The Wild Side - Your March Wildlife Update

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March Wild Side Header


March 21, 2019

Okies for Monarchs Regional Plant List

Create a Great Pollinator Garden with Regional Plant Lists

Choosing which plants to include in your wildscape can be a daunting task, but Okies for Monarchs has created three regional plant lists that can help you narrow the options and support pollinators all season long! Early, mid and late blooming plants that benefit pollinators – especially monarch butterflies – are included along with general preferences for each plant. After you’ve planned your pollinator garden, check out Okies for Monarch’s list of plant nurseries that offer native plants.    

Browse your region’s plant list

Spotted Skunk/Vikki Jackson


Species Spotlight:  Spotted Skunk 

Most Oklahomans are familiar with the striped skunk but may not realize its nocturnal cousin, the spotted skunk, lives in our state’s rocky woodlands and grasslands. The two are best distinguished by their head markings – striped skunks have a thin white stripe from nose to forehead while spotted skunks only have a white patch or spot on their forehead. The spotted skunk is known for its tree-climbing ability and more pungent scent.

To learn more about this secretive mammal, the Wildlife Department has partnered with the University of Central Oklahoma to set camera traps in the Ouachita National Forest. So far, a handful of spotted skunk photos have been taken in LeFlore County.

Share your sightings with the Eastern Spotted Skunk iNaturalist Project

THL Surveys Funded


Wildlife Department Partners with Survey Teams

Knowing where Oklahoma’s wildlife populations are located is one of our biologist’s major management hurdles. So the Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Diversity Program reached out to our state’s research community to learn more about two species of interest, the Texas horned lizard and southern hickorynut mussel. 

  • Cameron Siler, associate curator of herpetology at the Sam Noble Museum, will head up a four-year assessment of Texas horned lizards in western Oklahoma. Among other things, his team will determine the population status of these popular lizards on three western public lands, and give recommendations for conducting successful surveys in the future.
  • Caryn Vaughn, research professor at the University of Oklahoma, will lead a two-year assessment to determine the persistence of the southern hickorynut mussel in four southeastern Oklahoma rivers. Her team's surveys will not only shed a light on southern hickorynuts, but also generate information about other mussel species of interest.

These surveys will be funded with congressionally appropriated State Wildlife Grant funds, which must be used to benefit our state’s species of greatest conservation need.

Tax Checkoff 2019


Tax Refunds Can Help Survey Fish and Wildlife

This year’s tax return can help our nongame wildlife! Oklahomans receiving a refund in tax year 2018 can contribute all or a part of the refund to the Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Diversity Fund. These donations can nearly triple in value when they are leveraged against federal wildlife funds, allowing biologists to spend more time in the field learning about our wildlife.

The Wildlife Department and it's Wildlife Diversity Program do not receive general state tax appropriations. We are funded by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, federal Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program grants and private donations. 

Look for this donation opportunity on Schedule 511-H.

Calendar of Events

Virtual Spring BioBlitz!

April 1 - 30
Submit your nature sightings at

Project Feeder Watch

Now - April 5

Bird Migration Tours

April 12 & 13
April 26 & 27
May 3 & 4
Hackberry Flat WMA, Frederick

Bat Wing-Ding

April 5-6
Alabaster Caverns State Park

Salt Plains Crystal and Birding Festival

April 27
Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge

Red Slough Birding Convention

May 4 - 7

Learning about the Snakes of Oklahoma

May 20


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 tax checkoff dollars

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

License Plate Promo 6 PNG

Adding a Wildlife Conservation specialty license plate to your vehicle is a great way to help the Wildlife Diversity Program fund surveys of rare or declining nongame fish and wildlife. Twenty dollars of the $39 fee ($36.50 for renewals) goes to the Wildlife Department. Wildlife Conservation Plate fees are in addition to annual registration fees. The application for a pre-numbered or personalized plate is available at