2) Whitetail deer, $1,000 and wild turkey, $500;
(3) Fur-bearing mammals, $50;
(4) Game birds (except the wild turkey) and migratory game birds (except Trumpeter swans), $50;
(5) Owls, hawks, falcons, kites, harriers, and ospreys, and other birds of prey, $250;
(6) Game mammals (except whitetail deer), $50;
(7) Other mammals, $100;
(8) Resident and migratory non-game birds (except birds of prey), $100;
(9) Trumpeter swans, $1,000.
(d) In this subsection (d), “point” means a projection on the antler of a whitetail antlered deer that is at least one-inch long as measured from the tip to the nearest edge of antler beam and the length of which exceeds the length of its base. A person who possesses whitetail antlered deer, in whole or in part, captured or killed in violation of this Act, shall pay restitution to the Department in the amount of $1,000 per whitetail antlered deer and an additional $500 per antler point for each whitetail antlered deer with at least 8 but not more than 10 antler points. For whitetail antlered deer with 11 or more antler points, restitution of $1,000 shall be paid to the Department per whitetail antlered deer plus $750 per antler point.
P.A. 77-1781, § 2.36, added by P.A. 82-965, § 2, eff. Sept. 2, 1982. Renumbered § 2.36a and amended by P.A. 87-435, Art. 3, § 3-15, eff. Sept. 10, 1991. Amended by P.A. 90-743, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1999; P.A. 100-960, § 5, eff. Aug. 19, 2018; P.A. 101-81, § 660, eff. July 12, 2019.