nature collage

“Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for a wide variety of life in multiple habitats. More than 200 species of birds, 70 species of fish, 30 species of reptiles and amphibians, 35 species of mammals and hundreds of plant species have been recorded. What will you see when you visit?” ~ U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

In 2012, when the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service studies the Hackmatack proposed area, they determined that it provides habitat for 109 species of concern. This includes federal- and state-threatened and endangered species and Federal Wildlife Service Birds of Conservation Concern.  



American Bullfrog
(Lithobates catesbeianus)

Aquatic Animas is any animal, vertebrate or invertebrate, that lives in water for all of most of its lifetime. They may breathe air or extract oxygen from the water through gills.

• Aquatic animals include fish, mussels, clams, snails, & crayfish

Amphibians are found on every continent in the world, except for Antarctica. What is an amphibian?

• They are vertebrates, or animals that have a backbone
• They are cold-blooded, which means they get their body heat from the environment around them. They will sit in a beam of sunlight to raise their temperature.
• They do not have dry skin. It is often moist with mucus, which keeps them from drying out. Most amphibians, like frogs and salamanders, has smooth skin, but toads have bumpy bodies. Amphibians can breathe through their skin, which makes them very sensitive to toxins in their environment.
• They do not have scales
• Amphibians include frogs, toads, salamanders and newts.

Reptiles  are cold-blooded creatures with a backbone and four limbs. Unlike amphibians, they do not have an aquatic larval stage. They breathe air, and are covered in a special skin made up of scales, bony plates, or a combination of both

• Reptiles include snakes, lizards, skinks, & turtles  


franklins ground squirrel-Patti-Petersen-CC

Franklin’s Ground Squirrel
(Spermophilus franklinii)

When we talk about animals on the Refuge, we are referring to mammals.  Mammals are distinguished by the following characteristics:

• They have hair or fur
• Females have milk for their young
• Females typically give birth to live young
• Mammals have sweat glands
• Mammals have a single lower jaw bone



Eastern Meadowlark
(Sturnella magna)

Birds are warm-blooded vertebrates that live worldwide. They range in size from the 2.2 inch bee hummingbird, to the 9-foot 2-inch ostrich. There are about ten thousand living species of birds in the world.

• They have feathers
• They have toothless, beaked jaws
• They lay hard shelled eggs
• They have a strong, yet lightweight skeleton



(Danaus plexippus)


Mourning Cloak
(Nymphalis antiopa)


Spring Azure
(Celastrina ladon)

Checkered Skipper
Giant Swallowtail
Tiger Swallowtail
Painted Lady
Regal Fritillary


Blue Dasher
(Pachydiplax longipennis)


Twelve Spotted Skimmer
Libellula pulchella)

Common Green Darner (Anax junius)
Eastern Amberwing
Eastern Pondhawk
Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina)
Slaty Skimmer

Butterfly Resource Links:
Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation:  Xerces has a printable workbook for kids ages 8-11, available in English and in Spanish. Earn an Invertebrate Protector Badge!  Direct link to the Xerces “X Kids Program.”

Friends of Hackmatack NWR

P.O. Box 413
Richmond, IL 60071


Call 262-448-3558 to listen for the latest updates on upcoming activities. If you need to reach us, please leave a message and we will return your call.

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