A northern long-eared bat showing signs of white-nose syndrome. Found in LaSalle County, Ill., in 2013, during a research expedition by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. (University of Illinois / Steve Taylor)

Despite habitat strongholds in places like Illinois, white-nose syndrome continues to decimate the population.

The deadly white-nose syndrome is threatening the northern long-eared bat — one of Illinois’ 13 native bats — with extinction. The race is on to find a cure and protect what’s left of the population.

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. 

The rusty patched bumble bee, pictured here, was the first bee in the continental U.S. to receive an endangered species listing. More bumble bees are now being considered. (Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Officials are reporting that nine of the endangered bees were found during a recent survey of Lake County forest preserves.

Construction on the Rockford Airport cargo expansion has come right to the edge of Bell Bowl Prairie. (Courtesy of Cassi Saari)

A rare patch of 8,000-year-old remnant Illinois prairie has been granted a new three-month lease on life, as the Greater Rockford Airport Authority has again delayed demolition of the natural area, pending additional environmental review.

The rusty patched bumble bee, pictured here, was the first bee in the continental U.S. to receive an endangered species listing. More bumble bees are now being considered. (Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

One of North America’s most common native bumble bee species, the aptly named American bumble bee, is on the ropes. Among the threats to its survival: competition from honey bees.

Montrose Beach Dune Natural Area on the left, and the proposed section of Montrose Beach that would be incorporated into the protected area. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago’s birding community is already preparing for the return of Monty and Rose, the piping plovers that captured national attention two summers ago when they made the surprising choice to nest on Chicago's lakefront. But will their favored habitat be secure in 2021?

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.

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.

This 2019 photo provided by Noel Rowe and Centre ValBio shows a golden bamboo lemur in Madagascar. (Noel Rowe / Centre ValBio via AP)

Around the world, government resources diverted to pandemic efforts have opened opportunities for illegal land clearing and poaching. Lockdowns also have derailed the eco-tourism that funds many environmental projects.

(Photo by Tim Laman)

For the past 25 years, Cheryl Knott and her husband Tim Laman have dedicated their lives to the orangutans that live in Borneo’s Gunung Palung National Park. On Tuesday, they’ll highlight the great ape’s plight with a talk.

Pangolins (USAid Asia / Flickr)

Preliminary findings point to the endangered pangolin as a possible host of the novel coronavirus, sparking concerns that a panic could lead to killings of the animal. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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.