Wildlife Photography: 14 Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask About Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, located in southwestern Oklahoma in close proximity to Lawton, has secured special wildlife habitats considering that 1901 and is particularly the oldest managed wildlife facility in The us Fish and Wildlife Provider method.[one] The refuge's locale inside the geologically exclusive Wichita Mountains and its parts of undisturbed combined grass prairie help it become an essential conservation region. The Wichita Mountains are around 500 million several years aged.[two][three] Measuring about fifty nine,020 acres (238.eight km2), the refuge hosts a great diversity of species: 806 plant species, 240 species of birds, 36 fish, and 64 reptiles and amphibians are current.

Historical past - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

The Wichita Forest Reserve was recognized by the final Land Workplace in Oklahoma on July 4, 1901, with 57,120 acres (231.two km2). Following the transfer of federal forests to your U.S. Forest Assistance in 1905, it grew to become a Countrywide Forest on March 4, 1907, as Wichita National Forest.

On June 4, 1936, the Wichita Forest designation was abolished and transferred to your Bureau of Biological Survey, a precursor on the Fish and Wildlife Company. It was re-designated the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (WMWR).[four][5]


United States Observances and Statutes Governing Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

July four, 1901 William McKinley ~ Proclamation 459 - Institution on the Wichita Forest Reserve, Oklahoma[six]

January 24, 1905 58th U.S. Congress ~ Wichita Forest and Video game Reserve Act of 1905[7]

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

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

June 4, 1936 74th U.S. https://wfphoto.biz/wichita-mountains-wildlife-refuge/ Congress ~ Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Act of 1936[ten]

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

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

Description - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

The WMWR is managed through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. You will find thirteen smaller lakes in the reserve.[14]

Fauna - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge


Black-tailed prairie Doggy

Based on the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Company, 240 species of birds, fifty species of mammals, 64 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 36 species of fish are already documented.[fifteen]

Bison with vegetation all-around French Lake

Several species of enormous native mammals make their house within the refuge: plains bison, also known as the American bison, elk, white-tailed deer graze the prairies in addition to Texas longhorn cattle preserved for their cultural and historic great importance.[16] Bison, longhorns, and elk ended up launched following the establishment from the refuge. Merriam's elk, the original subspecies of elk In this particular spot, is extinct, Therefore the elk inside the refuge are Rocky Mountain elk. The ancestors of the herd ended up imported from Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 1911.[17] The elk herd is the largest in Oklahoma at about 1,000[eighteen] plus the white tailed deer quantity about 450. These ungulates are no longer regarded endangered.[19] Quite a few scaled-down mammal species also live in the refuge, such as the 9-banded armadillo, bassarisk, and the black-tailed prairie dog. Other species which were reintroduced incorporate: the river otter, burrowing owls and the prairie dog. Even though these species were not listed as "endangered," USFWS policy will be to guarantee that species that after were being indigenous to those mountains would always be located there.[19] In accordance with the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma Background and Tradition, the refuge failed in its try to reintroduce the American pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, as well as the prairie chicken.[twenty]

The conservation of bison happens to be an ongoing, assorted exertion. as well as refuge was vital in saving the American buffalo from extinction. In 1907 the American Bison Culture transported fifteen bison, 6 bulls and 9 cows, within the Bronx Zoo. On arrival, the Comanche chief Quanah Parker and a number of other Indians and whites turned out to welcome the bison. At the moment, bison had been extinct to the southern Great Plains for thirty several years. The bison herd now figures about 650 around the refuge.[21] In drop, bison in extra with the carrying potential of the refuge had been auctioned off but this follow was ended in 2020 in the event the refuge joined from the Bison Conservation Initiative.[22] The 2020 Bison Conservation Initiative from the Division of the Interior has five central targets: wild, nutritious bison herds; genetic conservation; shared stewardship; ecological restoration; and cultural restoration. It strengthened mechanisms for delivery of bison to Native American tribes from federal herds.[23] In 1973, the refuge aided bison conservation by donating 3 bison into the Fort Truly worth Mother nature Middle and Refuge.[24]

The refuge is dwelling to many species of birds, and it is among the remaining households with the not long ago delisted black-capped vireo.

Flora - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

The refuge is ecologically various, with prairie, ravine, and mountain plant communities. The many uncovered granite boulders make Fantastic habitat for a particularly photogenic, chartreuse inexperienced lichen generally known as "Pleopsidium flavum."[twenty five] Portions with the refuge comprise scrubby forest of mixed oak types. A disjunct population of bigtooth maple is uncovered below, 400 miles (640 km) from the closest purely natural inhabitants in West Texas.[26]

Recreation - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Bison calf, WMWR


There is no admission demand. General public use areas within the refuge complete 22,400 acres (nine,a hundred ha). The remaining 37,000-acre wildlife place (fifteen,000 ha) is guarded wildlife habitat only.[27] A customer Middle and bookstore shows art and has reveals illustrating the 4 key habitats uncovered to the refuge: Rocklands, Aquatic, Mixed-Grass Prairie, and Cross Timbers.[28]

The refuge is a popular spot for leisure pursuits. Rock climbing is overwhelmingly well known, but site visitors also enjoy climbing, camping, fishing, bird and wildlife looking at, and images. The refuge has an in depth trail process, which includes about 15 miles of official trails. The world became well-known for rock climbing commencing while in the nineteen sixties and nineteen seventies, and is becoming one thing of a regional mecca. While climbing has brought numerous visitors towards the refuge, some controversy exists around the usage of mounted anchors, bolts together with other forever positioned objects about the rock deal with. The refuge has joined with The Entry Fund and also the Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition to market dependable use from the Wichitas' means.[29] Rock climbing routes are located on Mt. Scott, the refuge's second best summit, along with places including the Narrows along with the Charon Gardens Wilderness Location.[30]

Fishing for largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, and channel catfish is well-liked from the thirteen synthetic lakes to the refuge.[31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][forty][41][forty two][forty three] Elk and deer searching, to cull extreme quantities, is permitted inside a managed hunt every single drop. Hunters are picked by lottery and a charge is charged. A narrow winding road contributes to the summit of Mount Scott, elevation 2,464 ft (751m), using a perspective that encompasses The full refuge. Although the mountains increase only 800 to one thousand ft over the surrounding prairie, They may be steep and rocky. The very best mountain in the refuge is Mount Pinchot which rises to 2,479 ft (756m).[44][45] Mount Pinchot was named in honor of Gifford Pinchot who served as the primary Main of the United States Forest Services.