Oklahoma is a state in the southern region of the United States that is home to a diverse array of wildlife. From the prairies of the west to the forests of the east, the state boasts a rich and varied ecosystem that supports a wide range of plant and animal species. In this article, we will explore some of the most interesting and unique wildlife found in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma is a popular destination for birdwatchers, as the state is home to over 400 species of birds. The western part of the state is known for its grasslands, which are home to prairie chickens, northern harriers, and burrowing owls.
In the east, the forests are home to a variety of woodpeckers, including the pileated, red-headed, and red-bellied woodpeckers. The state is also home to several species of hawks and eagles, including the bald eagle, which can be seen along the shores of many of Oklahoma’s lakes and rivers.
Oklahoma’s grasslands are also home to a variety of mammals, including bison, pronghorns, and black-tailed jackrabbits. The eastern part of the state is home to several species of deer, including the white-tailed deer and the elk, which were reintroduced to the state in the early 1900s. Other mammals found in Oklahoma include coyotes, bobcats, and raccoons.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Oklahoma is home to a number of reptile and amphibian species, including several species of snakes, lizards, turtles, and frogs. The state’s rivers and lakes are home to several species of turtles, including the common snapping turtle, which can grow up to three feet in length. Oklahoma’s forests are also home to several species of salamanders, including the slimy salamander and the red-backed salamander.
Oklahoma’s lakes and rivers are home to a wide variety of fish species, including bass, catfish, crappie, and trout. The state’s rivers are also home to several species of freshwater mussels, including the federally endangered Neosho mucket.
Oklahoma is home to a variety of insects, including several species of butterflies, moths, and bees. The state is also home to several species of cicadas, which emerge every 17 years in large numbers. Other interesting insects found in Oklahoma include the tarantula hawk wasp, which hunts and paralyzes tarantulas, and the monarch butterfly, which migrates through the state in large numbers each fall.
Several organizations in Oklahoma work to protect and conserve the state’s wildlife and natural resources. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation manages and protects the state’s fish and wildlife populations, while also promoting hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
The Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma works to protect the state’s natural areas, including prairies, forests, and wetlands. The Oklahoma chapter of the Audubon Society works to protect birds and their habitats, while also promoting birdwatching and conservation education.
Top Destinations to See the Wildlife
Oklahoma is a state that offers many opportunities for wildlife viewing, with a variety of habitats that support a diverse array of plant and animal species. Here are some of the best places to see wildlife in Oklahoma:
1. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
In southwest Oklahoma, this 59,000-acre refuge is home to a variety of wildlife, including bison, elk, pronghorns, and Texas longhorns. Visitors can also see wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and a variety of bird species.
2. Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
This 39,000-acre preserve in northeastern Oklahoma is home to one of the largest remaining tracts of tallgrass prairie in North America. Visitors can see bison, coyotes, bobcats, and several species of birds and butterflies.
3. Beavers Bend State Park
Located in southeastern Oklahoma, this park is known for its scenic beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors can see white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, and several species of birds, including bald eagles.
4. Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge
Located in eastern Oklahoma, this 20,800-acre refuge is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and several species of waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and swans.
5. Great Salt Plains State Park
Located in north-central Oklahoma, this park is known for its unique landscape and wildlife. Visitors can see prairie dogs, coyotes, and several species of birds, including sandhill cranes, which migrate through the area in the fall.
6. Osage Hills Wildlife Preserve
Located in north-central Oklahoma, this preserve is home to various wildlife, including white-tailed deer, elk, and wild turkeys. Visitors can also see several species of birds and reptiles, including rattlesnakes and copperheads.
7. Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Located in south-central Oklahoma, this recreation area is known for its natural springs and wildlife. Visitors can see white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and several species of birds, including bald eagles.
While exploring the rich diversity of wildlife in the state of Oklahoma, don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness the sunning wildlife in Philly.
Oklahoma is a state that is rich in wildlife and natural beauty. From the prairies of the west to the forests of the east, the state is home to a diverse array of plant and animal species. With its many parks, wildlife refuges, and natural areas, Oklahoma offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation and wildlife viewing.