West Virginia Field Office
Northeast Region
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Indiana Bat

Northern Long-eared Bat

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Migratory Birds

Frequently Asked Questions

Species Information

The U.S. Congress, through the Endangered Species Act of 1973, recognized that endangered and threatened species of wildlife and plants "are of esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people." Some of the many specific reasons to invest money and effort into actions to conserve species threatened by extinction include:

  • Natural balance of life,
  • Medicinal purposes,
  • Pest control and pollination,
  • Monitors of environmental health,
  • Benefits to clean air and water, and
  • Other economic and intangible values.

Almost 30 species are protected by the Endangered Species Act in West Virginia, ranging from species only occurring in the state, such as the Cheat Mountain salamander and diamond darter, to wide-ranging but at-risk species such as the northern long-eared bat and snuffbox mussel. Explore our threatened and endangered species distributions (PDF) and aquatic habitat (PDF) to find out where they are. To determine if an action, such as project construction, may affect federally listed species, input your project or action's geographic area into the Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) (FWS Site) tool and then follow the instructions on the project review (FWS Site) page.

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 as any species that is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. This table provides a brief overview of the federally listed species in West Virginia.

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Crayfish
Mussels
Plants

Federally Listed Species in West Virginia
Photo Species Name and Status Description of Suitable Habitat Links
BATS
Indiana bat Indiana bat
Myotis sodalis
Endangered
Summer foraging and roosting: Forested areas connected by wooded corridors, streams, wetlands, edges of open fields or pastures, trees greater than 5 inches diameter at breast height. Maternity roost trees: have exfoliating bark and high solar radiation. Winter habitat: caves or mine portals. Spring staging and fall swarming: similar habitat to summer, typically within 5 to 10 miles of a hibernaculum. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Summer Survey Guidance (FWS Site)
2020 Surveyors (PDF)
Virginia big-eared bat Virginia big-eared bat
Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus
Endangered
Roosting and hibernating: caves, mine portals, bridges, or culverts. Foraging: forests, old fields, wetlands, water such as streams or ponds  
Northern long-eared bat Northern long-eared bat
Myotis septentrionalis
Threatened
Summer foraging and roosting: forested areas connected by wooded corridors, streams, wetlands, edges of open fields or pastures, trees greater than 3 inches diameter at breast height. Roost trees: have exfoliating bark. Winter habitat: caves or mine portals. Spring staging and fall swarming: similar habitat to summer. General Information (FWS Site)
Fact Sheet (PDF)
Final 4(d) Rule (FWS Site)
Gray bat Gray bat
Myotis grisescens
Endangered
Roosting: caves, mine portals, bridges, or culverts. Foraging: streams and rivers Fact Sheet (PDF)
AMPHIBIANS
Cheat Mountain Salamander Cheat Mountain salamander
Plethodon nettingi
Threatened
Cool, moist red spruce or northern hardwood forests with an abundance of cover such as rocks, downed wood, or leaf litter. Elevations > 2000ft in northern part of its range and >3500ft in southern part of its range  
FISH
Candy Darter Candy darter
Etheostoma osburni
Endangered(PDF)
Shallow, fast flowing stream reaches with rocky bottoms. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Diamond Darter Diamond darter
Crystallaria cincotta
Endangered
Large warm-water rivers with very clear water, typically found on the river bottom or buried in the sand Fact Sheet (PDF)
CRUSTACEANS
Madison Cave Isopod Madison Cave isopod
Antrolana lira
Threatened
Underground lakes and deep karst aquifers, associated with the Conococheague Formation. Often found near wells, springs, sinkholes, or caves. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Big Sandy Crayfish Big Sandy crayfish
Cambarus callainus
Threatened
Fast-flowing streams and rivers, sheltering beneath large rocks or cover.
Guyandotte River Crayfish Guyandotte River crayfish
Cambarus veteranus
Endangered
Fast-flowing streams and rivers, sheltering beneath large rocks or cover.
MUSSELS
Survey Protocols (PDF)
Appendix A (Excel spreadsheet)
Surveyors (PDF)
Clubshell mussel Clubshell
Pleurobema clava
Endangered
Streams and rivers with sand or gravel substrates and moderate current. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Fanshell mussel Fanshell
Cyprogenia stegaria
Endangered
Streams and rivers with sand or gravel substrates and moderate current. Fact Sheet (PDF)
James Spinymussel James spinymussel
Pleurobema collina
Endangered
Streams and rivers with sand or gravel substrates and moderate current.
Northern riffleshell mussel Northern riffleshell
Epioblasma torulosa rangiana
Endangered
Streams and rivers with sand or gravel substrates and moderate current. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Pink mucket mussel Pink mucket
Lampsilis abrupta
Endangered
Streams and rivers with sand or gravel substrates and moderate current. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Rayed bean mussel Rayed bean
Villosa fabalis
Endangered
Streams and rivers with sand or gravel substrates and moderate current. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Sheepnose mussel Sheepnose
Plethobasus cyphus
Endangered
Streams and rivers with sand or gravel substrates and moderate current. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Spectaclecase mussel Spectaclecase
Cumberlandia monodonta
Endangered
Streams and rivers with sand or gravel substrates and moderate current. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Tubercled-blossom pearlymussel Tubercled blossom
Epioblasma torulosa torulosa
Endangered
Streams and rivers with sand or gravel substrates and moderate current.
Snuffbox mussel Snuffbox mussel
Epioblasma triquetra
Endangered
Streams and rivers with sand or gravel substrates and moderate current. Fact Sheet (PDF)
LANDSNAIL
Flat-spired Three-toothed Land Snail Flat-spired three-toothed snail
Triodopsis platysayoides
Threatened
Sandstone outcrops, cliff line features, emergent boulders, or talus slopes, only in the Cheat River Gorge.  
PLANTS
Survey Guidelines (PDF)
Surveyors (PDF)
Rare Plant Field Survey Form (PDF)
How to Apply to be a Qualified Plant Surveyor (PDF)
Harperella Harperella
Ptilimnium nodosum
Endangered
Rocky or gravel shoals and margins of clear, swift-flowing streams
Northeastern bulrush Northeastern bulrush
Scirpus ancistrochaetus
Endangered
Open, tall, herb-dominant wetlands or sinkholes, ponds underlain with sandstone. Fact Sheet (PDF)
Running buffalo clover Running buffalo clover
Trifolium stoloniferum
Endangered
Forested habitats of partial to filtered sunlight, where there is a prolonged pattern of moderate periodic disturbance, such as mowing, trampling, or grazing General Information (FWS Site)
Fact Sheet (PDF)
Shale Barren Rock Cress Shale barren rock cress
Arabis serotina
Endangered
Shale barrens: shale formation with open, scrubby growth of pine, oak, red cedar, and other woody species adapted to xeric conditions
Small whorled pogonia Small whorled pogonia
Isotria medeoloides
Threatened
Deciduous woods.
Virginia spiraea Virginia spiraea
Spiraea virginiana
Threatened
Along streams and rivers, and roadside wet areas and wet marshy meadows. Also among large boulders, flatfock, and flood debris along scoured streamsides.
INSECTS
Rusty patched bumble bee Rusty patched bumble bee
Bombus affinis
Endangered
Usually along a high elevation ridge, in a mix of small openings associated with a gravel or dirt narrow (single lane) road, within a larger mature forested landscape. General Information
Fact Sheet (PDF)

Learn more about Endangered Species in the Northeast Region.


Last updated: April 1, 2021