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This snowy owl was bred in captivity in Canada and brought to the Illinois Raptor Center as a permanent resident. Unlike most owls, which are nocturnal, the snowy owl is active during the day. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

About 180 miles southwest of Chicago, a wildlife conservation facility cares for hundreds of injured, sick or orphaned raptors. We go for a look and meet some of these incredible birds of prey.

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(a4gpa / Flickr)

Using satellite images and data on wildlife activity, scientists determined that artificial light levels found in more than a third of the city are altering the circadian rhythm and behaviors of animals throughout the city.

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Two southern sea otter pups arrived at Shedd Aquarium in July after being rescued in California. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

No makeup was necessary for a pair of fuzzy sea otter pups the aquarium showed off to the media this week. “They get cuter every day,” said Tracy Deakins, a senior trainer of otters and penguins.

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A female lone star tick, or Amblyomma americanum. (CDC / Michael L. Levin, Ph.D.)

Ticks are so good at transmitting potentially dangerous illnesses like Lyme disease that we’re wise to give them our attention now and then. And in Illinois, ticks are now carrying a relatively new disease called Heartland Virus.

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The Blanding’s turtle is classified as endangered in Illinois. (Courtesy Chicago Wilderness)

The Trump administration’s move to effectively weaken protections under the landmark law could have stark consequences for the 480 plant and animal species classified as endangered or threatened within Illinois. 

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Monarchs are in trouble, despite efforts by volunteers and organizations across the United States to nurture the beloved butterfly. And the Trump administration’s new order weakening the Endangered Species Act could well make things worse.

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(Libreshot.com)

More than 30 countries have banned cosmetics testing on animals, and while the practice hasn’t been banned in the U.S., Illinois is now the third state to enact “humane cosmetics” legislation. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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In this Feb. 1, 2016 file photo, a bald eagle takes flight at the Museum of the Shenandaoh Valley in Winchester, Virginia.  (Scott Mason / The Winchester Star via AP, File)

Under the enforcement changes, officials for the first time will be able to publicly attach a cost to saving an animal or plant. Blanket protections for creatures newly listed as threatened will be removed. 

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Amateur botanist Joey Santore examines the flowering plant dalea purpurea, commonly known as the purple prairie clover. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Joey Santore isn’t your typical plant expert, but his colorful style and depth of knowledge have proved popular. We go for a stroll through Wolf Road Prairie, an 80-acre nature preserve in Chicago’s western suburbs.

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It’s a job as old as time, but one Chicagoan is beekeeping in her own unique way. Meet graphic designer-turned-beekeeper Jana Kinsman.

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A rusty-patched bumble bee (U.S Fish and Wildlife Service / Wikimedia Commons)

It’s been a rough few decades for the rusty patched bumblebee. Once widespread in Illinois and throughout much of the U.S., the species has lost nearly 90% of its population over the past 20 years.

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(EME / Pixabay)

As they set out to learn more about kids’ affinity for nature, a group of psychologists had a strong idea about what they would find. As it turned out, their assumptions were wrong. “We were incredibly surprised,” said the lead author of the study.

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The discovery comes about a month after an alligator in the Humboldt Park Lagoon captured the attention of the city for about a week before the alligator was captured by a gator hunter who was flown in from Florida.

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Florida alligator expert Frank Robb holds an alligator during a news conference, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky)

Most of the costs arose from city workers putting up and removing barricades to keep people away from the lagoon in Humboldt Park after the male reptile was first spotted there last month.

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(Gotta Be Worth It / Pexels.com)

A new study offers a framework cities can use to begin measuring the mental health benefits of nature, while helping municipal planners and policymakers integrate nature into their projects. 

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Jeanne Nolan shows us how to harvest red onions, garlic, scallions and edible weeds from our organic garden at WTTW.

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