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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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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.

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(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.

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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. 

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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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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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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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A red wolf pup at Lincoln Park Zoo (Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo)

From rare blind salamanders to adorable red wolf pups, here’s our guide to the newest and most unique animals to visit in and around Chicago. 

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A newborn rhino calf at Lincoln Park Zoo stood on all four legs just 53 minutes after birth. (Courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo)

After 15 months of pregnancy, Lincoln Park Zoo rhinoceros Kapuki gave birth to a new calf Sunday. And just 53 minutes after birth, it was able to stand up on all four legs.

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Rollie, a western lowland gorilla at Lincoln Park Zoo, with her male infant, who was born May 12. (Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo)

Mother’s Day was extra special for Rollie, a western lowland gorilla at Lincoln Park Zoo who gave birth to a male last weekend. 

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The cubs’ arrival – the first litter born at the zoo since 2010 – is a bright spot for one of the world’s most endangered wolf species.

Pair of Brookfield Polar Bears Involved in Artificial Insemination

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Chicago Zoological Society veterinary staff position Hudson, Brookfield Zoo’s 12-year-old male polar bear, in preparation for a CT scan. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

Hudson, a 1,000-pound male polar bear at Brookfield Zoo, underwent a historic checkup this week when he received a CT scan and had semen collected, which was used to inseminate two female polar bears. 

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Conservation advocates worry that proposed legislation in Illinois could make it harder to protect vulnerable populations of monarch butterflies, which face a number of threats in the state. (Patrick Williams / Openlands)

A pair of bills would strip the state of its authority to regulate endangered species that are protected at the federal level but that might require further protections within Illinois.

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Kapuki, a 13-year-old female eastern black rhinoceros at Lincoln Park Zoo (Courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo)

Kapuki, a 13-year-old eastern black rhinoceros, is expected to give birth to a baby calf in May.