Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is an agency of the state of Oklahoma responsible for managing and protecting Oklahoma's wildlife population and their habitats. The Department is under the control of the Wildlife Conservation Commission, an 8-member board appointed by the Governor of Oklahoma with the approval of the Oklahoma Senate. All members serve eight-year terms; the Commission, in turn, appoints a Director to serve as the chief administrative officer of the Department. The current Director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation is Richard Hatcher; the Department was created in 1956 during the term of Governor Raymond D. Gary by an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution; the Department was created in 1956 when the voters of Oklahoma approved State Question 374, which amended the Oklahoma Constitution by adding Article 26. The State Question was brought before the voters of the state through an initiative petition process; the Department is overseen by the Oklahoma Secretary of Environment.
Under Governor Kevin Stitt, Michael Teague is serving as the Secretary. Wildlife Conservation Commission Director Assistant Director - Administration Administration Division Fiscal Services Section Employee Services Section Human Resources Section Assistant Director - Operations Fisheries Division Wildlife Division Information and Education Division Law Enforcement Division Federal Aid and Response Management Division The Wildlife Conservation Department, with an annual budget of over $40 million, is one of the larger employers of the State. For fiscal year 2010, the Department was authorized 339 full-time employees. Since the establishment of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, two officers have died while on duty. List of law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma List of State Fish and Wildlife Management Agencies in the U. S. Official DWC Hunting Regulations Official DWC Waterfowl Hunting Regulations Official DWC Fishing Regulations
Edward Drinker Cope
Edward Drinker Cope was an American paleontologist and comparative anatomist, as well as a noted herpetologist and ichthyologist. He was a founder of the Neo-Lamarckism school of thought. Born to a wealthy Quaker family, Cope distinguished himself as a child prodigy interested in science. Though his father tried to raise Cope as a gentleman farmer, he acquiesced to his son's scientific aspirations. Cope had one child. Cope had little formal scientific training, he eschewed a teaching position for field work, he made regular trips to the American West, prospecting in the 1870s and 1880s as a member of United States Geological Survey teams. A personal feud between Cope and paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh led to a period of intense fossil-finding competition now known as the Bone Wars. Cope's financial fortunes soured after failed mining ventures in the 1880s, forcing him to sell off much of his fossil collection, he experienced a resurgence in his career toward the end of his life before dying on April 12, 1897.
Though Cope's scientific pursuits nearly bankrupted him, his contributions helped to define the field of American paleontology. He was a prodigious writer, with 1,400 papers published over his lifetime, although his rivals debated the accuracy of his published works, he discovered and named more than 1,000 vertebrate species, including hundreds of fishes and dozens of dinosaurs. His proposal for the origin of mammalian molars is notable among his theoretical contributions. "Cope's rule", the hypothesis that mammalian lineages grow larger over geologic time, while named after him, is "neither explicit nor implicit" in his work. Edward Drinker Cope was born on the eldest son of Alfred and Hanna Cope; the death of his mother when he was three years old seemed to have had little effect on young Edward, as he mentioned in his letters that he had no recollection of her. His stepmother, Rebecca Biddle, filled the maternal role. Alfred, an orthodox member of the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers, operated a lucrative shipping business started by his father, Thomas P. Cope, in 1821.
He was a philanthropist who gave money to the Society of Friends, the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens, the Institute for Colored Youth. Edward was born and raised in a large stone house called "Fairfield", whose location is now within the boundaries of Philadelphia; the 8 acres of pristine and exotic gardens of the house offered a landscape that Edward was able to explore. The Copes began teaching their children to read and write at a young age, took Edward on trips across New England and to museums and gardens. Cope's interest in animals became apparent at a young age. Alfred intended to give his son the same education he himself had received. At age nine, Edward was sent to a day school in Philadelphia and in 1853 at the age of 12, Edward was sent to the Friends' Boarding School at Westtown, near West Chester, Pennsylvania; the school was founded in 1799 with fundraising by members of the Society of Friends, provided much of the Cope family's education. The prestigious school was expensive, costing Alfred $500 in tuition each year, in his first year, Edward studied algebra, scripture, grammar and Latin.
Edward's letters home requesting a larger allowance show he was able to manipulate his father, he was, according to author and Cope biographer Jane Davidson, "a bit of a spoiled brat". His letters suggest he was lonely at the school—it was the first time he had been away from his home for an extended period. Otherwise, Edward's studies progressed much like a typical boy—he had "less than perfect" or "not quite satisfactory" marks for conduct from his teachers, did not work hard on his penmanship lessons, which may have contributed to his illegible handwriting as an adult. Edward returned to Westtown in 1855. Biology began to interest him more that year, he studied natural history texts in his spare time. While at the school, he visited the Academy of Natural Sciences. Edward obtained bad marks due to quarreling and bad conduct, his letters to his father show he chafed at farm work and betrayed flashes of the temper for which he would become well known. After sending Edward back to the farm for summer break in 1854 and 1855, Alfred did not return Edward to school after spring 1856.
Instead, Alfred attempted to turn his son into a gentleman farmer, which he considered a wholesome profession that would yield enough profit to lead a comfortable life, improve the undersized Edward's health. Until 1863, Cope's letters to his father continually expressed his yearning for a more professional scientific career than that of a farmer, which he called "dreadfully boring". While working on farms, Edward continued his education on his own. In 1858, he began working part-time at the Academy of Natural Sciences and cataloguing specimens, published his first series of research results in January 1859. Cope began taking German classes with a former Westtown teacher. Though Alfred resisted his son's pursuit of a science career, he paid for his son's private studies. Instead of working the farm his father bought for him, Edward rented out the land and used the income to further his scientific endeavors. Alfred gave in to Edward's wishes and paid for university cl
Birds known as Aves, are a group of endothermic vertebrates, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds range in size from the 5 cm bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m ostrich. They rank as the world's most numerically-successful class of tetrapods, with ten thousand living species, more than half of these being passerines, sometimes known as perching birds. Birds have wings which are less developed depending on the species. Wings, which evolved from forelimbs, gave birds the ability to fly, although further evolution has led to the loss of flight in flightless birds, including ratites and diverse endemic island species of birds; the digestive and respiratory systems of birds are uniquely adapted for flight. Some bird species of aquatic environments seabirds and some waterbirds, have further evolved for swimming; the fossil record demonstrates that birds are modern feathered dinosaurs, having evolved from earlier feathered dinosaurs within the theropod group, which are traditionally placed within the saurischian dinosaurs.
The closest living relatives of birds are the crocodilians. Primitive bird-like dinosaurs that lie outside class Aves proper, in the broader group Avialae, have been found dating back to the mid-Jurassic period, around 170 million years ago. Many of these early "stem-birds", such as Archaeopteryx, were not yet capable of powered flight, many retained primitive characteristics like toothy jaws in place of beaks, long bony tails. DNA-based evidence finds that birds diversified around the time of the Cretaceous–Palaeogene extinction event 66 million years ago, which killed off the pterosaurs and all the non-avian dinosaur lineages, but birds those in the southern continents, survived this event and migrated to other parts of the world while diversifying during periods of global cooling. This makes them the sole surviving dinosaurs according to cladistics; some birds corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animals. Many species annually migrate great distances. Birds are social, communicating with visual signals and bird songs, participating in such social behaviours as cooperative breeding and hunting and mobbing of predators.
The vast majority of bird species are monogamous for one breeding season at a time, sometimes for years, but for life. Other species have breeding systems that are polygynous or polyandrous. Birds produce offspring by laying eggs, they are laid in a nest and incubated by the parents. Most birds have an extended period of parental care after hatching; some birds, such as hens, lay eggs when not fertilised, though unfertilised eggs do not produce offspring. Many species of birds are economically important as food for human consumption and raw material in manufacturing, with domesticated and undomesticated birds being important sources of eggs and feathers. Songbirds and other species are popular as pets. Guano is harvested for use as a fertiliser. Birds prominently figure throughout human culture. About 120–130 species have become extinct due to human activity since the 17th century, hundreds more before then. Human activity threatens about 1,200 bird species with extinction, though efforts are underway to protect them.
Recreational birdwatching is an important part of the ecotourism industry. The first classification of birds was developed by Francis Willughby and John Ray in their 1676 volume Ornithologiae. Carl Linnaeus modified that work in 1758 to devise the taxonomic classification system in use. Birds are categorised as the biological class Aves in Linnaean taxonomy. Phylogenetic taxonomy places Aves in the dinosaur clade Theropoda. Aves and a sister group, the clade Crocodilia, contain the only living representatives of the reptile clade Archosauria. During the late 1990s, Aves was most defined phylogenetically as all descendants of the most recent common ancestor of modern birds and Archaeopteryx lithographica. However, an earlier definition proposed by Jacques Gauthier gained wide currency in the 21st century, is used by many scientists including adherents of the Phylocode system. Gauthier defined Aves to include only the crown group of the set of modern birds; this was done by excluding most groups known only from fossils, assigning them, instead, to the Avialae, in part to avoid the uncertainties about the placement of Archaeopteryx in relation to animals traditionally thought of as theropod dinosaurs.
Gauthier identified four different definitions for the same biological name "Aves", a problem. Gauthier proposed to reserve the term Aves only for the crown group consisting of the last common ancestor of all living birds and all of its descendants, which corresponds to meaning number 4 below, he assigned other names to the other groups. Aves can mean all archosaurs closer to birds than to crocodiles Aves can mean those advanced archosaurs with feathers Aves can mean those feathered dinosaurs that fly Aves can mean the last common ancestor of all the living birds and all of its descendants (a "c
Center for Biological Diversity
The Center for Biological Diversity, based in Tucson, Arizona, is a nonprofit membership organization with 1.1 million members and online activists, known for its work protecting endangered species through legal action, scientific petitions, creative media and grassroots activism. It was founded in 1989 by Peter Galvin, Todd Schulke and Robin Silver; the Center has offices and staff in New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Minnesota, Vermont and Washington, D. C. Given a small grant by the Fund for Wild Nature, the organization started in 1989 as a small group by the name of Greater Gila Biodiversity Project, with the objective to protect endangered species and critical habitat in the southwest; the organization grew and became the Center for Biological Diversity. Kieran Suckling, Peter Galvin, Todd Schulke founded the organization in response to what they perceived as a failure on the part of the United States Forest Service to protect imperiled species from logging and mining; as surveyors in New Mexico, the three men discovered "a rare Mexican spotted owl nest in an old-growth tree", but their discovery was overshadowed by Forest Service plans to lease the land to timber companies.
Suckling and Schulke went to the media to register their outrage with success: the old-growth tree was allowed to stand, this success led to the founding of the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center focused on issues specific to the Southwestern United States, but today its mission encompasses far-reaching problems such as global threats to biological diversity and climate change. One of the Center's biggest recent victories was in 2011, when it reached a historic legal settlement with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service compelling the agency to make progress on protecting 757 imperiled but neglected animals and plants; the Center employs a group of paid and pro bono attorneys to use litigation to effect change, claims a 93 percent success rate for their lawsuits. On 13 June 2007, the Center spoke out against a Bush administration proposal to reduce the protected area for spotted owls in the United States Pacific Northwest. According to Noah Greenwald, the group's representative in the Northwest, the proposed habitat cut is "typical of an administration, looking to reduce protections for endangered species at every turn."
Greenwald said that the rollback is part of a series of "sweetheart deals," in which the administration settles an environmental lawsuit out of court and, "at the industry's wishes, reduces the critical habitat." According to the Center, the move conforms to a broad trend that includes at least 25 earlier Bush administration decisions on habitat protections for endangered species. In those cases, the protected areas were reduced an average of 36 percent. On 16 December 2008, the Center announced intent to sue the United States government for introducing "regulations... that would eviscerate our nation’s most successful wildlife law by exempting thousands of federal activities, including those that generate greenhouse gases, from review under the Endangered Species Act." The lawsuit, critical of U. S. Interior Department Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and President George W. Bush, was filed in the Northern District of California by the Center and Defenders of Wildlife. According to the Center, "The lawsuit argues that the regulations violate the Endangered Species Act and did not go through the required public review process.
The regulations, first proposed on August 11th, were rushed by the Bush administration through an abbreviated process in which more than 300,000 comments from the public were reviewed in 2-3 weeks, environmental impacts were analyzed in a short and cursory environmental assessment, rather than a fuller environmental impact statement." Every year since 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity has given an award "to those who have done the most to destroy wild places and biological diversity". Environmental journalism List of environment topics Wildlife conservation Wildlife management Center for Biological Diversity website
Richard Harlan was an American naturalist, herpetologist and paleontologist. He was the author of Fauna Americana, published in 1825, American Herpetology. Harlan was born in Philadelphia, to Joshua Harlan, a wealthy Quaker merchant, his wife Sarah, one of their ten children, he was three years older than his brother Josiah Harlan, who would become the first American to visit Afghanistan and, the presumed inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's story The Man Who Would Be King. He graduated in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania taking time off during his studies to spend a year at sea as a ship's surgeon for the British East India Company. In 1821 he was elected professor of comparative anatomy in the Philadelphia museum. One of his passions was the study of human skulls. At its peak, his collection contained the largest such collection in America, he died of apoplexy in Louisiana. In 1834, Harlan described and named Basilosaurus, a genus of early whale, erroneously assuming he had found a Plesiosaurus-like dinosaur.
Fauna Americana. Available online via the U. S. National Library of Medicine. Harlan's muskox Simpson, George Gaylord. "The Beginnings of Vertebrate Paleontology in North America". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 86: 130–188. Sterling, Keir B. ed.. "Harlan, Richard". Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian Naturalists and Environmentalists. Greenwood Press. "Richard Harlan Journals". American Philosophical Society Library. American Philosophical Society
Predation is a biological interaction where one organism, the predator and eats another organism, its prey. It is one of a family of common feeding behaviours that includes parasitism and micropredation and parasitoidism, it is distinct from scavenging on dead prey, though many predators scavenge. Predators may search for prey or sit and wait for it; when prey is detected, the predator assesses. This may involve pursuit predation, sometimes after stalking the prey. If the attack is successful, the predator kills the prey, removes any inedible parts like the shell or spines, eats it. Predators are adapted and highly specialized for hunting, with acute senses such as vision, hearing, or smell. Many predatory animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate, have sharp claws or jaws to grip and cut up their prey. Other adaptations include aggressive mimicry that improve hunting efficiency. Predation has a powerful selective effect on prey, the prey develop antipredator adaptations such as warning coloration, alarm calls and other signals, mimicry of well-defended species, defensive spines and chemicals.
Sometimes predator and prey find themselves in an evolutionary arms race, a cycle of adaptations and counter-adaptations. Predation has been a major driver of evolution since at least the Cambrian period. At the most basic level, predators eat other organisms. However, the concept of predation is broad, defined differently in different contexts, includes a wide variety of feeding methods. A parasitoid, such as an ichneumon wasp, lays its eggs on its host. Zoologists call this a form of parasitism, though conventionally parasites are thought not to kill their hosts. A predator can be defined to differ from a parasitoid in two ways: it kills its prey immediately. There are other borderline cases. Micropredators are small animals that, like predators, feed on other organisms. However, since they do not kill their hosts, they are now thought of as parasites. Animals that graze on phytoplankton or mats of microbes are predators, as they consume and kill their food organisms. However, when animals eat seeds or eggs, they are consuming entire living organisms, which by definition makes them predators, albeit unconventional ones: for instance, a mouse that eats grass seeds has no adaptations for tracking and subduing prey and its teeth are not adapted to slicing through flesh.
Scavengers, organisms that only eat organisms found dead, are not predators, but many predators such as the jackal and the hyena scavenge when the opportunity arises. Among invertebrates, social wasps are both scavengers of other insects. While examples of predators among mammals and birds are well known, predators can be found in a broad range of taxa, they are common among insects, including mantids, dragonflies and scorpionflies. In some species such as the alderfly, only the larvae are predatory. Spiders are predatory, as well as other terrestrial invertebrates such as scorpions. In marine environments, most cnidarians, ctenophora and flatworms are predatory. Among crustaceans, crabs and barnacles are predators, in turn crustaceans are preyed on by nearly all cephalopods. Seed predation is restricted to mammals and insects and is found in all terrestrial ecosystems. Egg predation includes both specialist egg predators such as some colubrid snakes and generalists such as foxes and badgers that opportunistically take eggs when they find them.
Some plants, like the pitcher plant, the Venus fly trap and the sundew, are carnivorous and consume insects. Some carnivorous fungi catch nematodes using either active traps in the form of constricting rings, or passive traps with adhesive structures. Many species of protozoa and bacteria prey on other microorganisms. Among freshwater and marine zooplankton, whether single-celled or multi-cellular, predatory grazing on phytoplankton and smaller zooplankton is common, found in many species of nanoflagellates, ciliates, rotifers, a diverse range of meroplankton animal larvae, two groups of crustaceans, namely copepods and cladocerans. To feed, a predator must search for and kill its prey; these actions form a foraging cycle. The predator must decide. If it chooses pursuit, its physical capabilities determine the mode of pursuit. Having captured the prey, it may need to expend energy handling it (e.g. killing it, removing any shell or