These and major rivers also hold snapping turtles, hunted as a delicacy with a WVDNR permit. West Virginia landscape . This map shows how many Wild Animals in need are posted in other states. The life zones of West Virginia allow for a diversity of habitats for fauna (animal life), varying from large lowland farming valleys bordered with forest and meadow to highland ridge flats and heavy forestland, some with rocky ridge-line peaks. The state has more than 300 types of birds and more than 100 species of fish. These islands serves as a habitat for great blue heron, wood ducks, cormorants, Canada geese, migrating loons, and tundra swans. However, deer are very numerous and black bear have increased in number in recent years. Substantial eastern elk (Cervus canadensis canadensis) populations did not long survive the advance of European settlement into western Virginia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Hawks and owls are the most common birds of prey. It is okay to watch wild animals from … Several additional species are rare in the state and warrant close monitoring. Among them are hellbenders and salamanders, as well as toads and frogs such as the northern leopard frog and mountain chorus frog.  Elk survived longest in the rugged Alleghenies to the east. If the "eastern wood bison" is a legitimate subspecies (it is disputed), this individual may have been the last one in existence. , Bison The state of West Virginia is home to 72 wild mammal species. The wildlife in West Virginia is absolutely fascinating! Between 1937 and 1939, a total of 17 more deer were released in the Flatrock-Roaring Plains area of Tucker County (DeGarmo 1949). Some of the more dangerous animals of West Virginia are now completely extinct, such as the mammoth, giant bear, vampire bat, and Jefferson’s ground sloth. Northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), timber rattlesnake. They survived longer in this area, however, than in other parts of the eastern United States. 1997. And lucky for us, we also have some great photographers. As with West Virginia's remote mountain forests, the farms and lands with meadows and woodlots near urban areas also hold whitetail deer, chipmunks, raccoons, skunks, groundhogs, opossums, weasels, field mice, flying squirrels, cotton-tail rabbits, gray foxes, red foxes, gray squirrels, red squirrels and a cave bat to name a few. Deep in the heart of the state's mountains is a unique natural botanical treasure. Summary: The State of West Virginia found the possession of dangerous wild animals to present a serious public health and safety concern. Bounties were paid on their "scalps" in West Virginia through the late 1890s with the last recorded one being killed by Stofer Hamrick in Randolph County in January 1900. WVU Extension specialists and agents are knowledgeable about wildlife species and how to identify different animals, as well as management practices useful to property owners and residents. “ After that there is a 1.5 mile hike through the woods where you can see many different animals including: black bear, mountain lions, bald eagles, wolves, and other animals native to Appalachia. River Otter Translocation and Status.  The box turtle is found in nearly every meadow and wood. Wilderness wildlife in West Virginia are quite rare and include the mountain lion (now absent), golden eagle, and timber rattlesnake. Cats and dogs that do not have their rabies shots can also get rabies. Some anglers claim the state received a golden trout from the west to help culture this. All of those animals came from the Ice Age. Occasionally, osprey and golden eagle can be found watching over or snatching a fish on remote lakes and larger streams. There are 35 prevalent species including Bluegill, Trout, Catfish, Bass, Musky … Family Cricetidae (New World mice and rats), Family Erethizontidae (New World porcupines), Family Procyonidae (raccoons and relatives), Family Mustelidae (otters, weasels and relatives), Family Bovidae (cattle, goats and relatives). P. c. couguar was deemed to be extirpated by a U.S. The county's oldest town, Buffalo, is named for them. Mammals in the region today include whitetail deer, chipmunk, raccoon, skunk, groundhog, opossum, weasel, field mouse, flying squirrel, cottontail rabbit, gray foxes, red foxes, gray squirrels, red squirrels and several types of bat. The eastern timber wolf (Canis lupus lycaon), a subspecies of the gray wolf, roamed throughout the state in pre-settlement days. Rabies is a preventable disease that affects the brain. , Eastern timber wolf Several additional species are rare in the state and warrant close monitoring. These were long thought to be the last elk found wild in the region that later became West Virginia. The last officially accepted wild cougar kills in both Virginia and West Virginia were in the 1880s and the animal – eastern cougar, or mountain lion, puma or panther (Puma concolor couguar) – was considered totally exterminated in West Virginia by 1900. The following letters indicate the likelihood of finding each animal in West Virginia: In addition, the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies one of these species as vulnerable (VU) and five as near-threatened (NT). Four – the Virginia big-eared bat, the Indiana bat, the West Virginia northern flying squirrel and the newly extinct eastern cougar – are federally listed as endangered. Many common insects of the Eastern United States can be found in West Virginia including aquatic insects. 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