Animals in West Virginia

The southern US state of West Virginia is unique in its own right as it is located entirely within the Appalachian Region. As a result, the state is characterized by mountainous terrain, earning it the ”nickname, ”Mountain State.” It offers diverse habitats, including rolling hills, lush valleys, dense forests, and freshwater bodies, making it a heaven for wildlife.

The state’sstate’s breathtaking landscapes and outdoor opportunities also make it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. There are several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, including the Monongahela National Forest, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and Blackwater Falls State Park. Here are some common native animals that can be spotted in the state’sstate’s wilderness.

Animals in West Virginia (WV)

List of Different Types of Animals Found in West Virginia


The cougar, eastern wolf, and American bison have been extirpated from the state. Some mammals, like the North American beaver and fisher, had also gone extinct from the state, but they have been reintroduced, with stable populations now.



  • Eastern Box Turtle 
  • Common Snapping Turtle
  • Painted Turtle
  • Eastern Musk Turtle
  • Eastern Garter Snake
  • Black Rat Snake
  • Northern Watersnake
  • Eastern Milk Snake
  • Eastern Worm Snake
  • Northern Brown Snake
  • Ring-necked Snake
  • Smooth Green Snake
  • Eastern Hognose Snake
  • Eastern Ribbon Snake
  • Dekay’s Brown Snake
  • Queen Snake
  • Eastern Smooth Earthsnake
  • Northern Rough Green Snake
  • Northern Pine Snake
  • Eastern Copperhead
  • Timber Rattlesnake
  • Common Five-lined Skink
  • Eastern Fence Lizard



  • Bluegill
  • Brown Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Black Crappie
  • White Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Channel Catfish
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Blue Catfish
  • Redbreast Sunfish
  • Pumpkinseed Sunfish
  • Longear Sunfish
  • Rock Bass
  • Green Sunfish
  • Redear Sunfish
  • Yellow Perch
  • Northern Pike
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Muskellunge
  • Walleye
  • Sauger
  • Freshwater Drum
  • Spotted Bass
  • Bluehead Chub

Insects and Invertebrates

  • Monarch Butterfly
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
  • Black Swallowtail Butterfly
  • Cabbage White Butterfly
  • Honey Bee
  • Eastern Carpenter Bee
  • Firefly
  • Ladybug
  • Common Green Darner
  • Widow skimmer Dragonfly
  • Eastern Boxelder Bug
  • Eastern Tent Caterpillar
  • Carolina Locust
  • Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
  • Periodical Cicada 
  • Carpenter Ant
  • Dobsonfly
  • Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp
  • Mosquitoes
  • Black Widow
West Virginia State Animals

State Animals of West Virginia

State AnimalAmerican Black Bear
State BirdNorthern Cardinal
State ReptileTimber Rattlesnake
State FishBrook Trout
State InsectHoney Bee
State ButterflyMonarch Butterfly


What are the most dangerous animals in West Virginia?

Large to medium predators like black bears and coyotes, along with deadly snakes like the timber rattlesnake and copperhead, are the most dangerous animals in this state. Additionally, venomous black widow spiders are also pretty common.

Are there any endangered animals in West Virginia?

More than 20 species are considered endangered or threatened in the state, with some notable animals on the list, including the Virginia big-eared bat, Indiana bat, eastern black-rail (bird), and monarch butterfly.

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