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Exploring Nature Educational Resource:

Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science Resources for K-12

Virginia

Virginia

Forests
Forests are important for many reasons. They give us timber and other forest products. They provide important wildlife habitat. They protect water and air quality. They are a beloved recreational destination (people love the woods).
Virginia has almost 16-million acres of forest, covering 62% of the state. Virginia's forests are made up of about 70% hardwoods, 10% oak-pine forests and 20% conifer. National forest makes up only 11% of Virginia's forest and 5% is state and other public forest. Timber companies own 4% and the rest – 80% (12.9-million acres) is privately owned. The ten most common trees in Virginia are (from highest number) red maple, loblolly pine, yellow poplar, sweet gum, black gum, Virginia pine, American holly, white oak, chestnut oak, flowering dogwood.

Wetlands
Until recently, wetlands were thought to be of no use to man. Wet and buggy, they were considered wasted land. Developers drained them, filled them in with tons of soil and built houses, businesses, roads, farms, airports and parking areas. Now we know that wetlands are actually very important natural communities. They provide valuable wildlife habitat, stabilize shorelines and protect the land from storm surges and flooding. They act as filters for pollutants that run off the land from farms, towns and cities. Every state has some history of wetland destruction.

In the 400-year history of Virginia, almost half of its wetlands have been drained or filled. Today Virginia has about 1-million acres of wetlands left. 25% of Virginia's wetlands are tidal wetlands. This means they are affected by the daily rise and fall of the tides. These include salt marshes, freshwater tidal marshes and estuaries.

Salt marshes and freshwater tidal marshes are vital, rich ecosystems and important habitat for many animals and plants. They act as a boundary between saltwater wetland habitats and dry land. They are rich with plants and animal life that can tolerate salt and the rising and falling tides. The matted roots of plants help protect the coast from erosion and storm surges while polluted runoff from land is filtered before reaching the ocean. They are also an important niche for fish and invertebrate nurseries.

An estuary is where freshwater rivers and streams reach the ocean and mix with the seawater. Estuaries are often protected from the open ocean by mudflats where low wave action results in a build up of sediments. Both shores of the Chesapeake Bay have extensive estuarine wetlands.

Virginia's most common non-tidal wetlands are swamps (forested wetlands). There are 144 named swamps in the state, including the Great Dismal Swamp. The Great Dismal Swamp is a marshy area of more than 100,00-acres on the Coastal Plain of southeastern Virginia. In its center is a large, curricular, natural lake called Lake Drummond. These swamps provide vital habitats for a wide range of plants and animals.

Virginia

List of Mammals for this State

bat (big brown)
bat (Brazilian free-tailed)
bat (eastern pipistrelle)
bat (eastern red)
bat (eastern small-footed myotis)
bat (evening)
bat (gray)
bat (hoary)
bat (Indiana) - endangered
bat (little brown)
bat (northern myotis)
bat (northern yellow)
bat (Rafinesque's big-eared)
bat (Rafinesque's eastern big-eared)
bat (Semiole)
bat (silver haired)
bat (southeastern myotis)
bat (Virginia big-eared)
bear (black)
beaver (American)
beaver (Carolina)
bobcat
bobcat (Florida)
chipmunk (eastern)
chipmunk (Fisher's eastern)
coyote
deer (white-tailed)
fisher
fox (gray)
fox (red)
hare (snowshoe)
jackrabbit (black-tailed)
lemming (southern bog)
lemming (Stone's southern bog)
mink
mink (southwestern)
mole (eastern)
mole (hairy-tailed)
mole (Howell's eastern)
mole (star-nosed)
mountain lion - rare
mouse (common golden)
mouse (cotton)
mouse (deer)
mouse (eastern harvest)
mouse (house)
mouse (Lewis's golden)
mouse (meadow jumping)
mouse (northern white-footed)
mouse (prairie deer)
mouse (Pungo white-footed)
mouse (white-footed)
mouse (woodland jumping)
muskrat
muskrat (large-toothed)
nutria
opossum (Virginia)
otter (northern river)
porcupine
rabbit (Appalachian cottontail)
rabbit (eastern cottontail)
rabbit (marsh)
rabbit (Mearn's eastern cottontail)
rabbit (Smith's Island cottontail)
raccoon
rat (black)
rat (hispid cotton)
rat (marsh rice)
rat (Norway)
shrew (Dismal Swamp short-tailed)
shrew (Dismal Swamp southeastern)
shrew (Kirkland's short-tailed)
shrew (least)
shrew (long-tailed)
shrew (masked)
shrew (northern short-tailed)
shrew (pygmy)
shrew (smoky)
shrew (southeastern)
shrew (southern short-tailed)
shrew (water)
skunk (eastern spotted)
skunk (striped)
squirrel (Delmarva Peninsula fox)
squirrel (eastern fox)
squirrel (eastern gray)
squirrel (Carolina northern flying)
squirrel (northen gray)
squirrel (red)
squirrel (reddish fox)
squirrel (southeastern fox)
squirrel (southern flying)
squirrel (talkative red)
squirrel (Virginia northern flying)
vole (Carolina Gapper's red-backed)
vole (coastal Gapper's red-backed)
vole (common Gapper's red-backed)
vole (dark meadow)
vole (meadow)
vole (pine)
vole (rock)
weasel (least)
weasel (long-tailed)
woodchuck
woodrat (Allegheny)


For more information about Virginia mammals (including Latin names) click on individual animal links or for another (off-site) resource:  Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Coloring Mammals of this State

Virginia

Labeling Mammals of this State

Virginia

List of Amphibians & Reptiles for This State

Amphibians
amphiuma (two-toed)
bullfrog
frog (Brimley's chorus)
frog (carpenter)
frog (little grass)
frog (mountain chorus)
frog (New Jersey chorus)
frog (northern cricket)
frog (northern green)
frog (pickerel)
frog (southern chorus)
frog (southern cricket)
frog (southern leopard)
frog (upland chorus)
frog (wood)
hellbender (eastern) - endangered
mudpuppy (common) - endangered
newt (eastern red-spotted)
salamander (Allegheny mountain dusky)
salamander (Atlantic coast slimy)
salamander (Blue Ridge dusky)
salamander (Blue Ridge red)
salamander (Blue Ridge two-lined) - endangered
salamander (black-bellied)
salamander (Black Mountain)
salamander (big levels)
salamander (cave)
salamander (cow knob)
salamander (Cumberland Plateau)
salamander (dwarf waterdog) - endangered
salamander (eastern lesser siren) - endangered
salamander (eastern mud)
salamander (eastern red-backed)
salamander (eastern tiger) - endangered
salamander (four-toed)
salamander (greater siren)
salamander (Jefferson)
salamander (Kentucky spring)
salamander (long-tailed)
salamander (Mabee's) - endangered
salamander (many-lined)
salamander (marbled)
salamander (Midland mud)
salamander (mole)
salamander (northern dusky)
salamander (northern gray-cheeked)
salamander (northern pygmy) - endangered
salamander (northern red)
salamander (northern slimy)
salamander (northern spring)
salamander (northern two-lined)
salamander (Peaks of Otter)
salamander (seal)
salamander (Shenandoah) - endangered
salamander (Shenandoah Mountain) - endangered
salamander (shovel-nosed) - endangered
salamander (southern dusky)
salamander (southern ravine)
salamander (southern two-lined)
salamander (southern zigzag) - endangered
salamander (spotted)
salamander (three-lined)
salamander (valley and ridge)
salamander (Virginia dusky)
salamander (Wehrle's)
salamander (Weller's) - endangered
salamander (white-spotted slimy)
salamander (Yonahlossee)
spring peeper
toad (American)
toad (eastern narrow-mouthed)
toad (eastern spadefoot)
toad (oak)
toad (Fowler's)
toad (southern)
treefrog (Cope's gray)
treefrog (barking)
treefrog (gray)
treefrog (green)
treefrog (pine woods)
treefrog (squirrel)


Reptiles
gecko (Mediterranean) - introduced
lizard (eastern fence)
lizard (eastern glass)
lizard (eastern six-lined racerunner)
lizard (eastern slender glass)
seaturtle (Atlantic hawksbill)
seaturtle (green)
seaturtle (Kemp’s Ridley)
seaturtle (leatherback)
seaturtle (loggerhead)
skink (broad-headed)
skink (common five-lined)
skink (little brown)
skink (northern coal)
skink (southeastern five-lined)
snake (brown watersnake)
snake (common rainbow)
snake (common ribbon)
snake (common watersnake)
snake (eastern black kingsnake)
snake (eastern cottonmouth)
snake (eastern garter)
snake (eastern hog-nosed)
snake (eastern kingsnake)
snake (eastern milksnake)
snake (eastern mud)
snake (eastern smooth earthsnake)
snake (eastern wormsnake)
snake (eastern ratsnake)
snake (glossy crayfish)
snake (mole kingsnake)
snake (mountain earthsnake)
snake (northern black racer)
snake (northern brown)
snake (northern copperhead)
snake (northern pinesnake)
snake (northern red-bellied)
snake (northern ringneck)
snake (northern scarletsnake)
snake (redbelly watersnake)
snake (red cornsnake)
snake (rough earthsnake)
snake (rough greensnake)
snake (queen)
snake (scarlet kingsnake)
snake (smooth greensnake)
snake (southeastern crowned)
snake (timber rattlesnake)
turtle (bog) - threatened)
turtle (chicken)
turtle (coastal plain cooter)
turtle (Cumberland slider)
turtle (eastern box)
turtle (eastern mud)
turtle (eastern musk)
turtle (eastern painted)
turtle (eastern river cooter)
turtle (eastern snapping)
turtle (eastern spiny softshell)
turtle (northern diamond-backed terrapin)
turtle (northern map turtle)
turtle (northern red-bellied cooter)
turtle (red-eared slider)
turtle (spotted)
turtle (stripe-necked musk)
turtle (striped mud)
turtle (wood)
turtle (yellow-bellied slider)


For more information about Virginia amphibians and reptiles (including Latin names) click on individual animal links or for another (off-site) resource:  Virginia Herpetological Society

Coloring Amphibians & Reptiles of this State

Virginia

Labeling Amphibians & Reptiles of this State

Virginia

Bird List for This State

albatross (black-nosed)
albatross (yellow-nosed)
ani (groove-billed)
anhinga
avocet (American)
bittern (American)
bittern (least)
blackbird (Brewer’s)
blackbird (red-winged)
blackbird (rusty)
blackbird (yellow-headed)
bluebird (Eastern)
bluebird (mountain) - rare
bobolink
bobwhite (northern)
booby (brown) - rare
bunting (indigo)
bunting (lark)
bunting (lazuli)
bunting (painted)
bunting (snow)
cardinal (northern)
catbird (gray)
chat (yellow-breasted)
chickadee (black-capped)
chickadee (boreal) - rare
chickadee (Carolina)
chuck-will-widow
coot (American)
cormorant (double-crested)
cormorant (great)
cormorant (Neotropic) - rare
cowbird (brown-headed) - rare
cowbird (shiny)
crake (paint-billed)
crane (sandhill)
creeper (brown)
crossbill (red)
crossbill (white-winged)
crow (American)
crow (fish)
cuckoo (black-billed)
cuckoo (yellow-billed)
curlew (Eskimo)
curlew (long-billed)
dickcissel
dove (Eurasian collared) - rare
dove (ground) - rare
dove (mourning)
dove (rock)
dove (white-winged) - rare
dovekie
dowitcher (long-billed)
dowitcher (short-billed)
duck (American black)
duck (American wigeon)
duck (Barrow’s goldeneye) - rare
duck (black-belled whistling)
duck (black scoter)
duck (blue-winged teal)
duck (canvasback)
duck (cinnamon teal) - rare
duck (common teal)
duck (bufflehead)
duck (common goldeneye)
duck (common eider)
duck (king eider)
duck (Eurasian wigeon)
duck (fulvous whistling)
duck (gadwall)
duck (garganey)- rare
duck (greater scaup)
duck (harlequin)
duck (lesser scaup)
duck (mallard)
duck (northern pintail)
duck (northern shoveler) - rare
duck (oldsquaw)
duck (redhead)
duck (ring-necked)
duck (ruddy)
duck (surf scoter)
duck (tufted) - rare
duck (West Indian whistling)
duck (white-cheeked pintail) - rare
duck (white-winged scoter)
duck (wood)
dunlin
eagle (bald)
eagle (golden)
egret (cattle)
egret (great)
egret (little) - rare
egret (reddish) - rare
egret (snowy)
falcon (peregrine)
finch (house) - rare
finch (purple)
flamingo (greater) - rare
flicker (northern)
flycatcher (Acadian)
flycatcher (alder)
flycatcher (ash-throated) - rare
flycatcher (Cassin's) - rare
flycatcher (fork-tailed) - rare
flycatcher (great-crested) - rare
flycatcher (least)
flycatcher (olive-sided)
flycatcher (scissor-tailed) - rare
flycatcher (vermillion) - rare
flycatcher (willow)
flycatcher (yellow-bellied)
frigatebird (magnificent) - rare
fulmar (northern)
gallinule (purple) - rare
gannet (northern)
gnatcatcher (blue-gray)
godwit (bar-tailed) - rare
godwit (Hudsonian)
godwit (marbled)
goldfinch (American)
goose (barnacle) - rare
goose (brant)
goose (Canada)
goose (Ross's)
goose (snow)
grèbe (Clark's) - rare
grèbe (eared)
grèbe (horned) - rare
grèbe (pied-billed)
grèbe (red-necked)
grèbe (western) - rare
grackle (boat-tailed)
grackle (common)
grosbeak (black-headed)
grosbeak (blue)
grosbeak (rose-breasted)
grosbeak (evening)
grosbeak (pine) - rare
grosbeak (rose-breasted)
guillemot (black)
grouse (ruffed)
gull (Bonaparte’s)
gull (black-tailed)
gull (Californian)
gull (common black-headed)
gull (Franklin's)
gull (glaucous)
gull (great black-backed)
gull (Heemann's)
gull (herring)
gull (Iceland)
gull (ivory)
gull (laughing)
gull (lesser black-backed)
gull (little)
gull (mew)
gull (ring-billed)
gull (Sabine’s)
gull (Thayer's)
gull (yellow-legged)
gyrfalcon - rare
harrier (northern)
harrier (western marsh) - rare
hawk (broad-winged)
hawk (Cooper's)
hawk (ferruginous) - rare
hawk (northern goshawk)
hawk (red-shouldered)
hawk (red-tailed)
hawk (rough-legged buzzard)
hawk (sharp-shinned)
hawk (Swainson’s) - rare
heron (black-crowned night)
heron (great blue)
heron (green)
heron (little blue)
heron (tri-colored)
heron (yellow-crowned night)
horned lark
hummingbird (Allen's) - rare
hummingbird (black-chinned) - rare
hummingbird (calliope) - rare
hummingbird (magnificent) - rare
hummingbird (ruby-throated)
hummingbird (rufous) - rare
hummingbird (violet-crowned) - rare
ibis (glossy)
ibis (white)
ibis (white-faced) - rare
jaeger (long-tailed)
jaeger (parasitic)
junco (dark-eyed)
kestrel (American)
killdeer
kingbird (eastern)
kingbird (gray)
kingfisher (belted)
kinglet (golden-crowned)
kinglet (ruby-crowned)
kite (Mississippi) - rare
kite (swallow-tailed)
kite (white-tailed) - rare
kittiwake (black-legged)
jay (blue)
limpkin
longspur (chestnut-collared) - rare
longspur (Lapland)
longspur (Smith’s)
loon (common)
loon (Pacific) - rare
loon (red-throated)
magpie (black-billed)
marten (purple)
meadowlark (eastern)
merlin
merganser (goosander)
merganser (hooded)
merganser (red-breasted)
mockingbird (northern)
moorhen (common)
murre (common) - rare
murre (thick-billed) - rare
nighthawk (common)
noddy (brown) - rare
nuthatch (brown-headed)
nuthatch (red-breasted)
nuthatch (white-breasted)
oriole (Baltimore)
oriole (Bullock’s) - rare
oriole (orchard)
osprey
ovenbird
owl (barn)
owl (barred)
owl (boreal) - rare
owl (burrowing) - rare
owl (great horned)
owl (eastern screech)
owl (long-eared)
owl (northern saw-whet)
owl (short-eared)
owl (snowy) - rare
oystercatcher (American)
parakeet (monk) - rare
pewee (eastern wood)
pewee (western wood) - rare
parula (northern)
pelican (American white)
pelican (brown)
petrel (black-capped)
petrel (Bulwer's) - rare
petrel (Cape Verde)
petrel (Herald)
phalarope (red)
phalarope (red-necked)
phalarope (Wilson's)
phoebe (eastern)
phoebe (Say’s) - rare
pine siskin
pipit (buff-belled)
pipit (Sprague's) - rare
plover (American golden)
plover (black-bellied)
plover (greater sand) - rare
plover (Kentish) - rare
plover (mountain) - rare
plover (piping)  - rare
plover (semipalmated)
plover (Wilson's)
puffin (Atlantic) - rare
rail (black)
rail (clapper)
rail (King)
rail (Virginia)
rail (yellow) - rare
raven (common)
razorbill
red knot
redpoll (common)
redpoll (hoary) - rare
robin (American)
ruddy turnstone
ruff - rare
sanderling
sandpiper (Baird's)
sandpiper (buff-breasted) - rare
sandpiper (curlew) - rare
sandpiper (least)
sandpiper (pectoral)
sandpiper (purple)
sandpiper (semipalmated)
sandpiper (sharp-tailed) - rare
sandpiper (solitary)
sandpiper (spotted)
sandpiper (stilt)
sandpiper (terek)
sandpiper (upland)
sandpiper (western)
sandpiper (white-rumped)
shearwater (Audubon's)
shearwater (Cory's)
shearwater (great)
shearwater (manx)
shearwater (short-tailed) - rare
shearwater (sooty) - rare
shrike (loggerhead)
shrike (northern)
skimmer (black)
skua (great) - rare
skua (Pomarine)
skua (south polar) - rare
snipe (common)
solitaire (Townsend's) - rare
sparrow (American tree)
sparrow (Bachman's)
sparrow (Baird’s)
sparrow (black-throated) - rare
sparrow (chipping)
sparrow (clay-colored)
sparrow (field)
sparrow (fox)
sparrow (grasshopper) - rare
sparrow (Harris’s) - rare
sparrow (Henslow's)
sparrow (house)
sparrow (Lark)
sparrow (LeConte’s)
sparrow (Lincoln's)
sparrow (Nelson's sharp-tailed)
sparrow (saltmarsh sharp-tailed) - rare
sparrow (Savannah)
sparrow (seaside)
sparrow (swamp)
sparrow (song)
sparrow (vesper)
sparrow (white-crowned)
sparrow (white-throated)
spoonbill (roseate)
starling
stilt (black-necked)
stint (Temminck's) - rare
stint (red-necked) - rare
stork (wood) - rare
storm-petrel (band-rumped) - rare
storm-petrel (Leach's)
storm-petrel (White-faced) - rare
storm-petrel (Wilson's)
swallow (bank)
swallow (barn)
swallow (cave) - rare
swallow (cliff)
swallow (northern rough-winged)
swallow (tree)
swan (mute) - introduced
swan (tundra)
swift (chimney)
tanager (scarlet)
tanager (summer)
tanager (western)  - rare
tern (Arctic)
tern (black)
tern (bridled)
tern (Caspian)
tern (common)
tern (elegant)
tern (Forster's)
tern (least)
tern (gull-billed)
tern (roseate)
tern (royal)
tern (sandwich)
tern (sooty) - rare
tern (white-winged black) - rare
thrasher (brown)
thrasher (sage) - rare
thrush (Bicknell’s) - rare
thrush (gray-cheeked)
thrush (hermit)
thrush (Swainson’s)
thrush (varied) - rare
thrush (wood)
titmouse (tufted)
towhee (eastern)
towhee (green-tailed) - rare
towhee (spotted) - rare
tropicbird (red-billed) - rare
tropicbird (yellow-billed) - rare
turkey (wild)
veery
vireo (Bell's) - rare
vireo (black-whiskered)
vireo (blue-headed)
vireo (Philadelphia)
vireo (red-eyed)
vireo (warbling)
vireo (white-eyed)
vireo (yellow-throated)
vulture (black)
vulture (turkey)
warbler (Bachman's)
warbler (bay-breasted)
warbler (black and white)
warbler (blackburnian)
warbler (blackpoll)
warbler (black-throated blue)
warbler (black-throated gray)
warbler (black-throated green)
warbler (blue-winged)
warbler (Canada)
warbler (Cape May)
warbler (Cerulean)
warbler (chestnut-sided)
warbler (Connecticut)
warbler (golden-winged)
warbler (hooded)
warbler (Kentucky)
warbler (Kirkland's)
warbler (magnolia)
warbler (MacGillivray's) - rare
warbler (mourning)
warbler (Nashville)
warbler (orange-crowned)
warbler (palm)
warbler (pine)
warbler (prairie)
warbler (prothonotary)
warbler (Swainson’s)
warbler (Tennessee)
warbler (Townsend’s)
warbler (Wilson's)
warbler (worm-eating)
warbler (yellow)
warbler (yellow-rumped)
warbler (yellow-throated)
waterthrush (Louisiana)
waterthrush (northern)
waxwing (Bohemian) - rare
waxwing (cedar)
whimbrel
whip-poor-will (eastern)
willet
woodcock (American)
woodpecker (downy)
woodpecker (hairy)
woodpecker (Lewis's)
woodpecker (pileated)
woodpecker (red-bellied)
woodpecker (red-cockaded)
woodpecker (red-headed)
woodpecker (yellow-bellied sapsucker)
wren (Bewick’s) - rare
wren (Carolina)
wren (house)
wren (marsh)
wren (rock) - rare
wren (sedge)
wren (winter)
yellowlegs (greater)
yellowlegs (lesser)
yellowthroat (common)

For more information about Virginia birds (including Latin names) click on individual animal links or for another (off-site) resource: LINK

Coloring Birds of this State

Virginia

Labeling Birds of this State

Virginia

State Symbols of this State

Virginia

Recommended Book/Product

All About Animals Flip Chart Set
Each Curriculum Mastery Flip Chart is mounted on a sturdy easel and features:
• 10 Double-sided, laminated 12" x 18" charts
   – Side 1 features a colorful, graphic overview of the topic
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• Activity Guide featuring black-line copy-masters & exercises
Set Includes the following 10 charts:

  1. The Animal Kingdom
  2. Vertebrates
  3. Invertebrates
  4. Animal Ranges
  5. Physical Adaptations
  6. Behavioral Adaptations
  7. Animal Life Cycles
  8. Animal Locomotion
  9. Animal Habitats
  10. Animal Tracks and Signs
All About Animals Flip Chart Set

Citing Research References

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When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.

Here is an example of citing this page:

Amsel, Sheri. "Virginia" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2017. February 25, 2017
< http://exploringnature.org/db/view/818 >

Exploringnature.org has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.

cheetah, tiger, panda, fox, bear, cougar