Keith Shank at IDNR responded to the EcoCAT request, with the following note. "Well, it’s hard to escape those Franklin Ground Squirrels. In 2010, Ameren observed two FGS near the intersection of Curtis Road and Rt. 45, and ten years ago we had a road-killed FGS at Windsor Road and Rt. 45. Ameren opined they could be all up and down the RR corridor, which the western end of your project area happens to lie against.
It may be possible the FGS are in the area around the farm buildings, but they would be unlikely to be out in the experimental plots, at the moment. However, depending on the type of solar energy facility being proposed, they might be able to colonize the solar farm. While that would be good for the FGS, it could complicate subsequent operations and maintenance of the facility. Remember that they love any kind of soil stockpile, so be careful where you stack any dirt and how long you might leave it there."