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USFWS considering listing two Oklahoma species

December 31, 1969
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is considering listing two species found in Oklahoma under the Endangered Species Act.  The first species is a bird - the Mountain Plover, and the second species is a tree – the Ozark Chinquapin.  

The mountain plover is a small bird about the size of a killdeer and is native to short-grass prairie landscapes. Wyoming, along with Colorado and Montana, forms the central core of the mountain plover breeding ground. However, it is also found in Cimarron and Texas Counties in the Oklahoma panhandle.

This is the third time the mountain plover has been considered to join the list of endangered species. In 1999 and again in 2002, the Service proposed to list the mountain plover as a threatened species.

The ozark chinquapin is a medium-sized beech tree that can reach heights of more than 30 feet.  It can be found in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The ozark chinquapin is scattered in eastern Oklahoma in Choctaw, Delaware, Mayes, Adair, Cherokee, Leflore, Latimer, and McCurtain counties.  

OIPA is working with a number of associations and companies and have hired consultants to support the development and submittal of comments to the USFWS opposing the listing of both species.

If these species are listed as either threatened or endangered, operators could not “take” either species, and would be required to consult with the USFWS and implement requirements if their proposed drilling operations were in an area where the species is located and their projects had a federal nexus i.e. was located on federal lands, required a federal permit, or was supported by federal funding.  

For more information on ozark chinquapin, go to, and for more info on the mountain plover, go to

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