The animals that live in and around the James River Park System present year-round opportunities for your observation and study. A wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic habitats are woven throughout the park, and they still deliver surprises – such as the City’s first documentation of a vernal pool fairy shrimp and sightings of an ancient species of fish, thought to be long extirpated from the James River! Open your eyes and ready your cameras as you roam the park in search of its treasures … and share what you find with us!
Click on animals below to see video of park wildlife
In the spring of 2014, we set out to catalog the biodiversity, or the number of different species, found within the James River Park System. Healthy and diverse habitats support healthy and diverse groups of plants and animals, but the animals in our park can be elusive and often go unseen. To catch them on video, we set out special "game cameras" that record a video when triggered remotely by motion or temperature. Scientists use these cameras to track and monitor wildlife or to record how a species behaves, and our animal friends did not disappoint! For almost a year, we recorded hundreds, if not thousands, of videos that reveal the animals that call our park home -- some common and others that may surprise you ...! You'll find some of these videos on the animal pages below. Enjoy!
Some of the common animal species were recorded over and over again in hundreds of videos (think: raccoons), while other species were only recorded once or twice (think: mink). But our cameras are still out, so check back to see new videos, and, hopefully, we will add a new species every now and then. And, don’t miss the factsheets for each species.
|Animals Documented in the Park|
|White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus|
|Coyote, Canis latrans|
|Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes|
|River Otter, Lontra canadensis|
|American Mink, Neovision vison|
|Common Raccoon, Procyon Iotor|
|Virginia Opossum, Didelphis virginiana|
|Eastern Cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus|
|American Beaver, Castor canadensis|
|Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus|
|Groundhog, Marmota monax|
|Eastern Grey Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis|
|Eastern Chipmunk, Tamias striatus|
|Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo|
|Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias|
|Odonata, Dragonflies and Damselflies|
|Fairy Shrimp, Eubranchipus vernalis|
|Atlantic Sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus|