Wildlife Diversity Update for August

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August 23, 2018



Three Northeastern Rivers Surveyed

Wildlife diversity biologists recently completed a two-year survey of the Neosho, Spring, and Elk rivers; documenting at least 58 species of fish and 14 species of mussels.

Fish of these three Grand Lake tributaries were surveyed using seines, hoop nets and electrofishing techniques while living mussels were documented in snorkel surveys. Biologists also identified potentially occurring mussels by searching for empty mussel shells on the river banks and gravel bars. Ten of the documented species – 7 fish and 3 mussels – are considered species of greatest conservation need.

The Neosho River at Miami Park and continuing one mile upstream had the greatest fish diversity with 25 species detected. Mussel diversity appeared greatest at the Neosho River’s Stepps Ford Bridge where gravel shoals and exposed bedrock created the best opportunities for opportunistic mussel sampling. 

Read the full report

Common Buckeye


Species Spotlight: Common Buckeye

With every flutter of its wings, the Common Buckeye transforms from a subtle brown butterfly to a brightly colored beauty. Orange patterning and relatively large eyespots on the edges of the upper fore and hind wing are easy clues that can help in identification. This butterfly is common in Oklahoma from April to November.

Learn more about this butterfly



Ideas for Creating a Wildlife-friendly Backyard Available Online

The Wildlife Department recently added “Landscaping for Wildlife:  A Guide to the Southern Great Plains” to its online resources. The 200-plus page book is designed to help wildlife enthusiasts establish a successful wildscape that may attract birds, butterflies, lizards, and more to rural and urban backyard settings. Included are landscape designs, plant lists, nest box blueprints, step-by-step instructions for creating a water source and kid-friendly projects that encourage youngsters to engage with nature.

Flip through the digital pages at wildlifedepartment.com



The Century-old McCurtain County Wilderness Area Benefits Oklahoma’s Wildlife

Red-cockaded woodpeckers and their specialized habitat needs are a major consideration for biologists at the McCurtain County Wilderness Area – the Wildlife Department’s oldest management area and home to Oklahoma’s last remaining population of the federally endangered bird. But management efforts for the rare woodpecker have also benefitted a host of other Oklahoma wildlife.

Learn the recipe for habitat and wildlife success

Calendar of Events


Wetland at Night

September 8
Hackberry Flat WMA, Frederick

Deep Fork NWR 25th Anniversary Conservation Celebration

September 15, 2018

Seed Collection Workshop

September 15
Prairie Crossroads Registered Natural Area, Osage County

Wildlife Expo

September 22 & 23
Lazy E Arena, Guthrie


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