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Thompson Road Farm, now owned by The Land Conservancy. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Climate change and the alarming trends of species extinction and habitat loss demand that conservation organizations think big. So The Land Conservancy of McHenry County stepped up its game.

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(WTTW News)

Illinois is rebranding Asian carp as “copi” in a bid to get people to eat the invasive fish into submission. Fishermen are catching thousands of pounds a day and barely making a dent in the number of carp in waterways like the Illinois River, where it's estimated 20 million to 50 million could be harvested annually.

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A PAWS employee plays with kittens at the Lincoln Park shelter on June 20, 2022. (WTTW News)

Paula Fasseas, founder and executive chairman of PAWS Chicago, said she started the shelter as a grassroots organization in 1997 after learning that every year more than 42,000 homeless animals were being euthanized in Chicago.

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Granddad, in livelier days at the Shedd Aquarium. (Shedd Aquarium)

We all knew that Granddad, the Shedd Aquarium’s long-lived Australian lungfish, was an old-timer. Now, five years after he shuffled off to the big fish tank in the sky, Granddad’s true age has been revealed.

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An eastern milksnake. (Jeff Servoss / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

 Gov. J.B. Pritzker officially added the eastern milksnake to the list of state symbols Thursday.

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A spongy moth caterpillar. (Feliciano Moya Lopez / Pixabay)

Several sites in northeastern Illinois — including Waterfall Glen, Des Plaines Riverway, Hidden Lake and Wood Ridge forest preserves — will be sprayed with fake pheromones to confuse spongy moth males and disrupt mating.

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(Jan Kraus / Unsplash)

More than 200 people across the country, including 11 in Illinois, have become ill after coming in contact with poultry in backyard flocks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

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Bobolink, seen mid-song. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region)

“Birdsongs: Sounds of the Mississippi Flyway” is a newly released compilation of original instrumental songs inspired by, as the title suggests, the sounds of birds commonly found in northern Illinois.

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(Yanna Zissiadou / Unsplash)

The greatest risk of bird flu outbreaks has passed, wildlife officials said. Poultry owners need to remain vigilant, though, and feeding ducks and geese should be avoided.

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Monty in the foreground, Rose in the rear. (Credit: Ann Gunkle)

The beloved piping plover, dubbed the king of Montrose Beach, died May 13. Monty first captured Chicagoans’ hearts in 2019 when he and his mate, Rose, became the first pair of endangered Great Lakes piping plovers to nest in the city since the 1950s

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Captive-born Mexican wolf pups being introduced into wild dens in 2018. (Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team)

Once considered extinct in the wild, the Mexican wolf is making a comeback thanks to a recovery plan involving breeding and fostering programs at places like Brookfield Zoo.

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Bison, pictured in this file photo, are hard to miss, but one eluded capture for months in Lake County. (Jonathan Mast / Unsplash)

The bison, known as “Tyson” or “Billy,” has been on the loose since fall 2021 after escaping from a Wauconda farm. 

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Monarch on milkweed. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Mexico’s highly anticipated annual count of over-wintering monarchs was released Tuesday and showed a slight increase from the prior year, but there’s still a long way to go to ensure the butterfly’s survival, conservationists said.

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Monty’s legacy will be the chicks he and Rose brought into the world, seen in 2020. (Bob Dolgan)

In a brief announcement on social media, news was shared Friday evening by monitors that Monty the piping plover has died.

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Field assistant Kylie Ruble, left, and Robert DePalma excavate a slab of fossils from the Tanis deposit. (Courtesy of Robert DePalma)

An international team of researchers say they have found fossilized remains of fish and a dinosaur in North Dakota at a site that they believed died on the very day of an asteroid impact. That story is told in a new documentary called “Dinosaur Apocalypse” airing on WTTW.

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Lumpsuckers at the Shedd Aquarium. (Shedd Aquarium)

The Shedd Aquarium recently welcomed a group of lumpsuckers, a fish that’s weird in so many ways, it’s hard to know where to start.