Bison are the largest land mammal in North America. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region)

New research shows bison are altering the landscape in unexpected ways when reintroduced to Midwest prairie ecosystems. 

Motus antenna assembly at Ryerson Conservation Area. (Lake County Forest Preserves)

Lake County Forest Preserves has now joined a global wildlife tracking network, expanding the ability of researchers to follow the movement of migratory birds through the Chicago region.

Hegewisch Marsh, seen from South Torrence Avenue. (Google)

The federal government has just announced its most significant investment to date in nature-based projects aimed at creating "climate-ready" coastlines, and Chicago is among the communities that will benefit from this latest round of funding.

A Zimbabwe National Parks official inspects some of the elephant tusks during a tour of ivory stockpiles in Harare, May, 16, 2022. (AP Photo / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known by its initials as CITES, ended Friday in Panama. Along with protections for over 500 species, delegates at the United Nations wildlife conference rejected a proposal to reopen the ivory trade. An ivory ban was enacted in 1989.

A giraffe is pictured at Brookfield Zoo in November 2022. (WTTW News)

Brookfield Zoo is celebrating a big milestone. It was a century ago when construction on the grounds began.

Marc Schlossman, pictured with bird specimens at the Field Museum, Oct. 25, 2022. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Marc Schlossman spent a decade photographing specimens of extinct and endangered species housed at the Field Museum. The result is a new book, “Extinction,” which Schlossman calls an exercise in hope. 

A floating wetland under construction on the South Branch of the Chicago River. Industrial use has stripped the channel of most of its natural vegetation. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The area around Bubbly Creek was once a wetland, until the channel became choked first with sewage and then animal waste from the Union Stockyards. Now the wetlands, with a twist, are making a comeback.

The bobolink is among the species of birds at a tipping point, according to a recent report from the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (Brad Imhoff / Cornell Lab, Macaulay Library)

A new report offers the first comprehensive update on the state of birds since a 2019 study announced the loss of 3 billion birds. The news remains nearly as sobering, though there are some wins for conservationists to celebrate. 

Cousins Alfie Pritzl, left, and Teresa Pritzl chop down invasive buckthorn during a volunteer stewardship day at LaBagh Woods, Oct. 23, 2022. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

More than 50 fencing cages erected to protect plantings of native shrubs have been systematically destroyed, leaving the plants vulnerable to grazing by deer. Within days, tender seedlines were eaten to nubs.

Recovery work after the Repsol oil spill. (Courtesy of Oceana Peru)

Recently, two researchers with Brookfield Zoo received prestigious awards for their work in the field. Their current work focuses on the impacts of major oil spills on marine life.

Bur oak is one of more than 80 oak species native to the U.S. (Karen Roussel / Flickr Creative Commons)

A team of researchers, led by Morton Arboretum, spent the better part of the past five years creating the first-ever standardized checklist and threat assessment of the nearly 900 species native U.S. trees. Their work provides the foundation on which to build awareness, advocacy and future conservation efforts.

Hill 'N Dale Farm South, recently acquired for permanent conservation as open space. (Indoor Drone Tours)

The Duchossois family — whose late patriarch, Richard Duchossois, purchased Arlington Park in 1983 — has announced the sale of its 246.5-acre Hill ‘N Dale Farm South property to Barrington-based Citizens for Conservation, ensuring the land’s protection as open space in perpetuity.

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps crew clearing buckthorn at Sand Ridge Nature Center, August 2022. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

While federal legislation to create a modern-day Civilian Conservation Corps inches its way through Congress, the Cook County Forest Preserve is moving full steam ahead with programs that deploy crews of youth and adults to tackle restoration and maintenance projects across the district’s acreage.

Supporters of Montrose Dunes Natural Area say the site looks neglected, with invasive species taking hold. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Some people are concerned about what they say are deteriorating conditions at the high-quality habitat where the endangered plovers Monty and Rose raised their three successive broods of chicks between 2019 and 2021. 

Scientists gather around what may be a lateleaf oak, thought to be extinct. In Big Bend National Park, May 2022. (Courtesy of U.S. Botanic Garden)

The lateleaf oak has confounded botanists since it was first discovered in the 1930s. Scientists have been hard-pressed to find a single surviving example in recent decades. But a new discovery, pending genetic testing by Morton Arboretum, could put the tree back on the map. 

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.