Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office
Southwest Region


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 Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan for Oklahoma

The Federal Register notice and associated information can be found here

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of a draft environmental assessment (EA), under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), that evaluates the impacts of, and alternatives to the proposed Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan (ICP) for incidental take of the federally listed American burying beetle resulting from activities associated with geophysical exploration, development, extraction, or transport of crude oil, natural gas, and/or other petroleum products, and maintenance, operation, repair, and decommissioning of oil and gas pipelines and well field infrastructure. The proposed ICP Planning Area consists of 45 counties in Oklahoma. Individual oil and gas companies would apply for Endangered Species Act (ESA) permits for incidental take associated with activities covered in the ICP and agree to comply with the terms and conditions of the ICP.

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 United States.

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

Bison grazing at the Wichita Mountains NWR
Last updated: April 15, 2014
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.