Environment

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

The future of Illinois' official state insect is in doubt.

The Monarch butterfly has seen its population decline by 80 percent over the past ten years, putting it at risk of becoming endangered.

Illinois officials have released detailed plans for how they'll reintroduce a giant fish that was thought to be extinct from the state's waters.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Monday that it's published a management plan for alligator gar, which includes goals and objectives.

WSIU/Kevin Boucher

Every year at this time,  on a road in Union County the United States Forest Service swings two big steel gates together  and locks them shut with a huge padlock, closing a two and a half mile stretch of Forest Road 345 to vehicle traffic, more commonly known as Snake Road.   Officials do this to protect  the large numbers of reptiles and amphibians as they  make  their annual, life-saving journey from the swamps to the rocks and crevices at the base of the 100 foot bluffs to spend the winter.  Even though all motorized vehicles are prohibited from using the road at this time, hikers are e