Cedar Valley Realtor

Flora and fauna

Forests cover 24 percent of Oklahoma[22] and prairie grasslands composed of shortgrass, mixed-grass, and tallgrass prairie, harbor expansive ecosystems in the state's central and western portions, although cropland has largely replaced native grasses.[24] Where rainfall is sparse in the western regions of the state, shortgrass prairie and shrublands are the most prominent ecosystems, though pinyon pines, red cedar (junipers), and ponderosa pines grow near rivers and creek beds in the far western reaches of the panhandle.[24] Marshlands, cypress forests and mixtures of shortleaf pine, loblolly pine and deciduous forests dominate the state's southeastern quarter, while mixtures of largely post oak, elm, red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and pine forests cover northeastern Oklahoma.[23][24][25] The state holds populations of white-tailed deer, mule deer, antelope, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, elk, and birds such as quail, doves, cardinals, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, and pheasants. In prairie ecosystems, American bison, greater prairie chickens, badgers, and armadillo are common, and some of the nation's largest prairie dog towns inhabit shortgrass prairie in the state's panhandle. The Cross Timbers, a region transitioning from prairie to woodlands in Central Oklahoma, harbors 351 vertebrate species. The Ouachita Mountains are home to black bear, red fox, grey fox, and river otter populations, which coexist with a total of 328 vertebrate species in southeastern Oklahoma. Also, in southeastern Oklahoma lives the American Alligator. Prairies (UK

/?prr.i/ or US /?pr?r.i/) are ecosystems considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and a composition of grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type. Temperate grassland regions include the Pampas of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay as well as the steppes of Eurasia. Lands typically referred to as "prairie" tend to be in North America. The term encompasses the area referred to as the Interior Lowlands of the United States, Canada and Mexico, which includes all of the Great Plains as well as the wetter, somewhat hillier land to the east. In the U.S., the area is constituted by most or all of the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and sizable parts of the states of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and western and southern Minnesota. The Central Valley of California is also a prairie. The Canadian Prairies occupy vast areas of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. According to Theodore Roosevelt: "We have taken into our language the word prairie, because when our backwoodsmen first reached the land [in the Midwest] and saw the great natural meadows of long grassЧsights unknown to the gloomy forests wherein they had always dweltЧthey knew not what to call them, and borrowed the term already in use among the French inhabitants."[1] Prairie is the French word for meadow, but the ultimate root is the Latin pratum (same meaning).