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Along Wolf Lake on Chicago’s Southeast Side lies the only Illinois state park within city limits, where visitors can find fishing spots, biking trails – and invasive species.

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(Henry T. McLin / Flickr)

The migratory birds are starting to nest in the area, but their nests don't look like those found in trees. That's because purple martins, which spend their winters in South America, now rely almost entirely on man-made nests when they arrive each spring. 

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There are bison once again roaming Illinois prairies. It's been more than 175 years since the last wild bison died in this state, but as of October they are back, thanks to The Nature Conservancy project in western Illinois called Nachusa Grasslands. Chicago Tribune photographer Anthony Souffle has been covering the new Illinois bison and the restoration of the prairie on which they graze. When he returned recently to see their progress, Jay Shefsky tagged along.

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A bison conservation herd makes its way to Illinois to help protect the landscape.