Endangered Species
Ecological Services

Stories from - OKLAHOMA

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Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery May Hold Solution for Rare Turtles

TAs crickets sing sunshine to sleep, it's a wake-up call for alligator snapping turtles. They make a living by the dark of the night in big creeks, rivers, and marshes in the southern United States. In Oklahoma, they are not quite as abundant as they used to be... Read More

Stories from - OKLAHOMA

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Big Steps for a Small Beetle

The federally endangered American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) has one of the most unique lifestyles of any species on the planet... Read More

Stories from - OKLAHOMA

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Conservation Partnerships Help a Small Fish Overcome Big Challenges

Rivers of the southern Great Plains are among the most dynamic and harsh river environments in the world. Stream temperatures may reach up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit during the heat of summer... Read More

Stories from - OKLAHOMA

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Restoring Oklahoma's Tallgrass Prairie

Oklahoma's native plant communities evolved with the one factor you would not anticipate to help plant development: fire. In fact, some plants require fire in order to... Read More

Featured Species in Oklahoma

Whooping crane. Photo credit: USFWS

Whooping crane

The whooping crane is one of the most, if not the most, endangered birds in North America. A combination of hunting and habitat loss nearly drove the species to extinction in the 1940s. Thanks to the hard work of federal, state, and nongovernmental groups, there are now about 250 whooping cranes living in the wild and another 150 whoopers in captivity.  More »


Whooping crane.

Photo credit: USFWS

Winged mapleleaf, photo credit:  Phil Delphey, USFWS

Winged mapleleaf

The range of the winged mapleleaf once included 13 states where it was found in nearly all rivers and streams feeding into the Mississippi River and in one river flowing into the Missouri River. Today however, the mussel can only be found in limited areas of five rivers in the Midwestern United States.     More »


Winged mapleleaf.

Photo credit: Phil Delphey, USFWS

Partnership Stories in Oklahoma

Interior least tern.  Photo credit: USFWS

Helping the Endangered Interior Least Tern

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help build and maintain habitat for the federally endangered interior least tern. Interior least terns are migratory birds nesting primarily in isolated areas along the Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Red and Rio Grande river systems from May to August. Dams, reservoirs and other changes to river systems have eliminated most historic least tern habitat. More »

Found in Oklahoma

  • Black-capped vireos, Photo credit: Gil Eckrich, Fort Hood

    Black-capped vireos (Vireo atricapilla) are beautiful songbirds that breed in a relatively narrow area of Oklahoma and Texas in the U.S. and north-central Mexico. Among the most influential factors contributing to its decline are nest parasitism by the brown-headed cowbird, habitat deterioration through destruction, and natural successional changes resulting from fire suppression.

    Photo credit: Gil Eckrich, Fort Hood

  • Eastern prairie fringed orchid, Photo credit: Angela Boyer, USFWS

    The eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) is a rare orchid plant that has a single flower spike with 40 to 50 creamy white flowers. Interestingly, night flying hawkmoths pollinate the nocturnally fragrant flowers of this white orchid. Historically, populations declined from habitat loss from conversion to cropland and pasture, but today it suffers from habitat loss due to the drainage and development of wetlands.

    Photo credit: Angela Boyer, USFWS

See other species listed in Oklahoma
Last updated: June 4, 2020