West Virginia's Diverse Wildlife

A Haven for Native Species

Nestled amidst the rugged peaks of the Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia is a treasure trove of biodiversity. From the towering forests to the pristine waterways, the state is home to an abundance of native animals that call these lands their home.

Native Mammals

West Virginia is home to an impressive 72 wild mammal species. Among these, four hold special significance and are named as state animals:

  • Virginia Big-eared Bat
  • Indiana Bat
  • West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel
  • Eastern Gray Squirrel

These mammals play vital roles in the state's ecosystem, from dispersing seeds to controlling insect populations.

Fish and Birds

The state's rivers and lakes teem with a diverse array of fish species, including trout, bass, and catfish. West Virginia is also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 200 species documented within its borders. Among these, the American Robin, Northern Cardinal, and Blue Jay are common sights.

State Symbols

Six native species hold special significance in West Virginia and are designated as state symbols:

  • State Animal: Black Bear
  • State Bird: Northern Cardinal
  • State Fish: Eastern Brook Trout
  • State Amphibian: Red-Spotted Newt
  • State Reptile: Timber Rattlesnake
  • State Insect: Honeybee

These species represent the diverse wildlife that thrives in West Virginia and are a source of pride for the state's residents.

Appalachian Trail: A Wildlife Corridor

The iconic Appalachian Trail, which spans over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, passes through the heart of West Virginia. This trail provides a vital corridor for wildlife movement, allowing species to disperse and find new habitats.

In conclusion, West Virginia is a haven for native animals, boasting a rich diversity of mammals, fish, birds, and other species. These creatures play essential roles in the state's ecosystem, adding to its natural beauty and inspiring a deep appreciation for the wonders of nature.


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