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Harms Woods (Courtesy North Branch Restoration Project)

The state has recognized a 169-acre section of Harms Woods, which is home to 400 different plant species, as an official state nature preserve, the highest level of protection for land in the state.

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Lion populations have plummeted in Africa since 1950 as a result of habitat loss and poaching. (Courtesy Susan McConnell)

Colleen and Keith Begg founded an organization that helps maintain the wildlife in the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique, one of the last remaining strongholds for lions in Africa. 

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Dr. May Berenbaum, professor of entomology and head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois (Courtesy University of Illinois)

The polar bear has become the poster child for climate change, but increasing temperatures impact many forms of life – including insects. Dr. May Berenbaum weighs in on what that means for the rest of life on Earth. 

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A piping plover on Waukegan Beach in 2018. (Ethan Ellis / Flickr)

Experts say proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act could harm a number of troubled species found in Illinois, including the piping plover shorebird, rusty patched bumblebee and other animals and plants. 

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A New Guinea crocodile. (Midori / Wikimedia Commons)

By examining 51 crocodile skulls, Field Museum scientist Caleb McMahan was able to identify a previously unclassified species native to New Guinea. 

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(Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC)

The bill, which still needs approval in the full House and the Senate, would expand a 10-year effort to clean up toxic pollution, restore fish and wildlife habitat, manage invasive species and reduce runoff pollution in the Great Lakes.

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Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologist Justin Widloe holds a bighead carp. (Chad Merda / Forest Preserve District of Will County)

If Asian carp invade the Great Lakes, experts say the fish would have a devastating effect on the marine food chain and the region’s $7 billion fishing industry. We get a look at efforts to keep them out of Illinois waterways.

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One of 52 Blanding’s turtles released Wednesday at a DuPage County Forest Preserve site. (Ashley Hosmer / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

After spending their first year at Chicago’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, dozens of endangered Blanding’s turtles were released into the wild as part of a preservation effort that started more than 20 years ago.

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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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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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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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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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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (WTTW News file photo)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and four of his counterparts in the region are urging candidates in the 2020 presidential election to back a new plan aimed at protecting the Great Lakes.

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Artwork made by students from across the world is on display at Shedd Aquarium. (Joshua Ford / Bezos Family Foundation)

The massive art project that got the attention of students across the globe is part of an educational initiative aimed at preserving oceans and the people who live closest to them.

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A piping plover on Waukegan Beach in 2018. (Ethan Ellis / Flickr)

The festival had been scheduled for Aug. 23-24 at Montrose Beach, where a pair of endangered piping plovers established a nest this spring. 

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(skeeze / Pixabay)

New research by University of Chicago scientists shows that despite the positive intentions of conservationists who promote captive breeding for monarchs, the practice may not be producing the desired effect.