VIRGINIA WILDLIFE

In Virginia the pandemic gave rise to some unexpected stars: birds.

BY: - April 6, 2021

On the second Easter Sunday of the pandemic, as children all around Virginia hunted for eggs on the ground, the most eagerly anticipated egg of all was gently deposited 22 stories above the city of Richmond by a peregrine falcon named 95/AK.  It’s safe to say that 95/AK gave the Easter Bunny a run for […]

A wildlife camera captured a photo of a bear and cubs off of Interstate 64 near Charlottesville. (Photo courtesy of VDOT)

Virginia’s black bears are flourishing. Officials have the bear teeth to prove it.

BY: - March 9, 2021

From numbers that had dwindled to around 1,000 at midcentury, Virginia’s black bears have been making a comeback.  For the past few decades, thanks to reforestation and state management, the black bear has become more and more common in the commonwealth. And while population estimates aren’t an exact science, relying as they do on factors […]

Sunday hunting bill stopped in its tracks

BY: - January 13, 2021

A bill to allow Sunday hunting on public lands was dealt a swift death on the first day of the 2021 session by the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee.  The proposal, which was carried by Del. James Edmunds, R-Halifax, failed 16-6, with both Democratic and Republican committee members split on the issue.  This […]

Lawmaker takes another shot at lifting Sunday hunting restrictions

BY: - January 13, 2021

With plans for the House of Delegates to meet virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic and still-fresh Democratic majorities, little about the 2021 General Assembly session may look familiar. Even the normal bickering over menhaden has been silenced after last year’s legislature brought the long-running fishery fight to a close.  But never fear: Lawmakers still have […]

Step aside murder hornet: How a puss caterpillar sting in Virginia took the internet by storm.

BY: - October 27, 2020

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 has been magnified […]

Virginia says the acorns are all right

BY: - October 16, 2020

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 normal about 2020, but […]

Venomous caterpillar ‘no one has heard of’ sends New Kent woman to ER

BY: - September 11, 2020

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 to see where it came […]

A wildlife camera captured a photo of a bear and cubs off of Interstate 64 near Charlottesville. (Photo courtesy of VDOT)

With wildlife corridor plan, Virginia officials hope to reduce highway collisions with animals

BY: - August 4, 2020

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 insurance statistics compiled by […]

Bett, one of around 20 border collies helping herd birds at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, poses in a pair of goggles that protect against sun and sand.

This $4B road project had a bird problem. Dogs are helping fix it

BY: - May 21, 2020

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 Fort Wool — an old […]

State commission approves new emergency regulations to protect striped bass numbers

BY: - August 27, 2019

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 36 inches long per day […]

‘The pig bomb’: Feral hogs make a great meme, but they are a serious pest in Virginia

BY: - August 7, 2019

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, feral hogs have […]

A new tick plus a new disease equals a double threat to Virginia cattle

BY: - July 30, 2019

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 and respiratory distress. Fearing the […]