The James River Park System - Richmond, VA

Science in the Park

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We have created an iNaturalist project. Help us catalog the great biodiversity that we have here in the James River Park. Learn how »

Animals

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!

Game Cameras Rolling!

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!

Park Animals

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 White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus
Coyote Coyote, Canis latrans
Red fox Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes
River Otter River Otter, Lontra canadensis
American Mink American Mink, Neovision vison
Common Raccoon Common Raccoon, Procyon Iotor
Virginia Opossum Virginia Opossum, Didelphis virginiana
Eastern Cottontail Eastern Cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus
American Beaver American Beaver, Castor canadensis
Muskrat Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus
Groundhog Groundhog, Marmota monax
Eastern Grey Squirrel Eastern Grey Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis
Chipmunk Eastern Chipmunk, Tamias striatus
Wild Turkey Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo
Great Blue Heron Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
Odonates Odonata, Dragonflies and Damselflies
Fairy shrimp Fairy Shrimp, Eubranchipus vernalis
Sturgeon Atlantic Sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus

Species Lists