The diversity of Virginia’s native species of flora and fauna is intriguing. Such variety may be possible because of the state’s many different ecosystems and habitats, its ‘southern’ location and paradoxically temperate climate. The coastal shores, tidal marshes, freshwater wetlands, forests, plateaus and mountains of Virginia have, for millions of years, provided a home to several native species – and those that come and go.
Virginia’s Wildlife and Natural Diversity
Here’s what you can expect to see in Virginia’s wildernesses:
Then there are the migratory species than come at certain times of the year. Humpback whales, manatees and diamondback terrapins come to Chesapeake Bay and then leave. Visitors like the snow geese and juncos visit too.
Alligators don’t live here, but warming weather could lead them to cross the borders from North Carolina. Changing seasons change habitats in Virginia. But changing climate could do a lot more, and worse.
Species Under Threat
The Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries will tell you that there are hundreds of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects, molluscs and marine mammals that are under threat or endangered. These include:
A warming climate will make it difficult for some species to survive, while others will invade from beyond our borders and threaten our own species. The protection of our native species and the conservation of their habitats is an ambitious program, but it must be undertaken. There is no better time to act than now and ponder on “Steps Being Taken for Protecting Virginia’s Wildlife”