Virginia.gov

About WildlifeMapping

Guiding principles of WildlifeMapping

  • Provide distitbutional data on a variety of species
  • Promote public involvement in the management of our states wildlife resources
  • Educate the public about the wildlife resources of the Commonwealth
  • Complement survey, monitoring and research efforts in the Commonwealth

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries & WildlifeMapping

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is the primary wildlife and freshwater fish management agency in the Commonwealth, with full law enforcement and regulatory authority to manage and protect those natural resources. Since 1916 the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has been working for the people of Virginia to provide the highest quality wildlife management. The Agency's mission is to:

  • To manage Virginia's wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth;
  • To provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia;
  • To promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing;
  • To provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities.

The Department is supported by hunting and fishing license fees, watercraft sales taxes, boat titling and registration fees, federal programs in which tax dollars spent on hunting and fishing equipment are returned to the states, and miscellaneous other monies such as the voluntary Nongame tax check-off. To help manage Virginia's wildlife resources the Department formally established a comprehensive computerized data system in 1981 as a cooperative research project with Virginia Tech.

The first database, Biota of Virginia (BOVA), was implemented in 1984. Since then, the Department has compiled a variety of information in many different databases. The Fish and Wildlife Information Section is an outgrowth of these earlier efforts and will oversee the implementation and management of the WildlifeMapping program.

How the Program Developed

WildlifeMapping in Virginia is a component of the NatureMapping Program. The NatureMapping Program began in 1993 through a cooperative effort between the Washington State Gap Analysis Project and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

It has turned into an outreach program that involves citizens at all levels to collect data that is available to everyone. The NatureMapping Program's vision is to create a national network that links natural resource agencies, academia, and land planners with local communities primarily through schools.

The goal is to keep common animals common and to maintain quality of life. This is accomplished by training individuals to become aware of their natural resources and provide them with the tools to inventory and monitor their resources.