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(Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Dan Nedrelo)

Life as an amphibian is no easy hop through the woods. Why Chicago scientists are measuring levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in Lake County frogs.

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Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's alligator snapping turtle, Patsy McNasty, moved into a bigger tank Jan. 19. (Alex Ruppenthal / Chicago Tonight)

Alligator snapping turtle Patsy McNasty moved into a new 300-gallon tank this week at Chicago's Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, where visitors attended a “housewarming” event for the 14-pound turtle. 

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A regal fritillary butterfly, a local species that’s classified as threatened in Illinois.

Over the course of its history, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has amassed a collection of about 390,000 animal specimens and artifacts. We get a close look at five of these rarely seen items.

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The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is raising endangered turtles in captivity until they grow large enough to fend for themselves. (Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

Blanding's turtles, an endangered species in Illinois and a half-dozen other states, are getting a head start on survival at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

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Canada warbler. (Art Fox)

The long voyage of some migratory birds ends in Chicago. How photographer Art Fox is raising awareness of what's called "window kill" at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

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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. One recent study claims the lack of milkweed in the Midwest is a contributing factor. (Oriol Gascón)

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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(Courtesy of ReptileFest)

Reptiles, amphibians and the people who love them, or at least like them, come together this weekend for ReptileFest 2016. We get a preview of the event and meet some of the animals on display.

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A new interactive exhibit on climate change at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum addresses “the defining issue of our time,” says Steve Sullivan, senior curator of ecology at the museum. 

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The long voyage of many migratory birds sometimes ends in Chicago. What one photographer is doing to raise awareness of window kill and light disorientation.

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An estimated 3,000 birds die or get injured from colliding with Chicago buildings each year. A new photography exhibition at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum aims to bring awareness to the issue.  

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This week the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum brings out some rare specimens from its vault and opens a new pop-up exhibit. 

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Gavin Van Horn

Chicago is not defined solely by its human residents. It’s a city with a living, evolving "ecological web of interactions" between man and animal, according to Gavin Van Horn. He joins "Chicago Tonight" to talk about "City Creatures," a book which details urban wildlife history through essays, poetry, photography and paintings.

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To mark the 157th anniversary of Chicago's first science museum, we take a look at some surprising specimens - including a Chicago rattlesnake.