Oklahoma has a vast variety of animals because of its warm and humid temperature and several mixed subareas, including grasslands in the west, marshes in the south, excellent plains in the north, and rainforests in the east.
Also, the state is home to more than 500 distinct animal species. However, are there wolves present in Oklahoma wildlife?
In this article, I’ve explained everything you need to know about the wolves in Oklahoma.
Are There Wolves In Oklahoma?
Currently, there are no wolves present in Oklahoma, however, historically they were present during the early 1900s. In the late 1930s, all the wolves were eliminated due to hunting within the state, increased bison populations, and reduced deer populations.
The state was known to have two different species the gray and red wolves. Before the mid-19th century, the state had a high population of red wolves population, that would have originated from the mating of coyotes and timber wolves.
In the past years, there have been rare reports of wolves in the state, mostly in the southeastern and eastern parts of Oklahoma around the Arkansas border. They are more likely to be the dispersing individuals of wolf populations in neighboring states like Missouri and Arkansas.
Are Wolves Protected In Oklahoma?
Yes, the wolves in Oklahoma are protected. Although wolves are not presently found in Oklahoma, the state has listed them as state endangered species. So, it is illegal to harass, kill or catch wolves in Oklahoma.
This protection is in position to support and ensure wolves dispersing into the state from nearby populations which are provided a possibility to endure and likely establish a population within the state in the future.
Also, gray wolves are recorded as federally endangered animals under the Endangered Species Act, which delivers additional defense for wolves throughout their span in the United States.
Are There Wolves In Western Oklahoma?
Though there have been rare reports of wolves being spotted in western Oklahoma, they are somewhat rare and not based within the region.
Wolves historically lived throughout Oklahoma, but they were eliminated from the state, by the early 20th century.
So, the wolf populations must have recovered in nearby states, like New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas, that have migrated into the regions of western Oklahoma and are not established populations within the state.
Also Check Our Guide On Wolves In US
Can I Own A Wolf In Oklahoma?
Oklahoma provides its residents with an exemption to own almost any animal besides a native large cat or bear species. Permits and licenses are needed for venomous reptiles large cats, hedgehogs, and many other exotic animals including wolves that are not native to the state are excused from permit conditions.
It is essential to note that breaking these rules can result in imprisonment, fines, and other lawful consequences. Thus, it is highly suggested that individuals do not try to own wolves or other wild animals in Oklahoma.
Also, wolves are wild animals and need specialized care with a huge amount of space as they have a behavior that is very unforeseen and likely dangerous.
Can You Kill Wolf In Oklahoma?
As wolves are protected under federal law and documented as endangered animals under the Endangered Species Act, it is unlawful to kill wolves in Oklahoma. Anyone, trapping, hunting, or killing wolves without a specific license or legal reason can be fined, imprisoned, or face other lawful consequences.
In cases, where wolves pose a danger to human safety or cause substantial damage to property or livestock, actions can be taken with the permission and permits provided by the relevant wildlife agencies.
Even in such cases, only alternative actions, like management strategies or non-lethal deterrents must be regarded before trying to incorporate any lethal control measures that are authorized.
Also Check Our Guide On Wolves In Alaska
And that was everything you need to know about the wolves in Oklahoma. I hope this article was informative and your queries were answered.
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I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.