Wildlife Diversity Update for January

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January 24, 2018

Bill Horn


Remembering Bill Horn (1952-2017)

Oklahoma's bird community lost a friend in Bill Horn in December, 2017. A talented photographer, Horn specialized in bird photography, sharing many stunning images and tips with the Wildlife Department. 

Continue Horn's legacy with this clip from Outdoor Oklahoma

Eastern Mole


Species Spotlight:  Eastern Mole

Built for life underground, the eastern mole twists through tunnels shoveling dirt around its body with blocky front feet. The pointed nose, tiny eyes and missing external ears are other indicators of a belowground lifestyle.

Learn more in the Wildlife Department's Field Guide

License Plates


Nine Wildlife Plate Designs For Outdoor Enthusiasts

Thousands of Oklahomans have showcased their passion for the outdoors - and supported conservation - by tagging their ride with a wildlife conservation license plate. 

More than half of the $38 fee ($36.50 for renewals) goes directly to the Wildlife Diversity Program, funding nongame conservation efforts across the state. The Wildlife Department does not receive any state tax appropriations, instead relying on hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts to help manage our state's wildlife resources.

Apply for a pre-numbered or personalized tag and help Oklahoma's wildlife today!

OK Winter Bird Atlas


Oklahoma's Winter Birds Featured in New Book

Details of more than 250 Oklahoma bird species spotted during winter surveys have been shared in the newly released Oklahoma Winter Bird Atlas, revealing information about the status of these birds in our state and providing bird watchers trip planning ideas. Easy-to-read, the accounts offer information about the preferred habitat, distribution and typical behavior of the bird along with color photographs.

This atlas is the result of a five year survey of more than 550 blocks of land and provides maps of sightings and Oklahoma trends. Surveys were funded in part by ODWC’s State Wildlife Grants Program Grant T-25-P-1.

The Oklahoma Winter Bird Atlas and companion book, the Oklahoma Breeding Bird Atlas, are available from the University of Oklahoma Press. 



891 Beetles Captured in Search of Endangered Species

Researchers with Oklahoma State University recently completed their search for the American burying beetle, Oklahoma’s only endangered insect. Twenty-seven American burying beetles, along with more than 850 burying beetles of related species, were captured and released as part of the project.

At least five species of burying beetles can be found in Oklahoma but only one, the American burying beetle, has a bright orange marking just behind the head. These colorful beetles have an even more colorful lifestyle; they rely on dead rodents or small birds to reproduce, and then bury the carcass and their eggs underground.

The research team set live beetle traps on seven Wildlife Management Areas, three State Parks and two National Wildlife Refuges. American burying beetles were captured and marked at five of these WMAs and one NWR, supporting the idea that conservation efforts are likely to have more of a positive effect on the beetles in “hot spots.”  

Read the Full Report

Calendar of Events

Eagle Tour and Loon Watch

January 27, 2018
Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge and Tenkiller State Park

Chicken Hawks & Hoot Owls Program and Tour

February 10, 2018
Hackberry Flat Center, Frederick

Backyard Bird Extravaganza

February 17, 2018
Arcadia Conservation Education Area, Edmond


The Wild Side e-newsletter is a project of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Wildlife Diversity Program. The Wildlife Diversity Program monitors, manages and promotes rare, declining, and endangered wildlife, as well as common wildlife not fished or hunted. It is primarily funded by the sales of Wildlife Department license plates, publication sales and private donors. 

Get involved with the Wildlife Diversity Program and learn more about Oklahoma's nongame wildlife at: wildlifedepartment.com

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