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Rare, Threatened And Endangered Species
To View Rare, Threatened And Endangered
Species Fact Sheets In West Virginia
Select Species From List And Submit Go!

To View The West Virginia Rare, Threatened
And Endangered Species Lists Click Here!



Status of Species:
(S) = Species of Concern
(R) = Rare Species
(FT) = Federally Threatened Species
(FE) = Federally Endangered Species

An important component of the Wildlife Diversity and Natural Heritage Program is the Natural Heritage Database, a computerized database, backed up with hard copy maps and data, to track the occurrence and status of the State’s rare, threatened, and endangered species. Because West Virginia does not have state threatened and endangered species legislation, the species listed as either threatened or endangered in the State are those found on the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s list of federally threatened and endangered species.http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/index.html

Endangered species are defined in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) http://www.fws.gov/endangered/laws-policies/index.html as “any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range other than species of the Class Insecta as determined by the Secretary to constitute a pest whose protection under the provisions of the Act would present an overwhelming and overriding risk to man.” A threatened species is “any species which is likely to become an endangered species in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of it range.” The term species, as defined in the ESA includes “subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.”

Eleven species of animals and four species of plants found in West Virginia are listed as endangered. Four species of animals and two species of plants are listed as threatened. One species, the peregrine falcon, was removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species in 1999 because many populations in the East had recovered as the result of the efforts of numerous state and federal agencies and non-governmental groups. However, this bird is still quite rare in West Virginia.

In addition to federal status under the ESA, rare species are assigned State Ranks by the WV Natural Heritage Program and Global Ranks by NatureServe ( www.natureserve.org ). These ranks are based on the species’ documented occurrences and distributions. Other factors, such as habitat and threats to existing populations, may affect these rankings. Species with State Ranks of S1, S2, or S3 are tracked by the WV Natural Heritage Program. State and global ranks are defined in “Introduction/Organization pages” .

Species that are tracked include those that are globally rare, species at the edge of their global ranges, species that appear to be declining on a regional basis, and species that require unique habitats, such as shale barrens, wetlands, or high elevation spruce forests. Due to changes in global and state rarity, the rare, threatened, and endangered species lists are dynamic. These lists change as new information becomes available.

Please remember to report sightings of rare species

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