As part of its biological inventory program the National Park Service (NPS) contracted with the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory to conduct a formal and comprehensive mammal, bird, and herpetological inventory of Chickasaw National Recreation Area (CNRA), Oklahoma. The objective of the inventory was to positively identify 90% of the tetrapod vertebrates that inhabit CNRA. Pre-inventory lists of vertebrates suspected to occur in Murray County or south central Oklahoma were compiled (Appendix 1). Although these lists undoubtedly contain more species than actually occur on the National Recreation Area, they were used to gauge inventory progress. We were particularly interested in locating species of conservation concern. In particular
the ONHI assigns each species a state rank ranging from S1 through S5 with S1 indicating a species is very rare in the state and S5 indicating the species is common.
We detected 153 species of tetrapod vertebrates in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area using 9 sampling methods over a 3-month period in the summer of 2003. Most of these were birds (84), followed by reptiles (37), mammals (23), and amphibians (9). We estimate that we detected over 80% of all tetrapod vertebrates present during summer. Further sampling effort for snakes, non-breeding birds, and spring-active amphibians would be most likely to detect more species. We did not detect several species of particular interest including Texas horned lizard and spotted skunk. We recommend monitoring the success of fire management and reducing the impacts of feral cats in the recreation area.
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