Wildlife Diversity Update for June

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June 21, 2018

Blue Dasher


An Introduction to the World of Dragonflies and Damselflies

Greg Lasley, a skilled nature enthusiast, has spent years in the field observing and learning about dragonflies and damselflies (collectively known as odonates). He recently provided an introduction to these winged warriors during the Red Slough Birding Convention.

Get the basics on dragonflies and damselflies

Goatweed Leafwing


Species Spotlight: Goatweed Leafwing

When perched, the goatweed leafwing butterfly folds its wings and is camouflaged in shades of browns and is shaped like a dead leaf. It may be easily overlooked; until it opens its wings and reveals a striking reddish-orange back. These butterflies earn their unusual name from their host plant of goatweed, also known as wooly croton.

Learn more about this butterfly

Western Chicken Turtle


Wading through Wetlands for Western Chicken Turtles

An unusual turtle with an unusual name, the western chicken turtle can be found in southeastern Oklahoma where it spends most of its time sunning near small wetlands. To learn more about where these turtles live, the Wildlife Department teamed up with researchers from Missouri State University for a four-year search in a three-county area
of the Muddy Boggy and Clear Boggy creek drainages.

Find out what these turtles need to survive

RCW Banding


Banding the Woodpeckers of the Wilderness Area

Banding efforts are underway on the McCurtain County Wilderness Area! Biologists have just a few weeks to capture red-cockaded woodpecker chicks in their hidden nests and attach unique identification bands to their legs. Before handling the chicks, biologists coat their hands in corn starch so that oils from their skin aren’t transferred to the mostly naked chicks. So far, 15 chicks have been banded and returned to their nest cavity.  

Four Wildscapes Certified

Information about landscaping for wildlife, and how to certify your property as a Wildscape can be found at wildlifedepartment.com.

  • Larry & Patti Johnston, Logan County:  Wildlife Habitat #477

This Wildscape focused on specific birds, frogs, butterflies and native bees. Their water habitat element is provided by a fish pond that includes a 60-foot stream. When asked what animals use their water source, the response was, "Cats, raccoons, possums and who knows what!"

  • Steve & Teresa Blue, Tulsa County:  Wildlife Habitat #478

This Wildscape created two urban prairie gardens to attract butterflies.

  • Jeff Tibbits, Logan County:  Wildlife Habitat #479

This Wildscape includes a shrub layer made up of sumac, coralberry, and yaupon holly under the trees to provide both food and cover.

  • Jacquelyn S. Southern, Logan County:  Wildlife Habitat #480
Wildscape 480

The homeowner enjoys watching the hummingbirds visit her Wildscape. The pool in the background attracts a pair of mallards that bring their ducklings for a swim. 

Calendar of Events


Saturday Morning Hike

June 30
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, near Lawton

"Fourth of July" North American Butterfly Count

July 7
Oxley Nature Center, Tulsa


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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