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Off the Beaten Path



            Off  the Beaten Path






               Not es oN Wildlife • ou t door ti ps • r ea ders’ let t ers • eN v i roN meN ta l NeWs
                                            C om piled by doN p. broW N

          OKLAHOMA SONGBIRD  REMOVED  FROM ENDANGERED LIST


          By Jena Donnell,                                    “Black-capped vireos need thousands of acres of low-grow-
          Information and Education Specialist              ing oaks and scrubby habitat,” Fullerton said. “Our partners
            The black-capped vireo, a small migratory songbird that  in conservation have done a great job of managing for just
          breeds and nests in Oklahoma, Texas and northern Mexico, was  this type of habitat and have been a leading influence in the
          removed from the Endangered Species List in April by the U.S.  bird’s recovery.”
          Fish and Wildlife Service.                          J.D. Strong, director of the Wildlife Department, also praised
            Only 350 birds remained                         the coordination of habitat management efforts. “The black-
          across the bird’s range when                      capped vireo is a success story that shows the power of con-
          it was listed as an endangered                   ALAN SCHMIERER/PUBLIC DOMAIN  servation partnerships,” Strong said. “Now our challenge is
          species in 1987; less than 50 were                to redouble efforts to make sure those partnerships continue
          thought to live in Oklahoma.                      – along with valuable habitat restoration work and research – so
            “After 31 years, Oklahoma’s                     that vireos and Oklahoma’s other fish and wildlife populations
          population has grown to more  The black-capped vireo population   remain healthy.”
          than 4,000 birds,” said Matt   is now in the thousands, prompting   While in our state, these songbirds feed on insects, especially
          Fullerton, endangered species   the species to be removed from the   butterfly and moth caterpillars. Suspended nests are built 2- to
                                   federal Endangered Species List.
          biologist with the Oklahoma                       6-feet above the ground, and egg-laying reaches its peak in June.
          Department of Wildlife Conservation. “The bulk of these birds  After a four-month nesting season in Oklahoma, these birds
          can be found at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near  migrate and overwinter in Mexico’s western coastal states.
          Lawton and the nearby Fort Sill Military Installation.”  Surveys for the bird will continue at least 12 years to ensure the
            Nesting pairs also have been found just outside of the refuge  risk of extinction has passed.
          and military post, and at Quartz Mountain Nature Park near   “This announcement comes at the perfect time,” Fullerton
          Lone Wolf. Another small population was recently rediscovered  said. “Black-capped vireos are in Oklahoma now for their breed-
          on private property in Blaine County.             ing season and will be here until August and September.”


          NEW CUSTOMER-BASED LICENSE SYSTEM COMING IN 2019

            Beginning in early 2019, the Oklahoma Department of Wild- provide in-the-field information for sportsmen and women such
          life Conservation will unveil a new cutting edge, user-friendly  as sunrise-sunset tables, regulations, personal license confirma-
          license management system to better serve all citizens in their  tions and offline e-check.
          interactions with the Department.                   Another benefit is that the Wildlife Department will incur
            This technological leap forward will make it much easier  no up-front costs to acquire the new system, and license and
          and more convenient for the public to get hunting and fishing  permit fees will not be raised to pay for the system. Instead,
          licenses, to learn what the law requires for various activities,  the current online sales convenience fee will fund the system
          to keep track of hunter education requirements, to apply for  and its operation.
          controlled hunts, to check in game harvests, to buy items from   In early 2019, hunters, anglers and others who interact with the
          the Outdoor Store, and to receive noteworthy communications  Wildlife Department online will see the new licensing-customer
          from the Department.                              management system in action. Until then, license sales both
            This new customer-based system will replace the current license  online and through vendors statewide will remain the same as
          online sales process, license dealer sales, lifetime license sales and  they have been.
          permit sales. It will be a “one-stop shop” approach that improves   The new system was a culmination of more than a year of
          the constituent’s experience with the Wildlife Department.  effort by a committee of Department employees to develop spec-
            Some of the features that constituents will be able to use  ifications then evaluate and select the winning system provider,
          include the ability to receive notices to renew expiring licenses,  Brandt Information Services. Brandt already works with the fish
          online harvest reporting, auto-renewal options and optional  and wildlife agencies in Florida, Virginia, Georgia and Tennes-
          plastic card licenses. A mobile application will be available to  see in providing license management systems.


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