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Watchable Wildlife Program

What is Watchable Wildlife?

Watchable Wildlife enhances, elevates and promotes wildlife viewing and nature appreciation for the benefit of society, while building community awareness, understanding and support for the conservation of the wildlife and habitats upon which these activities depend.

Respect Virginia’s Wildlife

The first key to wildlife watching is understanding how to do it responsibly. Respect Virginia’s Wildlife explains the best ways to get the most out of your wildlife viewing trips. When wildlife watching always keep in mind, you are the visitor!

History and Overview

Virginia’s Watchable Wildlife Program began in 2001. While the most notable accomplishment in the first years has been the development of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, many other areas have and are being addressed by Department staff. The major program areas are:

  • Providing Technical Assistance to both public and private land stewards to improve their land for wildlife viewing
  • Addressing urban wildlife issues through workshops, publications, and web-based information
  • Sponsoring and/or attending wildlife-related events
  • Coordinating the Department’s Wildlife Mapping Program
  • Coordinating DWR sponsorship of Virginia’s Master Naturalist Program

Projects such as the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail provide Virginians with opportunities to view wildlife across the Commonwealth. Promoting and fostering education about wildlife and getting people out to see it are key to getting people involved in wildlife conservation. Finally, the more people know about wildlife and wildlife-human interactions, the safer everyone will be, which benefits both people and wildlife.

The Department’s Watchable Wildlife Program is just one of many such programs in state fish and wildlife agencies across the United States.