VIRGINIA WILDLIFE

Stories about Virginia’s wild and wonderful creatures

A hairy mini-monster from Virginia is drawing worldwide attention.It is invading, taking over our state and making us vomit.Except that it isn’t.The 1½-inch-long venomous creature, called a puss caterpillar, can indeed hurt you, as it did a New Kent County woman on Sept. 4. But the little creeper’s threat...
Good news: the acorns are totally normal. So reported the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources this week in announcing the results of its annual acorn surveys, a monitoring effort that tracks the nut crop as an indicator of both wildlife health and potential hunter success. “There seem to be few things...
Crystal Spindel Gaston was reaching into the rear door of her Prius outside her house when she felt an excruciating pain in her right leg.“It felt exactly like a scorching-hot knife passing through the outside of my calf,” said Gaston, 55, of New Kent County. “Before I looked down...
Wildlife sightings are commonplace for anyone who spends time on Virginia’s highways. But many drivers are also all too familiar with the danger that can arise quickly when animals venture into the human-made spaces crisscrossing their habitats.Virginia drivers have a one in 74 chance of striking an animal, according...
To move a colony of migratory seabirds whose nesting site stood in the way of the $4 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel expansion project, Virginia officials came up with a plan to redirect them to newly created habitats nearby.To attract thousands of birds to the designated sites on barges and...
Recreational anglers will see their allowable catch of striped bass curtailed this fall, an effort by state regulators to protect a diminishing stock they say is being overfished.The Virginia Marine Resources Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved emergency regulations that will limit fishermen to a single fish between 20 and...
The frequently asked questions page on the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' website says it best."Feral hogs are four-legged ecological disasters."Earlier this week the “30-50 feral hogs” meme swarmed the internet, an unexpected by-product of the nationwide gun debate.But in many parts of the country, including Virginia,...
The cause of the seven cows’ deaths wasn’t immediately clear.All of the animals died between late summer and fall of 2017 in Albemarle County, the prosperous, semi-agricultural county that surrounds the city of Charlottesville. Another cow on the property, sick but alive, was found with signs of anemia, weakness...
WISE — For most people, spotting an elk in the wild sparks excitement and awe. That’s especially so in southwestern Virginia, where elk have only recently been reintroduced after an absence of more than 150 years. For farmers and cattlemen, however, the sight of elk inspires something else: fear and dread.“If...
George Washington had few dietary preferences, save one: he was “excessively fond” of fish.Luckily for the president, his perch at Mount Vernon afforded him an easy opportunity to indulge.The Potomac, he recorded in 1793, was “well-stocked with various kinds of fish in all Seasons of the year,...