Iguania is an infraorder of squamate reptiles that includes iguanas, chameleons and New World lizards like anoles and phrynosomatids. Using morphological features as a guide to evolutionary relationships, the Iguania are believed to form the sister group to the remainder of the Squamata. However, molecular information has placed Iguania well within the Squamata as sister taxa to the Anguimorpha and related to snakes. Iguanians are arboreal and have primitive fleshy, non-prehensile tongues, although the tongue is modified in chameleons; the group has a fossil record. The Iguania include these extant families: Clade Acrodonta Family Agamidae – agamid lizards, Old World arboreal lizards Family Chamaeleonidae – chameleons Clade Pleurodonta – American arboreal lizards, iguanas Family Leiocephalidae Genus Leiocephalus: curly-tailed lizards Family Corytophanidae – helmet lizards Family Crotaphytidae – collared lizards, leopard lizards Family Hoplocercidae – dwarf and spinytail iguanas Family Iguanidae – marine, Galapagos land, rock, desert and chuckwalla iguanas Family Tropiduridae – tropidurine lizards subclade of Tropiduridae Tropidurini – neotropical ground lizards Family Dactyloidae – anoles Family Polychrotidae subclade of Polychrotidae Polychrus Family Phrynosomatidae – North American spiny lizards Family Liolaemidae – South American swifts Family Opluridae – Malagasy iguanas Family Leiosauridae – leiosaurs subclade of Leiosaurini Leiosaurae subclade of Leiosaurini Anisolepae Below is a cladogram from the phylogenetic analysis of Daza et al. showing the interrelationships of extinct and living iguanians
A Gold Rush is a new discovery of gold—sometimes accompanied by other precious metals and rare earth minerals—that brings an onrush of miners seeking their fortune. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the United States, while smaller gold rushes took place elsewhere; the wealth that resulted was distributed because of reduced migration costs and low barriers to entry. While gold mining itself was unprofitable for most diggers and mine owners, some people made large fortunes, the merchants and transportation facilities made large profits; the resulting increase in the world's gold supply stimulated global investment. Historians have written extensively about the migration, trade and environmental history associated with gold rushes. Gold rushes were marked by a general buoyant feeling of a "free for all" in income mobility, in which any single individual might become abundantly wealthy instantly, as expressed in the California Dream.
Gold rushes helped spur a huge immigration that led to permanent settlement of new regions. Activities propelled by gold rushes define significant aspects of the culture of the Australian and North American frontiers. At a time when the world's money supply was based on gold, the newly mined gold provided economic stimulus far beyond the gold fields. Gold rushes extend as far back to the Roman Empire, whose gold mining was described by Diodorus Siculus and Pliny the Elder, further back to ancient Egypt. Within each mining rush there is a transition through progressively higher capital expenditures, larger organizations, more specialized knowledge, they may progress from high-unit value to lower unit value minerals. A rush begins with the discovery of placer gold made by an individual. At first the gold may be washed from the sand and gravel by individual miners with little training, using a gold pan or similar simple instrument. Once it is clear that the volume of gold-bearing sediment is larger than a few cubic metres, the placer miners will build rockers or sluice boxes, with which a small group can wash gold from the sediment many times faster than using gold pans.
Winning the gold in this manner requires no capital investment, only a simple pan or equipment that may be built on the spot, only simple organisation. The low investment, the high value per unit weight of gold, the ability of gold dust and gold nuggets to serve as a medium of exchange, allow placer gold rushes to occur in remote locations. After the sluice-box stage, placer mining may become large scale, requiring larger organisations and higher capital expenditures. Small claims owned and mined by individuals may need to be merged into larger tracts. Difficult-to-reach placer deposits may be mined by tunnels. Water may be diverted by dams and canals to placer mine active river beds or to deliver water needed to wash dry placers; the more advanced techniques of ground sluicing, hydraulic mining and dredging may be used. The heyday of a placer gold rush would last only a few years; the free gold supply in stream beds would become depleted somewhat and the initial phase would be followed by prospecting for veins of lode gold that were the original source of the placer gold.
Hard rock mining, like placer mining, may evolve from low capital investment and simple technology to progressively higher capital and technology. The surface outcrop of a gold-bearing vein may be oxidized, so that the gold occurs as native gold, the ore needs only to be crushed and washed; the first miners may at first build a simple arrastra to crush their ore. As the miners dig down, they may find that the deeper part of vein contains gold locked in sulfide or telluride minerals, which will require smelting. If the ore is still sufficiently rich, it may be worth shipping to a distant smelter. Lower-grade ore may require on-site treatment to either recover the gold or to produce a concentrate sufficiently rich for transport to the smelter; as the district turns to lower-grade ore, the mining may change from underground mining to large open-pit mining. Many silver rushes followed upon gold rushes; as transportation and infrastructure improve, the focus may change progressively from gold to silver to base metals.
In this way, Colorado started as a placer gold discovery, achieved fame as a silver-mining district relied on lead and zinc in its days. Butte, Montana began mining placer gold became a silver-mining district became for a time the world’s largest copper producer. Various gold rushes occurred in Australia over the second half of the 19th century; the most significant of these, although not the only ones, were the New South Wales gold rush and Victorian gold rush in 1851, the Western Australian gold rushes of the 1890s. They were significant to their respective colonies' political and economic development as they brought a large number of immigrants, promoted massive government spending on infrastructure to support the new arrivals who came looking for gold. While some found their fortune, those who did not remained in the colonies and took advantage of liberal land laws to take up farming. Gold rushes happened at or around: In New Zealand the Central Otago Gold Rush from 1861 attracted prospectors from the California Gold Rush and the Victorian Gold Rush and many moved on to the West Coast Gold Rush from 1864.
The first significant gold rush in the United States was in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, in 1799 at today's Reed's Gold Mine. Thirty years in 1829, the Geor
Robert C. Stebbins
Robert Cyril Stebbins was an American herpetologist and illustrator known for his field guides and popular books as well as his studies of reptiles and amphibians. His Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, first published in 1966, is still considered the definitive reference of its kind, owing to both the quality of the illustrations and the comprehensiveness of the text. A professor of zoology at the University of California, for over 30 years, he was the first curator of herpetology at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, a 1949 Guggenheim fellow, author of over 70 scientific articles, his discovery of the ring species phenomenon in Ensatina salamanders is now a textbook example of speciation, he performed extensive research on the parietal eye of reptiles. He produced nature films, supported science education in primary grades, organized conservation efforts that aided in the passing of the 1994 California Desert Protection Act. After retirement he continued to paint, collect field notes, write books.
Stebbins is commemorated in the scientific names of three species: Batrachoseps stebbinsi, the Tehachapi slender salamander. Robert Stebbins was born on March 31, 1915, in Chico, California, to parents Cyril Adelbert and Louise Stebbins, his father, born in Wisconsin of English descent, was an instructor at Chico State Normal School who had published on birds and agriculture, stressing the importance of gardening in education. The oldest of seven children, young Robert grew up learning about local birds and exploring the wildlife of Northern California, his mother, born in Switzerland and educated at the Normal School, instilled a sense of artistry in Robert, painting pictures for Robert and his siblings in her spare time. When Stebbins was seven, his family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where his father worked on agricultural curriculum for children and taught at the University of California, Berkeley. Around the age of nine, his family moved to Southern California, living first in Pomona in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles.
Stebbins spent time hiking in the nearby Santa Monica Mountains, exploring the wildlife and amassing a collection of bird and mammal specimens which he prepared and mounted himself. Stebbins attended North Hollywood High School, where his father taught agriculture. Robert graduated in 1933, he discovered his artistic talents around sixteen years old. His early work consisted of cartoons: he drew illustrations on classmates' clothing and contributed cartoons to youth magazines, winning several awards. Shortly after graduating high school, Stebbins enrolled in the University of California, Los Angeles, he majored in civil engineering, thinking it a better career option than biology, but became unhappy with the program. Struggling with poor performance and health issues related to congenital heart problems, he took a leave for year and a half. During his time in recuperation, he turned his attention back to natural history, was persuaded to return to UCLA by Raymond Cowles, a biology professor there.
Stebbins returned with enthusiasm despite the perceived lack of job security, remarking in 1985: "I was cautious because of the Great Depression, but I was determined to pursue biology if it meant standing on a corner with a tin cup." He graduated in 1940 with highest honors. After graduating, Stebbins split his time between a summer job as a naturalist at Lassen Volcanic National Park and pursuing graduate school at UCLA. Over the next few years he obtained teaching credentials in junior college, high school, elementary education. Stebbins planned to study birds, with an eye towards roadrunners, but felt the field of ornithology was too crowded, while herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians, offered more opportunities for new research. Cowles became his graduate advisor; the main focus of Stebbins' graduate research was the biology of fringe-toed lizards, a group of sand-dwelling lizards of the American Southwest. For his master's degree he studied the anatomical structure of the nasal passages of the lizards, documenting in detail the looped, horseshoe-shaped structure of the nasal passages that functions as a u-trap, preventing sand grains from being inhaled while the lizards lay buried at the sand's surface.
His Ph. D dissertation further explored the anatomical and physiological adaptations of the lizards. During this time he published on the behavior of the sidewinder rattlesnake, with his father, produced two field guides to birds, providing illustrations to his father's text, their first book, What Bird is That?, was pressed in the family garage. Stebbins considered his father "a pioneer of sorts in the extensive use of drawings in teaching natural history," a tradition he strove to continue in his own works. On June 8, 1941, Stebbins married Anna-rose Cooper, who would type the text of all of Stebbins' field guides. Part of their honeymoon was spent camping in the Owens Valley of southeastern California. In 1945 Stebbins was hired an assistant professor of zoology at the University of California and became the first curator of herpetology at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, where he would remain throughout his career; the first faculty member to teach herpetology at Berkeley, he wrote new lab manuals, created the herpetology teaching collection, co-taught a popular course on vertebrate natural history.
Stebbins soon became interested in Ensatina salamanders, which occur from British Columbia to Baja California and are present in both the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges of
The frilled-necked lizard known as the frilled agama, frilled dragon or frilled lizard, is a species of lizard in the family Agamidae. The species is endemic to southern New Guinea; this species is the only member of the genus Chlamydosaurus. Its common names come from the large frill around its neck, which stays folded against the lizard's body. C. kingii is arboreal, spending the majority of the time in the trees. Its diet consists of insects and small vertebrates; the frill-necked lizard is a large lizard, averaging 85 cm in total length and is kept as an exotic pet. British zoologist John Edward Gray described the frill-necked lizard in 1825 as Clamydosaurus Kingii, from a specimen collected by an expedition conducted by Captain Phillip Parker King from HMS Mermaid. King's specimen was obtained by his ship's botanist, Allan Cunningham at Careening Bay off the northwest coast of Australia; the generic name, Chlamydosaurus, is derived from the Ancient Greek chlamydo, meaning "cloaked" or "mantled", saurus, meaning "lizard".
The specific name, kingii, is a Latinized form of Phillip Parker King's last name. It is the only member of this genus. In the Jawoyn language of the Katherine area, it is known as leliyn; the frill-necked lizard is a large member of the agamid family, growing up to 85 cm. It is capable of bipedal locomotion and has been described as moving in this manner with a purposeful stride at times by naturalists. Coloration tends to be brown or gray with spots and blotches of darker colors mixed in a mottled fashion to give the appearance of tree bark. There is not one standard colour: rather, colouration varies according to the lizard's environment. For example, a lizard found in a dryer, clay filled environment will most have a collage of oranges and browns; this suggests. The most distinct feature of these lizards is the large ruff of skin which lies folded back against its head and neck; the neck frill is supported by long spines of cartilage. When the lizard is frightened, it produces a startling deimatic display: it gapes its mouth, exposing a bright pink or yellow lining.
This reaction is used for territorial displays, to discourage predators, during courtship. The red and orange parts of its frill contain carotenoid pigments; the bones of the frill are modified elongate hyoid types. Secondarily the frill can serve as a form of camouflage; the frilled-neck lizard is found in the northern regions of Australia and southern New Guinea. The lizard on rare occasions is found in the lower desert regions of Australia but inhabits humid climates such as those in the tropical savannah woodlands, it tends meaning it spends a majority of its time in the trees. The lizard ventures to the floor only in search of food, or to engage in territorial conflicts; the arboreal habitat may be a product of the lizard's diet, which consists of small arthropods and vertebrates. However, the trees are most used for camouflage. Like many lizards, frill-necked lizards are carnivores, feeding on cicadas, beetles and mice, they favour butterflies and their larvae. Though insects are their primary source of food, they consume spiders and other lizards.
Like most members of the agamids, frill-necked lizards employ an ambush method of hunting, lying in wait for their prey. When the lizards eat, they eat in abundance; the frilled-neck lizard is ectothermic and maintains its body temperature by basking to achieve an average of 2–3 °C above the surrounding temperature. Weather conditions, including sunlight, are the main factors regulating the lizards’ temperature; this basking period occurs in the morning to early afternoon to ensure maximum exposure to sunlight. However, the lizard's final internal temperature depends on the ambient temperature of the surrounding environment; the lizard's frill was once thought to aid in thermoregulation, but this has been found without merit. The frilled-neck lizard is sexually dimorphic; this dimorphism is apparent in the length of the lizard. There is little to no dimorphism in the color of the lizard. Frilled-necked lizards breed in the early wet season from September to October. Adult males fight for mates, biting each other.
One to two clutches of 6–25 eggs are laid from early to mid-wet season from November to February. The eggs are laid in a nest 5–20 cm below ground, in sunny areas. Incubation takes two to three months. Gender is temperature determined, with extreme temperatures producing females, intermediate temperatures producing equal numbers of males and females, their eggs are soft-shelled. The species' main predators are eagles, larger lizards, snakes and quolls. A frill-necked lizard was featured on the reverse of the Australian 2-cent coin until 1991. A frill-n
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
Binomial nomenclature called binominal nomenclature or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomen, binominal name or a scientific name; the first part of the name – the generic name – identifies the genus to which the species belongs, while the second part – the specific name or specific epithet – identifies the species within the genus. For example, humans belong within this genus to the species Homo sapiens. Tyrannosaurus rex is the most known binomial; the formal introduction of this system of naming species is credited to Carl Linnaeus beginning with his work Species Plantarum in 1753. But Gaspard Bauhin, in as early as 1623, had introduced in his book Pinax theatri botanici many names of genera that were adopted by Linnaeus; the application of binomial nomenclature is now governed by various internationally agreed codes of rules, of which the two most important are the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature for animals and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae and plants.
Although the general principles underlying binomial nomenclature are common to these two codes, there are some differences, both in the terminology they use and in their precise rules. In modern usage, the first letter of the first part of the name, the genus, is always capitalized in writing, while that of the second part is not when derived from a proper noun such as the name of a person or place. Both parts are italicized when a binomial name occurs in normal text, thus the binomial name of the annual phlox is now written as Phlox drummondii. In scientific works, the authority for a binomial name is given, at least when it is first mentioned, the date of publication may be specified. In zoology "Patella vulgata Linnaeus, 1758"; the name "Linnaeus" tells the reader who it was that first published a description and name for this species of limpet. "Passer domesticus". The original name given by Linnaeus was Fringilla domestica; the ICZN does not require that the name of the person who changed the genus be given, nor the date on which the change was made, although nomenclatorial catalogs include such information.
In botany "Amaranthus retroflexus L." – "L." is the standard abbreviation used in botany for "Linnaeus". "Hyacinthoides italica Rothm. – Linnaeus first named this bluebell species Scilla italica. The name is composed of two word-forming elements: "bi", a Latin prefix for two, "-nomial", relating to a term or terms; the word "binomium" was used in Medieval Latin to mean a two-term expression in mathematics. Prior to the adoption of the modern binomial system of naming species, a scientific name consisted of a generic name combined with a specific name, from one to several words long. Together they formed a system of polynomial nomenclature; these names had two separate functions. First, to designate or label the species, second, to be a diagnosis or description. In a simple genus, containing only two species, it was easy to tell them apart with a one-word genus and a one-word specific name; such "polynomial names" may sometimes look like binomials, but are different. For example, Gerard's herbal describes various kinds of spiderwort: "The first is called Phalangium ramosum, Branched Spiderwort.
The other... is aptly termed Phalangium Ephemerum Virginianum, Soon-Fading Spiderwort of Virginia". The Latin phrases are short descriptions, rather than identifying labels; the Bauhins, in particular Caspar Bauhin, took some important steps towards the binomial system, by pruning the Latin descriptions, in many cases to two words. The adoption by biologists of a system of binomial nomenclature is due to Swedish botanist and physician Carl von Linné, more known by his Latinized name Carl Linnaeus, it was in his 1753 Species Plantarum that he first began using a one-word "trivial name" together with a generic name in a system of binomial nomenclature. This trivial name is what is now known as specific name; the Bauhins' genus names were retained in many of these, but the descriptive part was reduced to a single word. Linnaeus's trivial names introduced an important new idea, namely that the function of a name could be to give a species a unique label; this meant. Thus Gerard's Phalangium ephemerum virginianum became Tradescantia virgi
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, located in southwestern Oklahoma near Lawton, has protected unique wildlife habitats since 1901 and is the oldest managed wildlife facility in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service system. Measuring about 59,020 acres, the refuge hosts a great diversity of species: 806 plant species, 240 species of birds, 36 fish, 64 reptiles and amphibians are present; the refuge's location in the geologically unique Wichita Mountains and its areas of undisturbed mixed grass prairie make it an important conservation area. The Wichitas are 500 million years old; the Wichita Forest Reserve was established by the General Land Office in Oklahoma on July 4, 1901 with 57,120 acres. After the transfer of federal forests to the U. S. Forest Service in 1905, it became a National Forest on March 1907 as Wichita National Forest. On November 27, 1936 the forest was abolished and transferred to the Bureau of Biological Survey, a precursor to the Fish and Wildlife Service, it was re-designated the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
The WMWR is managed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There are 13 small lakes within the reserve. According to the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 240 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, 64 species of reptiles and amphibians, 36 species of fish have been documented. Several species of large native mammals make their home at the refuge: plains bison known as the American bison, white-tailed deer graze the prairies along with Texas longhorn cattle preserved for their cultural and historic importance. Bison and elk were introduced after the establishment of the refuge. Merriam's elk, the original subspecies of elk in this area, is extinct, so the elk in the refuge are Rocky Mountain elk; the ancestors of the herd were imported from Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 1911. The elk herd now numbers about 800 and white tailed deer about 450; these big game species are no longer considered "endangered." Many smaller mammal species live in the refuge, including the nine-banded armadillo and the black-tailed prairie dog.
Other species that have been reintroduced include: the river otter, burrowing owls and the prairie dog. Although these species were not listed as "endangered," USFWS policy is to assure that species that once were native to these mountains would always be found there. According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, the refuge failed in its attempt to reintroduce the American pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, the prairie chicken. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge was important in saving the American buffalo from extinction. In 1907 the American Bison Society transported 15 bison, six bulls and nine cows, from the Bronx Zoo to the refuge. On arrival, the Comanche leader Quanah Parker and a host of other Indians and whites turned out to welcome the bison. At that time, bison had been extinct on the southern Great Plains for 30 years; the bison herd now numbers about 650 on the refuge. In fall, bison in excess of the carrying capacity of the refuge are sold; the refuge is home to many species of birds, it is one of the remaining homes of the delisted black-capped vireo.
The refuge is ecologically diverse, with prairie and mountain plant communities. The many exposed granite boulders make exceptional habitat for a photogenic, chartreuse green lichen known as "Pleopsidium flavum." Portions of the refuge contain scrubby forest of mixed oak varieties. A disjunct population of bigtooth maple is found here, 400 miles from the nearest natural population in West Texas. There is no admission charge. Public use areas on the refuge total 22,400 acres; the remaining 37,000 acres is closed to the public and for the exclusive use of wildlife although guided tours are scheduled. A visitor center and bookstore, open seven days a week, except on some holidays, displays art and has exhibits illustrating the four major habitats found on the refuge: Rocklands, Mixed-Grass Prairie, Cross Timbers; the refuge is a popular destination for recreational activities. Rock climbing is overwhelmingly popular, but visitors enjoy hiking, fishing and wildlife watching, photography; the refuge has an extensive trail system, including about 15 miles of official trails and unofficial trails.
Many of these trails lead to climbing routes. The area became popular for rock climbing beginning in the 1960s and 1970s, has become something of a regional mecca. Though climbing has brought many visitors to the refuge, some controversy exists over the use of fixed anchors and other permanently placed objects on the rock face; the refuge has joined with The Access Fund and the Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition to promote responsible use of the Wichitas' resources. Rock climbing routes are found on Mt. Scott, the refuge's second highest summit, as well as areas such as the Narrows and the Charon Gardens Wilderness Area. Fishing for largemouth bass, sunfish and channel catfish is popular in the thirteen artificial lakes on the refuge. Elk and deer hunting, to cull excessive numbers, is permitted in a managed hunt every fall. Hunters are chosen by lottery and a fee is charged. A narrow winding road leads to the summit of Mount Scott, elevation 2,464 feet, with a view that encompasses the whole refuge.
Although the mountains rise only 800 to 1000 feet above the surrounding prairie they are steep and rocky. The highest mountain in the refuge is Mount Pinchot. Mount Pinchot was named in honor of Gifford Pinchot who served as the first Chief of the United States Forest Service. Official Site of the Wichita Mountains Refuge "WMWR at SummitPost". SummitPost.org. Retrieved 2011-08-09; the Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition WM