Red-Cockaded Woodpecker 📸: The Nature Conservancy

March brought lots to celebrate, and not just the start of spring! March 3rd was World Wildlife Day! 

On March 3rd, 1973, The United Nations General Assembly signed CITES, or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Did you know that over 68 species are considered “State Endangered” by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources? Some of the species are only found nowhere else in the world besides Virginia! 

These species live in the vastly different ecosystems across our beautiful state. North America’s smallest turtle, the bog turtle, which measures only 4 inches, and one of the rarest butterflies in the US, the Mitchell’s satyr, both live in wetlands. The red-cockaded woodpecker, Peter’s Mountain Mallow, and the Delmarva fox squirrel reside in Virginia forests. In our waterways live fish like the Blackside Dace and the Roanoke logperch. Many species like the Virginia fringed mountain snail, Virginia spiraea, and Virginia Sneezeweed thrive up in the mountains.

Conservation Partners has worked to put properties in 56 different counties into conservation easements. The preserved land protects the food, water, and shelter that are essential to the existence of wildlife (and humanity!). From the coast and the mountains to the fields and forests between, CP helps to conserve the valuable habitats of the over “10,000 species of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians. And different forms of invertebrates.” 

 “Wildlife is a public resource and, as such, the state must ensure that populations remain healthy to be enjoyed by future generations… Because the majority of wildlife live on private lands, public education and partnerships with individual land owners are extremely important to the overall health of all wildlife.” 

Virginia Department of Education

We can’t just protect wildlife on March 3rd. Instead, we need to place valuable habitats into land easements where they will be valued every day in perpetuity by land owners and wildlife alike. 

Habitat 📸: EC Myers

Red-Cockaded Woodpecker 📸: The Nature Conservancy