This is the web site of the Oklahoma Ecological Services
Field Office. Use the links to the left or at the bottom to
browse the sections of this and related sites. Below are some
news and updates regarding the activities of this office.
American Burying Beetle Oklahoma Range Update
The range of the American burying beetle (ABB) in Oklahoma has been updated, as a result of positive survey findings along the western edge of the ABB's range in 2014. This change results in a range expansion by 3% in Oklahoma, or an additional 576,738 acres. The updated information has been uploaded into the Service’s Information Planning and Conservation (IPaC) system, which provides the most current information on threatened and endangered species ranges. A map of the range has also been updated in the American Burying Beetle Impact Assessment for Project Reviews guidance document, which can be found on the ABB webpage. Geographic information system (GIS) shapefiles also are available on the ABB webpage.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Protects Northern Long-eared Bat as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it is protecting the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), primarily due to the threat posed by white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has devastated many bat populations.
At the same time, the Service issued an interim special rule that eliminates unnecessary regulatory requirements for landowners, land managers, government agencies and others in the range of the northern long-eared bat. The public is invited to comment on this interim rule as the Service considers whether modifications or exemptions for additional categories of activities should be included in a final 4(d) rule that will be finalized by the end of the calendar year. The Service is accepting public comments on the proposed rule until July 1, 2015 and may make revisions based on additional information it receives.
The listing becomes effective on May 4, 2015, 30 days after publication of the final listing determination in the Federal Register.
Learn more here
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Lists Two Freshwater Mussels, Neosho Mucket (as Endangered)
and Rabbitsfoot (as Threatened)
The Federal Register listing is located here
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing the Neosho
mucket as endangered and the Rabbitsfoot as threatened under
the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Both species are freshwater
mussels found in river systems in the eastern half of the
The Neosho mucket has been eliminated from about 62 percent
of its historic range with only nine of 16 historic populations
remaining. Only one of these populations is known to be reproducing.
The Neosho mucket is currently found in Arkansas, Kansas,
Oklahoma, and Missouri.
The Rabbitsfoot has disappeared from about 64 percent of
its historic range. While 51 of the 140 historic populations
remain, only 11 populations (22 percent of its existing populations
or eight percent of the historic populations) are viable;
23 populations (45 percent of the existing populations) are
at risk of elimination; and 17 populations (33 percent of
the current populations) show limited reproduction with little
evidence of sustainability. The Rabbitsfoot is currently found
in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
and Tennessee. The Rabbitsfoot is no longer found in Georgia
and West Virginia.
The complete news release can be found here
Important Update: Service
reopens Public Comment Period on Proposed Critical Habitat for
the Neosho Mucket and Rabbitsfoot Mussels, with new deadline
of July 14, 2014.
- A news release describing the new comment period can be
- Frequently Asked Questions about critical habitat proposed
for the two mussel species can be found here
American Burying Beetle Oil and
Gas Industry Conservation Plan Approved for Oklahoma
Final documents and associated information can be found here
News Release: Service Approves Industry Conservation Plan
for the American Burying Beetle can be found here
Questions and Answers: Industry Conservation Plan for the
American Burying Beetle can be found here
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) approved a plan
to streamline the Endangered Species Act (ESA) permitting
process for oil and gas activities that may result in take
of the American burying beetle (ABB) in Oklahoma. The approved
Industry Conservation Plan (ICP) provides industry with a
mechanism to move forward with oil and gas projects in ABB
habitat during the 2014 and 2015 ABB active season.
The approved ICP covers take of the ABB that is incidental
to activities associated with oil and gas exploration and
the construction, operation, maintenance, repair and decommissioning
of oil and gas pipelines and related well fields. It provides
oil and gas operators the ability to proceed with projects
in covered counties while conserving the American burying
beetle and its habitat. The ICP will cover construction activities
for two years and operations and maintenance activities will
be covered for 20 years.