Chickasaw National Recreation Area is located between the eastern hardwood forests and the western prairies. In south-central Oklahoma, these two ecosystems form a zone known as an ecotone; ecotones tend to be very ecologically diverse.
Some common trees in this national park include: Oak, Hickory, Eastern Red Cedar, Elm, and Sycamore. Open areas within the forest ecosystem provide a place for the mixed grasses and wildflowers of the prairie to prosper. These prairie plants include: Sideoats Grama, Little Bluestem, Indian Blanket,Yucca, and Coneflowers.
A variety of animals utilize these forests and prairies. The Hermit Thrush and Flying Squirrel remain in the deep woods, while the White-tailed Deer will venture to the forest edge to increase foraging success. Some prairie species such as the Eastern Meadowlark, Bull Snake, and the Nine-banded Armadillo will also be found near the boundary between prairie and forest. This ecotone environment provides the diversity of animals that can be found in Chickasaw National Recreation Area.