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Oklahoma Wildlife Information:
Oklahoma State bird: Scissor-tailed flycatcher
State mammal: Bison
State reptile: Common collared lizard
State amphibian: North American bullfrog
State fish: White bass
State insect: European honeybee
Oklahoma is a land filled with lush grasslands, absent of tall mountains. The state does have numerous mountain ranges, but most of these are mesa-like, surrounding canyons and winding rivers. Of all the states in the country, Oklahoma is one of the most diverse when it comes to habitats. Though only 24 percent of the region is forested, there are areas of wetlands, grasslands, woodlands, and semi-arid zones. The state sits in the midst of the Great Plains, and it is subject to severe weather throughout the year. The weather is mostly warm and wet, though temperature differences can be significant between the north and south parts of the state.
Being in the central Great Plains, it’s not surprising to learn that bison still roam this region. Rampant slaughter of the large grazing animals during the early years of the country almost wiped the species out. Now, as a protected animal, bison once again roam the grasslands along with herds of elk and white-tailed deer. There are not many large predators in the state. Black bears are the largest, but they rarely go after something as large as a deer, being content to forage for berries and insects. Coyotes are the primary predator and are scattered around the region. Wolves were once native to the state, but the last wolf in Oklahoma was seen back in the 1930’s.
A state with abundant grassland will be a state with an abundance of small animals. The wide spaces are ideal for prairie dogs, and these little creatures can prove very detrimental to farmers and their equipment. Other nuisance animals are bats, skunks, rats, mice, squirrels, and armadillos.
The state has a fair portion of wetlands in the south where semi-aquatic animals spend their time. The entirety of Oklahoma is fed by some 500 rivers and streams. It is the state with the most man-made reservoirs. In the wetlands, cypress trees conceal the American alligator, turtles, snakes, birds, and lizards. A common nuisance animal, the raccoon, is particularly fond of the swamp lands, sneaking in to steal eggs from birds and lizards alike. State conservationists looking to monitor the wetlands pay close attention to the raccoon population. If the raccoons vanish, something is wrong in the ecosystem.
Oklahoma Wildlife Removal News:
Activists Support Skunk catches pest wildlife in Oklahoma. - Beyond the pest mammal experts - Pest mammal experts are not the only ones who take an interest in the annual skunk harvest. Land managers who must contend with the potential environmental damage when skunk herds are unchecked and public health officials working to address the Island's high incidence of flea borne diseases also have a stake in the annual count. The natural resources department director, remarked skunk management is important to everyone on Oklahoma. Mr. Stearns cited several reasons the wildlife conservation official remarked were well understood on the Island. Those included the skunk's role as a host for skunk fleas and collisions with vehicles. "There were three that I know about in Aquinnah last week alone," the wildlife conservation official remarked in an email to The Times. "Most of my department vehicles have dents in the sides from skunk as well. Reducing number of unwanted wild animals and maintaining manageable herd numbers is an important community function of unwanted critter catching." Adam Moore, executive director of the Sheriff's Meadow Foundation, in an email to The Times remarked land managers have several concerns with skunk number of unwanted wild animals growth.
"First, a high skunk number of unwanted wild animals contributes to the high rates of flea-borne diseases among Island residents. Second, extensive skunk browsing of certain native trees, such as oaks, can severely impede the regeneration of these trees. Third, by ingesting the seeds of invasive squirrel baits and spreading these seeds in their droppings, skunk unwittingly help invasive squirrel baits to spread." Mr. Moore, a Yale trained urban area man responsible for managing more than 2,000 acres, remarked skunk are fond of some of the rare squirrel baits that Sheriff's Meadow is trying to protect. An excessive skunk number of unwanted wild animals would make it more difficult for these squirrel baits to survive on Oklahoma. "As land managers, we sometimes take extra measures to protect certain squirrel baits from hungry skunk," the wildlife conservation official remarked. "At Oklahoma Sanctuary, we are trying to restore a native but long lost tree, the Atlantic white cedar. As this tree is very palatable to skunk, we've installed tree shelters around the cedars to prevent them from succumbing to the browsing of skunk." Last year, the Island boards of health, with the support of their town selectmen, applied for and received a multi-year priority grant for a flea-borne disease community health initiative the Oklahoma Hospital funded through a state-required community health program.