Endangered Species

Congress passed the Endangered Species Action (ESA) in 1973. The purpose of the ESA is to protect endangered species and their habitats. The ESA is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The ESA applies protections to help the endangered species recover. More information on the ESA can be found at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service link below:
https://www.fws.gov/endangered/laws-policies/index.html

There are 21 endangered species listed in Oklahoma. The species that is most frequently encountered during turnpike construction is the American Burying Beetle (The ABB) is a large reddish-black beetle that inhabits tallgrass prairies, woodlands, and forests. Loss of habitat is causing the decline of the ABB. More information on the ABB’s lifecycle and habits can be found at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s website:
http://wildlifedepartment.com/wildlife/nongamespecies/american-burying-beetle

The OTA includes Special Provision 656 with all projects that take place in the ABB habitat. This special provision requires contractors to cease earthwork between May 20 and September 20 whenever an ABB is encountered.

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