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Nine species of echinacea are native to the U.S. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

There are natives and then there are plants known as “nativars,” and wildlife can tell the difference.

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Monty & Rose are pinning their hopes on an egg laid in their second nest attempt. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

Just a week after losing their first nest to a skunk attack, Monty and Rose have produced a second nest and laid one egg, the Chicago Park District announced. 

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The thousands of trees damaged during 2020's powerful derecho storm demonstrated the vulnerability of Chicago's tree canopy. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

“Trees need care like streets need repairing,” said Malcolm Whiteside, deputy commissioner for Chicago’s Department of Forestry, who threw his support behind the creation of an Urban Forestry Advisory Board.

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Monty and Rose lost their 2021 clutch of eggs to a skunk. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

The latest chapter in the saga of Chicago’s beloved plovers, Monty and Rose, is a sad one, with wildlife officials reporting the couple’s 2021 clutch of eggs has been lost to a skunk attack. Plover monitors are hopeful the couple will build a second nest. 

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In this Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, file photo, Kim Bertini looks over some of the 15,000 dead fish that washed up near her backyard on Lake Madeline in Galveston, Texas. (Jennifer Reynolds / The Galveston County Daily News via AP, File)

Oxygen levels have dropped in hundreds of lakes in the United States and Europe over the last four decades, a new study found. And the authors said declining oxygen could lead to increased fish kills, algal blooms and methane emissions.

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Lane Beach is five-star worthy. (Alexandra Silets / WTTW News)

For three months out of the year, Chicago’s every bit as much of a beach town as Los Angeles or Miami. As we kick off summer 2021, here are some things you might not know about the city’s sandy shore.

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Piping plover eggs at Montrose beach in 2021. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

Surveillance cameras recently captured images of a mylar balloon bumping up against the nesting site of Chicago’s beloved pair of piping plovers. Wildlife advocates have long been critical of such inflatables and the dangers they pose to birds and other animals.

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In this Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, file photo, one of the tigers living at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is pictured at the park in Wynnewood, Okla. (AP Photo / Sue Ogrocki, File)

Federal officials have removed the last of the 68 big cats from the private zoo in Oklahoma that had been the center of the “Tiger King” saga.

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Liam Durnan hikes in Cook County’s Spring Lake Nature Preserve. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Liam Durnan has been on a yearlong caper, hiking all 350 miles of Cook County forest preserve trails. “When people picture the forest preserve nearest them, most people think of it being the picnic groves,” he said. “They don’t know how big this thing is. It’s just incredible.”

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In this Sept. 2015 photo taken by Colby Griffiths on the North Edisto River in South Carolina, scientist Bryan Keller holds a bonnethead shark. (Photo courtesy Bryan Keller via AP)

Researchers said their marine laboratory experiments with a small species of shark confirm long-held speculation that sharks use magnetic fields as aids to navigation — behavior observed in other marine animals such as sea turtles.

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Three piping plover eggs have been confirmed by wildlife officials. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

The beloved pair of piping plovers have established a nest, smack in the middle of habitat only just protected for the birds this spring. 

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Veterinary personnel keep a cat named Miller calm as he has blood drawn, Monday, April 12, 2021, at Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Palm Beach Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo / Wilfredo Lee)

Approximately 12.6 million U.S. households got a new pet last year after the pandemic was declared in March 2020, according to a COVID-19 Pulse Study by the American Pet Products Association.

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Virginia bluebells were among the species most commonly recorded by Chicagoans during the 2021 City Nature Challenge. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicagoans notched a whopping 12,000 observations of plants, animals and fungi in the 2021 City Nature Challenge, coming in well ahead of Moscow, Prague, London and Tokyo.

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A Boykin spaniel with an ornate box turtle in its mouth waits to hand it over. (Cathy Bazzoni / Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo)

Specially trained “turtle dogs” took part in a field study of threatened ornate box turtles at Nachusa Grasslands, one of the species last homes in Illinois.

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Bison at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. (USDA Forest Service)

Three calves, with their distinctive reddish-brown coats, were spotted this week at Midewin. Bison calves are typically born in April or May.

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A massive sturgeon, caught May 2021 in the Detroit River. (Jason Fischer / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The 240-pound, 100-year-old, nearly 7-foot-long sturgeon is making headlines. But fish that size used to be common in the Great Lakes and maybe, thanks to restoration efforts, they will be again.