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What is the State Wildlife Grants Program?
State wildlife agencies are responsible for the conservation of the majority of fish and wildlife resources, but funding for conservation has been limited throughout our history. During the past 70 years, dedicated funding programs have been developed for the conservation of game and sport fish species, but many species, including rare or declining ones, are not eligible for funding assistance under these programs. Congress recognizes this limitation and in federal fiscal year 2001 it authorized and funded the State Wildlfie Grants Program. This program is a federal cost-share program that is restricted to statutory state fish and wildlife management agencies; the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is the approved state agency for the state of Oklahoma.
The purpose of the State Wildlfie Grants program is to support proactive conservation and management activities on behalf of the rare and declining species that are in greatest need of conservation attention. In order to most effectively use the limited conservation funding that is available through the State Wildlife Grants program, the ODWC worked with interested constituents and technical experts to prepare a strategic conservation plan that identifies the wildlife species in greatest conservation need, the habitats with which they are associated, and the factors that most substantially appear to affect their population. This plan is called the Oklahoma Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.pdf. The Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy was recently updated and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service June 10, 2016. The original plan was approved October 12, 2005.
Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 as a means of conserving native plants and animals that are in danger of extinction.
Each year, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) partner to manage, monitor, and recover federally threatened and endangered species. These projects are made possible with funding allocated to state wildlife agencies through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. This fund is authorized through Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which describes the important role states play in the implementation of the ESA. ESA Section 6 grants are managed through the Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Diversity Program, which is responsible for monitoring, managing, and promoting rare, declining, and endangered wildlife, as well as common species not hunted or fished.
Endangered Species Act, Section 6 Projects
|Grant Name||Grant Number||Job Number||Project Start Date||Project End Date|
|Ecology and Management of Isolated Populations of the Black-Capped Vireo (Vireo atricapullus) In Oklahoma||E-1||1986||1992|
|Leopard Darter Reproductive Biology Study in Southeastern Oklahoma||E-2||1986||1987|
|Status and Habitat Relationship of Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers in Oklahoma||E-3||1||1989||1991|
|Micor- and Macrohabitat Characteristics of Caves Within the Range of the Ozark Big-Eared Bat in Eastern Oklahoma||E-3||2||1989||1991|
|Management of the Endangered Ozark Big-Eared Bat: Continued Cave Searches and Colony Monitoring||E-3||3||1991||1992|
|Of the Endnagered Ozark Big-Eared Bat: Telemetry Investigations||E-3||4||1991||1994|
|Status Survey and Habitat Analysis of Stenotrema gilsbryi Rich Mountain Slitmouth||E-4||1989|
|Survey and Species Determination of Cave Crayfish in Oklahoma||E-5||1989||1991|
|Hydrogeology of Ozark Cavefish Caves||E-6||1989||1990|
|Status survey of the western fanshell and the Neosho mucket in Oklahoma||E-7||1990|
|Life History and Distribution of the Arkansas River Shiner in Oklahoma||E-8||1||1989||1991|
|Status of the Neosho madtom in Oklahoma||E-8||2||1991|
|Status of the speckled chub in the Arkansas River basin||E-8||3||1991||1993|
|Leopard darter mark and recapture study||E-8||4||1993||1996|
|Gray Bat (Myotis grisescens) Population and Protection System Monitoring||E-9||1989||1995|
|Habitat Use and Reporductive Biology of Arkansia wheeleri (Mollusca: Unionidae) In the Kiamichi River, Oklahoma||E-12||1990||1993|
|Habitat Use and Genetic Characterization and Variability in the American Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus Americanus, in Oklahoma||E-13||1990||1994|
|Preliminary assessment of black-tailed prairie dog colonies for reintroduction of black-footed ferrets in western Oklahoma||E-14||1990||1991|
|Distribution and land use history of prairie mole cricket lek sites in Oklahoma||E-16||1991||1992|
|Determination of the distribution and abundance of the Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) in Oklahoma||E-18||1991||1993|
|Least Tern "Share the Beach" Public Service Announcement campaign||E-19||1991||1992|
|Red-cockaded Woodpecker recovery work on the McCurtain County Wilderness Area.||E-21||1992||Ongoing|
|Management and Cave Protection for the Ozark Big-eared Bat(Corynorhinus townsendii ingens) and Gray Bat (Myotis grisescens) in Oklahoma||E-22||1993||Ongoing|
|Status survey of the Ouachita dusky salamander||E-24||1993||1995|
|Mountain plover breeding activity on cultivated fields||E-26||1993||1995|
|Status survey for three candidate aquatic invertebrates in the Arbuckle Mountains||E-27||1993||1995|
|Status Survey of the Arkansas Darter in Eastern Oklahoma||E-28||1993||1995|
|Reintroduction of the Arkansas River Speckled Chub and Taxonomic Status and Genetic Structure of the Speckled Chub in the Arkansas and Red River Drainages||E-29||1994||1998|
|Mist-net Surveys for Endangered and Candidate Bat Species on Public Lands in Eastern Oklahoma||E-30||1994||1996|
|Survey and Management of Interior Least Terns and Snowy Plovers on the Canadian River in Central and Western Oklahoma||E-31||1994||2001|
|Determination of Habitat Requirements for the Arkansas River Shiner||E-33||1994||1995|
|Determination of the status and habitat preference of the Neosho Mucket in Oklahoma||E-34||1994||1997|
|Distribution and Ecology of the Swift Fox (Vulpes velox)||E-35||1994||1997|
|American Burying Beetle Survey||E-36||1994||1995|
|Development of a Texas Horned Lizard Educational Brochure and Volunteer Report Form||E-37||1995||1995|
|Black-capped Vireo Survey on Public Land in Central Oklahoma||E-39||1995||1996|
|Status, distribution, and habitat use of the alligator snapping turtle in Oklahoma||E-40||1996||1999|
|Bachman's Sparrow Survey and Habitat Characterization on Southeastern Oklahoma Wildlife Management Areas||E-41||1996||1998|
|Reproductive Enhancement and Population Monitoring of Black-Capped Vireos in Blaine County||E-45||1997||Ongoing|
|Survey of Major Tributaries of the Kiamichi River for the Ouachita Rock Pocketbook and Other Rare Mussels||E-46||1997||1998|
|Public Survey for Information Related to Eastern Spotted Skunk Sightings||E-47||1997||1998|
|Monitoring of Known Populations of the Rich Mountain Slitmouth Snail||E-48||1997||1998|
|Monitoring of Oklahoma's Swift Fox Population||E-49||1998||2000|
|Status of the Mountain Plover in Cimarron County||E-51||1999||1999|
|Determining Acreage of Black-tailed Prairie Dog Colonies in Northwest Oklahoma||E-53||2000||2002|
|Development of Umbrella Candidate Conservation Agreements for Shortgrass Prairie Wildlife||E-55||2001||Ongoing|
|Mid-story Thinning on the McCurtain County Wilderness Area to Enhance Habitat for Red-Cockaded Woodpecker||E-56||2001||Ongoing|
|Monitoring of Arkansia wheeleri populations in the Kiamichi River||E-59||2003||Ongoing|
|DNA Analysis of Fecal Material to Identify Prey Selection of Ozark Big-eared Bats||E-83||2015||2016|
|Reinstatement of Management and Monitoring Efforts for a Remnant Population of Black-capped Vireos in Blaine County, Oklahoma||E-88||2017||2018|
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is aware of the serious threat posed by White-nose Syndrome (WNS), an infectious disease found only in bats, to our state’s bat populations.
Winter surveillance and monitoring efforts on select caves for WNS in Oklahoma began in 2010. Monitoring activities include swabbing bats to collect DNA evidence of the fungus, looking for the physical presence of the fungus, installing data loggers to collect humidity and temperature readings within hibernation sites, collecting tissue and blood samples from hibernating bats, and collecting soil samples. At times, bat specimens are collected for sample submission to certified laboratories when surveying bat hibernacula or for evaluating unusual bat morbidity or mortality during the winter. Winter surveillance efforts are conducted through the efforts of Rogers State University, University of Central Oklahoma, Central Oklahoma Grotto, Tulsa Regional Oklahoma Grotto, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Alabaster Caverns State Park and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
The fungus associated with the disease was first detected in Oklahoma in 2015 in a privately owned cave in Delaware County. The disease was confirmed in that same cave in 2017, and the fungus had spread to four other eastern Oklahoma counties; on bats in Cherokee and Adair counties in the winter of 2015-2016, and on bats in Ottawa and Sequoyah counties in the winter of 2016-2017.
To provide guidance on preventing the spread of the fungus and the disease and provide further information about the disease, the Wildlife Department has developed the following documents: