Partnering to save endangered animals: Virginia

We’re so excited about the new interactive map highlighting endangered species efforts in each state across the nation. Each day we’ll feature a state, partner and animal. Subscribe on the right to keep up!

It’s our last state — Virginia!

Virginia is just about as far north as you’ll be able to find the red-cockaded woodpecker. In the world of North American woodpeckers, this one stands out.

Its the only woodpecker that excavates nest and roost areas in living trees. Not to mention, it’s also one of just two woodpeckers protected by the Endangered Species Act (along with the ivory-billed woodpecker).

The red-cockaded woodpecker, affectionately referred to as RCW by biologists, is extremely rare in Virginia, and if you happen to be south of the James River, you’d be lucky to hear the “sklit” of its call. Even so, the efforts of many to save this woodpecker are paying off in Virginia, and in one preserve, the population has grown from 12 to 68 birds. Read the story.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Credit: Michael McCloy

Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Credit: Michael McCloy

Here are some other stories featured on Virginia’s page:

  • Piping plover (Atlantic coast population): Find out how human activities affect this dainty, sand-colored shorebird on both its breeding and wintering grounds.
  • Swamp pink: This striking perennial herb is known to occur in headwater streams and mountain bogs from New Jersey to Georgia.
  • Shenandoah salamander: This salamander is only known from three mountains in Shenandoah Park.
  • Virginia round-leaf birch: Originally discovered in 1918, this tree was not seen again until 1975, when a population of 41 trees was found.
  • Purple bean: The purple bean and rough rabbitsfoot currently survive in only a few river reaches in the upper Tennessee River system in Tennessee and Virginia.
  • Northeastern beach tiger beetle: This beetle is only found on a handful of pristine beaches between Virginia and Massachusetts.

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