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In this June 2, 2019, file photo, a fresh monarch butterfly rests on a Swedish Ivy plant soon after emerging in Washington. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster, File)

Trump administration officials are expected to say this week whether the monarch butterfly, a colorful and familiar backyard visitor now caught in a global extinction crisis, should receive federal designation as a threatened species.

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People dump everything, including the kitchen sink, in Cook County's forest preserves. (Courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County)

Fly dumping, or the illegal dumping of waste, was already a problem at the preserves, but it’s gotten worse in 2020, according to officials.

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Great Kiskadee (Liam Lysaght / Pixabay)

Great Kiskadees don’t normally roam north of Texas, so the first-ever sighting in Illinois caused quite a commotion, attracting birders from across the state to Will County.

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The “Dreadhead Cowboy” is seen on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. (Courtesy Vashon Jordan Jr. / @vashon_photo)

A Cook County judge on Wednesday granted an order from prosecutors amending the bail of Adam Hollingsworth, who now must turn over any horses he owns to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office while his criminal case plays out.

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Former farmland within the Grant Woods Forest Preserve will become a demonstration site for climate-adapted seeds. (Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserves)

Lake County Forest Preserves is launching an ambitious conservation research project to determine whether it’s possible to preserve natural areas by proactively preparing for climate change. 

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(WTTW News)

With the prospect of a long, dreary winter at home ahead, many Chicagoans are fluffing their nests with houseplants. We check in with some local plant shops to see how business is growing.

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Cook County Forest Preserve stewardship days have looked different during the coronavirus pandemic. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Facebook)

Green spaces have seen unprecedented use during the pandemic, which has left land stewards overwhelmed by crowds, but heartened to see so many new visitors.

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River ice. (ArtTower / Pixabay)

The agency is recruiting volunteers to keep a watch on river ice in the Chicago area. Ice Spotters help with early detection of ice jams, which can cause major flooding.

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Is there a middle ground between obliterating leaves and letting nature take its course? We asked an expert from the Chicago Botanic Garden.

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Sandhill cranes. (ladymacbeth / Pixabay)

More than 25,000 migrating sandhill cranes are making a pit stop at Indiana’s Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. The bird’s numbers have rebounded thanks to wetland conservation efforts, but now climate change threatens to undo that progress. 

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The Cook County Forest Preserves have offered respite during the pandemic. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Facebook)

Throughout the pandemic, nature has proved its worth as an outlet and resource, benefiting people’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. Now the question is, will people return the favor?

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A red-tailed hawk, perched outside Jewel-Osco, 3400 N. Western Ave., on Nov. 21, 2020. (WTTW News)

A red-tailed hawk, stoically perched atop a chain-link fence, was spotted Saturday outside a Jewel-Osco in Roscoe Village. Raptors are more common in the city than most people think, said a local hawk expert.

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Penguins from the Shedd Aquarium recently paid a visit to Soldier Field. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

A quartet of penguins from the Shedd Aquarium paid a visit to Soldier Field. Could this be the secret weapon the Bears need to take down the Packers during Sunday’s showdown?

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Parks and preserves are tightening restrictions due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. In the spring, even picnic tables were "closed." (Raed Mansour / Flickr)

With tighter mitigations in place due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Chicago Park District and surrounding forest preserve districts have suspended programs indefinitely.

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The “Dreadhead Cowboy” is seen on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. (Courtesy Vashon Jordan Jr. / @vashon_photo)

Adam Hollingsworth, 33, entered the plea through his attorney Thursday during a brief arraignment held in virtual court.

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Isoo O’Brien

Meet a high school student who’s on a quest to see more bird species in Cook County than anyone, ever.