Wildlife Photography: 20 Myths About Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge: Busted

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, located in southwestern Oklahoma close to Lawton, has shielded one of a kind wildlife habitats considering the fact that 1901 which is the oldest managed wildlife facility in The us Fish and Wildlife Assistance method.[1] The refuge's location in the geologically one of a kind Wichita Mountains and its regions of undisturbed mixed grass prairie allow it to be a vital conservation space. The Wichita Mountains are about five hundred million years old.[two][three] Measuring about fifty nine,020 acres (238.8 km2), the refuge hosts an incredible range of species: 806 plant species, 240 species of birds, 36 fish, and sixty four reptiles and amphibians are present.

Background - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

The Wichita Forest Reserve was recognized by the overall Land Workplace in Oklahoma on July 4, 1901, with fifty seven,a hundred and twenty acres (231.two km2). After the transfer of federal forests towards the U.S. Forest Company in 1905, it turned a Nationwide Forest on March 4, 1907, as Wichita Nationwide Forest.

On June four, 1936, the Wichita Forest designation was abolished and transferred into the Bureau of Organic Study, a precursor into the Fish and Wildlife Support. It was re-designated the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (WMWR).[4][5]

United States Observances and Statutes Governing Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

July 4, 1901 William McKinley ~ Proclamation 459 - Establishment of the Wichita Forest Reserve, Oklahoma[six]

January 24, 1905 58th U.S. Congress ~ Wichita Forest and Game Reserve Act of 1905[seven]

June 2, 1905 Theodore Roosevelt ~ Proclamation 563 - Redesignating the Wichita Forest Reserve, Oklahoma[8]


March four, 1907 59th U.S. Congress ~ Wichita Nationwide Forest Act of 1907[nine]

June four, 1936 74th U.S. Congress ~ Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Act of 1936[10]

November 27, 1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt ~ Proclamation 2211 - Wichita Nationwide Forest, Oklahoma[11]

October 23, 1970 91st U.S. Congress ~ Wilderness Act of 1970[twelve][13]

Description - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

The WMWR is managed because of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. You can find thirteen small lakes throughout the reserve.[fourteen]


Fauna - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Black-tailed prairie Doggy

In accordance with the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Assistance, 240 species of birds, fifty species of mammals, 64 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 36 species of fish have already been documented.[fifteen]

Bison with vegetation around French Lake

Several species of enormous native mammals make their residence with the refuge: plains bison, also referred to as the American bison, elk, white-tailed deer graze the prairies together with Texas longhorn cattle preserved for his or her cultural and historic value.[sixteen] Bison, longhorns, and elk were introduced after the institution from the refuge. Merriam's elk, the initial subspecies of elk Within this region, is extinct, And so the elk while in the refuge are Rocky Mountain elk. The ancestors of your herd have been imported from Jackson Gap, Wyoming in 1911.[17] The elk herd is the largest in Oklahoma at about one,000[18] along with the white tailed deer quantity about 450. These ungulates are no longer regarded endangered.[19] Many scaled-down mammal species also reside in the refuge, including the 9-banded armadillo, bassarisk, and the black-tailed prairie Pet. Other species that have been reintroduced include: the river otter, burrowing owls along with the prairie Canine. Even though these species were not mentioned as "endangered," USFWS plan would be to assure that species that after had been native to these mountains would often be discovered there.[19] According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma Heritage and Society, the refuge unsuccessful in its attempt to reintroduce the American pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, plus the prairie chicken.[twenty]

The conservation of bison has grown to be an ongoing, diverse effort and hard work. and the refuge was crucial in preserving the American buffalo from extinction. In 1907 the American Bison Culture transported 15 bison, six bulls and 9 cows, from the Bronx Zoo. On arrival, the Comanche chief Quanah Parker and a host of other Indians and whites turned out to welcome the bison. At the moment, bison had been extinct about the southern Excellent Plains for thirty several years. The bison herd now quantities about 650 over the refuge.[21] In fall, bison in excessive on the carrying ability in the refuge had been auctioned off but this follow was led to 2020 when the refuge joined while in the Bison Conservation Initiative.[22] The 2020 Bison Conservation Initiative through the Office of the inside has 5 central goals: wild, healthy bison herds; genetic conservation; shared stewardship; ecological restoration; and cultural restoration. It strengthened mechanisms for supply of bison to Native American tribes from federal herds.[23] In 1973, the refuge aided bison conservation by donating 3 bison to the Fort Worth Mother nature Centre and Refuge.[24]

The refuge is dwelling to a lot of species of birds, and it is among the remaining properties in the not too long ago delisted black-capped vireo.

Flora - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge


The refuge is ecologically various, with prairie, ravine, and mountain plant communities. The numerous exposed granite boulders make Excellent habitat for a very photogenic, chartreuse inexperienced lichen called "Pleopsidium flavum."[25] Parts of the refuge incorporate scrubby forest of blended oak kinds. A disjunct population of bigtooth maple is found below, four hundred miles (640 km) from the nearest natural population in West Texas.[26]

Recreation - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Bison calf, WMWR

There is absolutely no admission cost. Public use areas about the refuge full 22,400 acres (nine,a hundred ha). The remaining 37,000-acre wildlife space (15,000 ha) is secured wildlife habitat only.[27] A customer Middle and bookstore shows artwork and has reveals illustrating the four major habitats located about the refuge: Rocklands, Aquatic, Combined-Grass Prairie, and Cross Timbers.[28]

The refuge is a popular destination for recreational pursuits. Rock climbing is overwhelmingly well known, but people also enjoy mountaineering, tenting, fishing, chicken and wildlife viewing, and images. The refuge has an intensive trail procedure, together with about fifteen miles of official trails. The realm turned common for rock climbing commencing from the sixties and 1970s, and is now something of a regional mecca. Even though climbing has brought many site visitors into the refuge, some controversy exists more than the use of fixed anchors, bolts and also other permanently positioned objects around the rock experience. The refuge has joined Using the Accessibility Fund as https://wfphoto.biz/wichita-mountains-wildlife-refuge/ well as the Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition to market dependable use of the Wichitas' methods.[29] Rock climbing routes are discovered on Mt. Scott, the refuge's 2nd greatest summit, and also locations including the Narrows plus the Charon Gardens Wilderness Location.[30]

Fishing for largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, and channel catfish is well-liked inside the thirteen synthetic lakes to the refuge.[31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][forty one][42][forty three] Elk and deer looking, to cull abnormal numbers, is permitted inside of a managed hunt each slide. Hunters are chosen by lottery and a charge is charged. A slim winding street results in the summit of Mount Scott, elevation two,464 feet (751m), using a view that encompasses The complete refuge. Even though the mountains rise only 800 to 1000 toes previously mentioned the encompassing prairie, These are steep and rocky. The highest mountain during the refuge is Mount Pinchot which rises to two,479 toes (756m).[forty four][forty five] Mount Pinchot was named in honor of Gifford Pinchot who served as the primary Chief of America Forest Provider.