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A monarch butterfly on butterfly milkweed. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region / Flickr)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the monarch butterfly warrants inclusion on the endangered species list but due to a lack of resources is being wait-listed behind higher-priority plants and animals.

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Monarch butterflies have started their 2,000-mile migration south to Mexico. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The annual migration of monarch butterflies is currently at its peak in the Chicago area. Several roosting sites have been spotted around town as the creatures use the city as a pit stop on their 2,000-mile journey to Mexico.

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Regal fritillary butterfly. (Doug Taron)

Similar in size to the monarch, the regal fritillary is also a stunner in the looks department, but the native prairie butterfly has nearly disappeared from Illinois. To save this pollinator, we need to save the prairie.

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(terry priest / Flickr)

You’re not crazy. A local expert says people are seeing “substantially more flashing activity in the evening.” He tells us why there are so many of our favorite summertime bug – and why they light up.

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The population of the monarch butterfly -- seen here in Chicago's Grant Park -- has declined by more than 80 percent over the past two decades. A 2016 study claims the decline of milkweed plants in the Midwest is a contributing factor. (Oriol Gascón i Cabestany / Flickr)

Their annual migration from North America to Mexico has been called “one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world,” but the monarch butterfly is not only in decline – it’s closer to extinction than previously thought, research shows.