Because of their flight capability, birds in particular can be readily attracted to a homeowner’s yard when it has been designed with wildlife needs in mind. Like all wildlife, birds have three basic requirements for survival: food, water, and cover. Providing the proper combination of these resources takes planning but relatively little effort. Just a few additions or changes can transform your yard into an oasis for birds and other wildlife.
The only true flying mammals, our bats feed heavily on nigh-flying insects, including some that cause extensive agricultural and forest damage. They also play a vital role in cave ecosystems, providing nutrients for other cave life through their droppings, and serve as prey for other animals such as snakes and owls.
More than 20 species of bats have been documented in our state. Learn more about our state’s bats in the Bats of Oklahoma Field Guide.
Wildscaping, or managing yards for wildlife benefits, has become a popular concept for landscaping since it was introduced in Oklahoma. People want to attract wildlife to their yards for a variety of reasons but probably chief among them is that birds and other wildlife bring us pleasure. The colorful movement of butterflies, flashing natural beauty of birds, cacophony of sounds provided by birds and frogs and pleasure of watching the natural behavior of the common wildlife species attracted to our wildscapes allow us to live closer to the natural world. Learn how to establish a successful wildscape by visiting our citizen science page, or by reading "Landscaping for Wildlife: A Guide to the Southern Great Plains."
In Oklahoma they are areas that have been designated through a nomination process administered through the Wildlife Diversity Program to be especially well-suited for observing wild animals in natural or modified environments. Most of the Watchable Wildlife Areas in Oklahoma include state parks, national wildlife refuges, Army Corps of Engineer lands, municipal parks and some wildlife management areas. The most recent addition to the Watchable Wildlife Area network is the Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma.