Illinois has the lowest nest success rate for forest birds in North America. One reason is habitat fragmentation, according to Tom Palmer, a forester at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. To reverse this trend, the Crab Orchard Refuge developed a five-year plan to restore sizable blocks of forest habitat. In addition to serving the needs of songbird species, the forest restoration also provided high-quality habitat for all resident wildlife. The restoration effort planted hardwood trees in open areas, consolidated smaller forest tracts, and established corridors to connect forested areas. Wildlife Forever assisted with the planting of 31,400 hardwood seedlings on 64 acres of the refuge.