Hello readers of the Herpetology blog at the Sam Noble Museum. We thought we would make you aware of a couple of websites that provide detailed information about amphibians and reptiles of Oklahoma. The Herpetology Department has been working with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) to determine the species of amphibians and reptiles that occur at some of the ODWC’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s). We usually think of these as places to hunt or fish (which they are), but they offer much more to people with a more general interest in nature. To date, we have surveyed three WMA’s, Packsaddle (western Oklahoma), Atoka (southeastern Oklahoma), and Cookson Hills (northeastern Oklahoma.
All of the WMA’s share some species of amphibians and reptiles, but each has its own unique set of species as well. More importantly, because these are effectively protected from development, they provide some of the best natural habitats for amphibians and reptiles that can be found in the state. These are accessible to the public during non-hunt seasons, and can be accessed during hunting seasons as long as you have hunting licenses. It should not surprise you that many people who hunt also have a deep interest in nature and often have seen many of the species of amphibians and reptiles that we have observed.
Packsaddle WMA—Located in far western Oklahoma along the upper reaches of the Canadian River, Packsaddle WMA harbors an amphibian and reptile fauna typical of the western plains, including species like the Long-nosed snake, which is active at night and feeds largely on other reptile eggs. You can learn more about the amphibians and reptiles of this region by going to:
Atoka WMA—Located in southeastern Oklahoma near Atoka, the Atoka WMA has an amphibian and reptile fauna typical of the southeastern deciduous forests, including species like the Southern crawfish frog, which breeds in late winter and disappears underground for most of the rest of the year. You can learn more about the amphibians and reptiles of this region by going to:
Cookson Hills WMA—Located in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains to the east, the Cookson Hills WMA has an amphibian and reptile fauna typical of eastern deciduous forests, including species like the Cave salamander, which lives in crevices in limestone outcrops as well as caves in the region. You can learn more about the amphibians and reptiles of this region by going to:
We will soon be adding more WMA’s to our website so be sure to visit it frequently.