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Helping Cheat Mountain salamanders in West Virginia's Canaan Valley
The Cheat Mountain salamander, a threatened species that is unique to West Virginia, may have a shot at recovery thanks in part to conservation efforts that are underway at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge... Read More
Stories from - WEST VIRGNIAView All Stories
Healing a Rare Forest and Recovering a Native Flying Squirrel
If you catch a glimpse of a critter gliding through the night at the highest points of West Virginia's mountains, it might be the once-endangered West Virginia northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus)... Read More
Featured Species in West Virginia
Northern riffleshell, typical of many freshwater mussels, are sensitive to siltation, residential and commercial pollution, agricultural run-off, channelization, impoundments, and competition with zebra mussel. Rivers than can support a reproducing population of northern riffleshells probably has good water quality and a healthy watershed. More »
Photo credit: USFWS
Partnership Stories in West Virginia
Research To Help Bats
Several West Virginia caves are important to bats, including two federally endangered species, the Indiana bat and the Virginia big-eared bat. West Virginia has more Virginia big-eared bats than any other state (about half the global population) including the largest known maternity colony and the largest hibernating concentration in the world.
Found in West Virginia
The Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) only occurs in a few caves in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina. The greatest number of bats is found in West Virginia. White-nose syndrome currently threatens their survival, although vandalism, habitat loss and human disturbance, especially during their hibernation period, are also of major concern.
Photo credit: Craig Stihler, USFWS
The shale barren rock cress only (Arabis serotina) occurs in West Virginia and Virginia on mid-Appalachian shale barrens of the Ridge and Valley Province of the Appalachian Mountains. Found only in shale barrens – a type of rocky habitat in higher elevations that can be dry and hot, with little vegetation – this plant is highly habitat restricted and the number of individuals per population is low, most with fewer than 20 individuals. Threats to this species include destruction of habitat by road construction or other human activities, herbivory by deer and insects especially during dry conditions.
Photo credit: Paul J. Harmon