The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service West Virginia Field Office works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Our office helps to recover threatened and endangered species, enforces federal fish, wildlife, and plant laws and regulations, partners with private landowners to restore natural habitats, and ensures that wildlife resources are considered by agencies during the planning and operating of wind, coal, hydropower, oil and gas, and road projects.

About Us

Our Ecological Services office is comprised of talented staff working on a variety of different project types with the goals of protecting and conserving West Virginia's unique fish and wildlife resources. We work closely with individual landowners as well as local, state, and other federal organizations to reach these goals. 

What We Do

The West Virginia Field Office is responsible for conserving federally listed threatened and endangered species that occur in the State of West Virginia. We work with our partners in federal and state agencies, tribes, local governments, the business community, and private citizens to help protect important habitat. We help increase species' populations and reduce the threats to their survival so that they can be removed from federal protection. 

We provide guidance and expertise, administering the Endangered Species Act, and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. We also conduct work and collaborate with other agencies on Natural Resource Damage Assessment projects, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission projects, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program habitat restoration on private lands. When assisting with project reviews, our goal is to avoid and minimize impacts to listed species.

When we protect species and habitats, we conserve the natural resources on which we all depend. Wild things and wild places are part of our shared inheritance. They are part of the natural foundation of the lands we call home.

Our Organization

As a field office within the National Ecological Services Program, we are responsible for reviews of projects, endangered species planning and recovery efforts, environmental contaminants research and remediation, and a variety of conservation partnerships and grants. The West Virginia Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides technical and financial assistance to landowners interested in restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat on their lands.

Below are the national program pages for programs conducted by our office - for West Virginia specific information on these programs (and others), please visit the "More About What We Do" section, above. 

A rocky shoreline of a river. The water is calm. Mist and green branches line the river.
The Ecological Services Program works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, we work with federal, state, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to...
Close up of a California condor. Its pink featherless head contrasts with its black feathers.
We provide national leadership in the recovery and conservation of our nation's imperiled plant and animal species, working with experts in the scientific community to identify species on the verge of extinction and to build the road to recovery to bring them back. We work with a range of public...
Partners for Fish and Wildlife: Nevada Coordinator Susan Abele Meets with Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Member to Conduct a Site Visit at Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides free technical and financial assistance to landowners, managers, tribes, corporations, schools and nonprofits interested in improving wildlife habitat on their land. Since 1987, we have helped more than 30,000 landowners to complete more than 50,...
Pronghorn running through sagebrush with natural gas field facility in background.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works collaboratively with other federal agencies, industries, and other stakeholders to achieve infrastructure development goals in ways that are sustainable and compatible with the conservation of fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

Our Species

The Endangered Species Act defines an endangered species as any species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A threatened species is any species that is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

The West Virginia Field Office works with a diverse assemblage of threatened and endangered species, ranging from species only occurring within the state, such as the Cheat Mountain salamander and diamond darter, to wide-ranging species such as the Indiana bat and snuffbox mussel. 

Cluster of roosting bats.

The Indiana bat is a medium-sized Myotis, closely resembling the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) but differing in coloration. Its fur is a dull grayish chestnut rather than bronze, with the basal portion of the hairs on the back a dull-lead color. This bat's underparts are pinkish to...

FWS Focus
A small brown bat with large ears sits on a rock

Plecotus townsendii is a medium-sized bat with forearms measuring 39 to 48 millimeters (mm) long and weighing 7 to 12 grams. Total body length is 98 mm, the tail is 46 mm, and the hind foot is 11 mm long. This bat's long ears (over 2.5 centimeters) and facial glands on either side of the snout...

FWS Focus
Gray bats flying under tree canopy outside of Sauta Cave

Long, glossy fur, light brown to brown. Ears dark, usually black; longer than in any other myotis; when laid forward extend 1/4 cm (7 mm) beyond nose. Tragus long and thin. Calcar keeled.

FWS Focus
A colorful red and blue fish underwater looking into the camera

Candy darters are a vibrant freshwater fish, roughly two to three inches long. They are native to freshwater streams in Gauley, Greenbrier, and New River watersheds in Virginia and West Virginia. They have a vital role in these ecosystems by balancing the food web. Since 1932, nearly half of the...

FWS Focus
The diamond darter is a member of the Perch family (Percidae), a group characterized by the presence of a dorsal fin separated into two parts, one spiny and the other soft (Kuehne and Barbour 1983, page 1). The darters differ from other percids in being much smaller in overall size and having a...
FWS Focus
The Madison Cave isopod is an eyeless, unpigmented, freshwater crustacean. It belongs to a family that consists of mostly marine species and a small number of freshwater species. The species is the only member of its genus and is the only freshwater cirolanid isopod north of Texas. Its body is...
FWS Focus

The Guyandotte River crayfish (Cambarus veteranus) is a freshwater, tertiary burrowing crustacean of the Cambaridae family. Tertiary burrowing crayfish do not exhibit complex burrowing behavior; instead, they shelter in shallow excavations under loose cobbles and boulders on the stream bottom....

FWS Focus
A clubshell mussel in the water

The clubshell is a small to medium size (up to 3 inches long) freshwater mussel that was listed as endangered, without critical habitat, in 1993 (58 FR 5638-5642). Its shell exterior is yellow to brown with bright green blotchy rays and shell interior is typically white. The shell is wedge...

FWS Focus

This freshwater mussel is found in the James River basin in Virginia and West Virginia and in the Upper Dan sub-basin of the Roanoke River basin in Virginia and North Carolina. The James spinymussel is a small freshwater mussel slightly less than three inches in length. Adults have a dark brown...

FWS Focus
A group of about ten mussels being held partially out of the water by a pair of cupped hands

The northern riffleshell is a small to medium size (up to 3 inches long) freshwater mussel that was listed as endangered, without critical habitat, in 1993 (58 FR 5638-5642). Its shell exterior is brownish yellow to yellowish green with fine green rays. The shell interior is typically white. The...

The rayed bean is a small mussel, usually less than 1.5 inches (in) (3.8 centimeters (cm)) in length (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 142; Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 244; West et al. 2000, p. 248). The shell outline is elongate or ovate in males and elliptical in females, and moderately inflated in...
FWS Focus
Brown and black striated freshwater mussels sitting a steel truck bed

Shell surface: Many low, wide bumps run in a single file line down the outer shell surface, from the beak (the swelling above the point where the 2 shell halves join) to the opposite shell edge. The rest of the shell surface is smooth (without bumps), and looks slightly pressed-in from the beak...

FWS Focus

The snuffbox is a small- to medium-sized mussel, with males reaching up to 2.8 in (7.0 cm) in length (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 162; Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 108). The maximum length of females is about 1.8 in (4.5 cm) (Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 108). The shape of the shell is somewhat...

FWS Focus

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