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Luis Rafael’s low-poly design is displayed at dozens of storefronts in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. (Maya Miller / Chicago Tonight)

The orange-and-black insect has flocked to a Chicago neighborhood, but its presence is more of a political act than a natural one.

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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.

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Over the past 10 years, monarch butterfly populations have been declining in North America. Learn simple ways to promote the creature’s habitat in your backyard.

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