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Get information about some of West Virginia's most notable animals. Learn more about managing issues associated with wildlife as well.

Browse the West Virginia Wildlife Guide

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.

Wildlife Guide

A hoary bat hanging upside down from tree branch


There are at least 14 species of bats in West Virginia. West Virginia bats range in size from the eastern small-footed myotis to the hoary bat.

Benefits of Bats
bluejay eating peanuts on the snow


When left unmanaged, bird feeders can cause disease spread, attract exotic species, such as European Starlings.

Backyard Feeding Basics
Black bear relaxing in brush.

Black Bears

Over the last 50 years, the population of West Virginia's state animal has seen healthy growth. The black bear population in West Virginia is now considered statewide.


West Virginia has an annual regulated trapping season where coyotes can be harvested, along with a continuous open hunting season on coyotes.

two female white-tailed deer, one runs away


female white-tail deer in a lawn area about to eat shurbs

Deer Damage

male and femal feral swine with young in a late winter grassy area

Feral Swine

Feral swine make up one of the two populations of “wild pigs” that exist within West Virginia; the other population is wild boar.

habitat including stream and wooded area


Bee on orange milkweed blooms.

Insect Pollinators

West Virginia’s insect pollinators include bees, butterflies and moths with some wasps, flies, beetles and ants.

black and orange monarch butterfly on clover

Milkweed and Monarch Conservation

A muskrat eating next to a water source.


The common muskrat is a relatively large, semi-aquatic rodent found in wetlands, streams and other aquatic areas across West Virginia.

Ruffed grouse drumming on a drumming log.

Ruffed Grouse

The ruffed grouse is a popular game bird found throughout West Virginia. Reliant on forest habitat, ruffed grouse are nonmigratory and active year-round.

copperhead snake

Avoiding Snake Encounters

Eastern gray squirrel on a table.

Tree Squirrels

The eastern gray squirrel and eastern fox squirrel are common small game species found throughout West Virginia. The red squirrel is most commonly found within the more coniferous forests in the eastern portion of the state.

Meadow Vole


Voles are semi-fossorial (partly or sometimes found digging and living underground) and are most often noticed by runways through grass, thatch, mulch or leaf litter above the soil layer instead of by the raised tunnels produced by the burrowing moles.

Wildlife Issues